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There are casinos in Las Vegas that have a $2 Eight Spot Progressive, notably the Coast Casinos. This article shall focus on The Orleans, but the strategy espoused here can work anywhere if your intention is to hit a SOLID (catching all eight numbers) Eight Spot.

First, the ground rules. The Progressive needs to be played for $2. The jackpot starts at $100,000 and rises from there with no upper limit to my knowledge.

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You do get playing credit toward comps (show your card when purchasing your ticket) and way tickets are allowed. Other ways that are not part of your progressive attempt need not be at the $2 minimum but can be at the standard casino minimum based on the number of ways you play.

Way tickets give you a greater chance of hitting the progressive but you pay for the privilege; remember a way ticket is just a means of writing several tickets on one ticket. Each way must be at $2 to count toward the progressive.

Here’s a simple example:

Play groups of 2-2-2-2-2, which would give you five ways to make an 8-of-8. Each way uses four of the five deuces (group of 2). Since you have five ways, the ticket cost would be $10.

If you are fortunate to hit 8 of 10 (odds are 7,383 to 1) do not gloat yet as you must hit 8 of 10 the right way. That is, catch four groups of 2 solid (hit four of the five groups of 2 SOLID). More often than not you will hit 2-1-1-2-2.

There are 45 ways to hit 8 of 10 numbers and just five ways to hit them so you win the progressive. Please keep in mind that the real odds of hitting an 8-of-8 are 230,114 to 1, but since you have several ways to make a SOLID hit the odds are a bit better for you.

A rough calculation can be obtained by multiplying the chance of 8-of-10 times the chance of a solid hit. If you hit 8-of-8 the right way the odds are: 7,383 x 9 = 66,447 to 1. This is APPROXIMATE as the possibilities here are NOT mutually exclusive. But, it gives you a good idea of what playing a way ticket can do for you. You get about four times the likelihood of hitting the progressive but are paying five times as much for the ticket.

If your only objective is to hit the progressive, playing five separate quick picks at $2 gives you slightly better odds as this is less mutually exclusive than playing this way ticket. But, it’s not nearly as much fun.

On the other hand, if lightning strikes five times at the casino and you hit all 10 of your numbers on the way ticket, you will have the progressive plus four reset-value hits – that is $500,000!

The odds are 8,911,710 to 1 of this happening. My preference is to play the way ticket as the majority of keno pays are for the lesser hits when you look at the total picture. If you hit 8 of 10 the wrong way, you will not exactly be in the poor house.

If you bet only the $2 eight for the five ways, here is what you will win. Let’s say you hit 2-2-2-1-1. Well, you have two 7-of-8’s and three 6-of-8’s, which pay a grand total of $6,450.

If you have the cash and want to cover it all, you can also play a $2 10-spot, making the ticket cost $12. And, if you catch 8-of-10 you get $2,000 in addition to the $6,450 for the other hits. If you catch 9-of-10 you get the progressive (as you must hit a SOLID 8 to get 9 out of 10 with this ticket). You also get paid $20,000 for the 9 out of 10 plus lots of smaller hits.

If you hit 2-2-2-2-1, you have 9-of-10 ($20,000), 8-of-8 (Progressive of at least $100,000), and four 7-of-8’s paying $12,000. Hit 10-of-10 and you get $200,000 for the 10-of-10, $100,000-plus for the progressive, and $400,000 for the other four 8-of-8’s paid at the $100,000 reset value.

In addition to this you get comps, tournament invitations, photos, bragging rights, become a jealousy object, and have your ticket posted on the casino wall. With all the comps you earn you can even have cake with your comped meals, thus you even get to have your cake and eat it, too!

Pesach Kremen is a former UNLV Masters Gaming student, has won and placed in multiple local keno tournaments, and has written several academic papers on Keno. You can reach him at [email protected].

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