Experience can add up to keno payoffs

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Cluster Keno by L. J. Zahm |

Math isn’t always the best choice

There must be a lot of math whizzes out there, judging by the
comments I received after last week’s column.

One of the things I mentioned was playing (and hitting) eight
solid 7-spots when they’re overlapped, such as using all eight numbers in a
column, cross-over pattern or 2×4 box.

The astute among you pointed out that if I had just marked
eight 8-spots instead, the payoff would have been higher, either with catching
seven of eight or all eight numbers.

Indeed, hitting eight solid 8-spots would pay 64,000 for one,
while eight 7-spots would pay 56,000 for one. It’s a little closer when
hitting seven of eight numbers. Catching 7-of-8 seven times returns slightly
more than catching the corresponding single solid 7-spot coupled with seven
6-of-7 jackpots.

Well, just to try it a few times, I marked eight overlapping
8-spots on a 20-card video keno machine, but had very little success.

For some reason, I kept getting only three hits in the
pattern and the credit meter nose-dived pretty quickly.

For some reason, the machine acts more “normally”
when marking 7-spots. Plus, getting a return for three hits in the pattern, plus
the higher awards for 4-, 5- and 6-number hits keeps your credits up.

Maybe some of the math geniuses can show me a better way of
marking overlapping 8-spots.

Two very interesting occurrences emerged this past week. I
was playing the eight 7-spot patterns and after failing to catch seven of eight
numbers, I switched to eight 9-spot patterns by adding two “orphan”
numbers outside the pattern (in these cases the pattern was 2×4 boxes).

On two separate occasions, not long after switching, the
machine filled in all eight numbers in the box! This gave me eight 7-of-9
awards, but nothing like the eight solid 7-spots I “would have” hit,
had I not switched.

Also the machine on several occasions filled in seven of the
eight numbers in the box.

It’s impossible to say whether I would have actually
received the solid eight numbers had I continued playing 7-spots, but it
certainly makes one wonder whether I should have just stuck it out for awhile

Speaking of those 9-spots, I had a pretty good run of
catching 8-of-9 jackpots. Most of them landed with six numbers in the box (which
contained eight 7-spots) coupled to both orphans outside the box.

There were also a couple of 8-of-9 awards hitting outside the
aforementioned pattern: I often mark four overlapping 9-spots, such as the eight
cross-over numbers, which are coupled with a single orphan number.

I guess it sometimes pays off to try 9-spots, of which the
8-of-9 odds are about 30,000-to-1. With the 7-spot odds of about 40,000-to-1,
the extra 25 percent chance of hitting is a worthy inducement.

See, when it comes to math, I’m not totally challenged!

Finally, my book, Cluster Keno, has been re-stocked at the
Gamblers Book Club in Las Vegas. For information, you can call them at
1-800-522-1777, or visit their website, gamblersbook.com.

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