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This column will attempt to help you write and read a keno ticket. In the example below, at the top you will see several color designations. When casinos have these they are running different keno games.

Choosing the color tells them which game you are playing. Next, to the right is the number of games on this ticket – in this case 21. The upper right corner is the total ticket price ($47.25).

Below that is the price per game, which is $2.25. Below that is “2-bits,” the name of the special rate being played. It is very important to put this on the ticket, as if there is no special rate designation the casino will usually pay you at the regular rate, pro-rated of course, for the amount you are playing per way.

Below this are the groupings you have chosen to play. Once you decide to play ways for a particular number of spots all possibilities must be covered. That is you can play anywhere from one to 10 spots on this ticket.

You can decide to play, for example, just the 7s, 8s, 9s, and 10s, but once you choose a particular number you must play all possible ways for that number of spots.

You can play them at different rates as long as you put that on the ticket. For simplicity we are playing all rates for 25 cents. Let’s say you want to play the 10-spot at the dollar regular rate. You would thus write “1/10 @$1 regular.”

Of course if you have been enjoying too many beverages as you play and have become a “high” roller wanting to bet $100 for the 10-spot way, who am I to tell you different?

Anyway, you list the number of ways on the right and how many of each, such as 1/10, 1/9, 1/8, etc. The 25 cents on the bottom shows the price for all those ways.

Now we get to the heart of the ticket itself, the numbers you wish to play and how you are grouping them. To group a bunch of numbers make a circle, oval or any way of surrounding them with a line to indicate this is a separate group.

Going from top to bottom we have the numbers 1 and 6 circled to indicate a deuce, a group of two. Further down we have the numbers 52, 53, and 54 circled to indicate a group of three. To the right of that we have the numbers 57, 58, 59 and 60 circled to indicate a group of four. Finally, we have the number 80 circled as a single number group, called a king.

Thus you have your completed ticket. Now take this ticket to the keno writer or give it to the keno runner, who takes tickets from outlying areas of the casino such as the restaurants and bars to the counter for you. Few casinos have them but they are a nice and convenient addition to the game.

Once you have given in your ticket (or when the runner returns from the keno counter) you will be given a computer copy.

This is the official game ticket on which pays are calculated. If it differs from your original ticket, run to the keno counter and have it corrected before the start of the game for which it is written. Otherwise the computer copy stands as your official game ticket.

Now wait while the game(s) is (are) drawn and see how much you have won. If you cannot figure it out the computer does this automatically anyway and you will be paid accordingly.

Remember to give in your slot card or keno account number to get credit for building up comps as you play. This number should show on the computer copy of your ticket. If it does not, before the game begins get this added and you will be given a corrected ticket.

Now comes the hard part. You have hit all your numbers. Go directly to the counter with your ticket, ID, and Social Security Card (if the win is $1,500 per game or more, less the ticket cost) and collect those pictures of Ben Franklin to put in your wallet.

Easy enough? I thought so! Good luck!

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