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Last week I received a nice note from a reader, Gill in Henderson, who was gracious enough to share his strategy and experiences playing video keno.

Since the note was written so thoughtfully and conscientiously, I thought I would reproduce it in full here:

“I play only keno slots at the local places, Green Valley, Fiesta, Barley’s, Sunset casinos. It has taken me two years to refine my keno games. I read you and Lil’s articles about keno every week. Here’s what works for me.

“Probability reigns supreme. The best play is the 5-spot – pays about 50% on most payouts, $804-$838. I can equal a 6-spot payout by collecting two fives. This happens between 8-12 times each month. A bad month of wins is less than $1,000; it only happened once in two years. I average $2,000- $3000 monthly in 5-spot wins on 25 cents through $1 dollar bets.

“I took your cluster effect of bunching numbers but went to spread formations that are at least two numbers apart. That calls for random spread formations to return as often as clusters of numbers.

“My most successful spread is the 1, 31, 61, 14, 54. Remember the one digit is the most repeated throughout of all, according to accounting and math applications as shown in major math surveys. I do play the two spots (even money) bet when hit, and the three spots to regain my daily money inventory. So far for this year my cash on hand is $1,400 on a beginning funding of $500.

“Yes, my losses went as low as $1,500 one time but the bounce back always occurs, which is why I continue to play the single card approach. I do occasionally do a four card play by using a 5 spot overlay with one 3 spot. I can show you if we ever meet. Thanks for your articles of keno input.”

Thank you, Gill, for even sharing your numbers and patterns. This is the kind of thing I love to read from fellow players. I’m always fascinated by what other players have found successful.

Now, just a few comments.

The 5-spot is indeed a superior ticket to play. The odds of catching 5-out-of-5 is only 1550-to-1, and with a payoff of about 800-to-1, it’s equivalent to hitting a royal flush in video poker, but it will occur 26 more times frequently.

To put it another way, for every royal flush you hit, you should hit 26 solid 5-spots – at the same payoff rate!

Gill’s point about two 5-spots paying the equivalent of one 6-spot is, well, spot on. The solid 6-spot pays about 1650-1 but its odds are about 7750-to-1, about five times greater than the solid 5-spot.

I definitely intend to try some of Gill’s suggestions on playing the 5-spot. I’ve never really played it in the past because I’ve always played the larger tickets (7-spots, 8-spots, 9-spots and 10-spots), mostly out of greed, I guess, always hoping to catch that Big One. It has happened on rare occasions (such as catching 8-of-8 or 9-of-9), though it’s become less frequent recently.

Perhaps I’ll mark some 5-spots and overlay them with some 7-spots and 8-spots on Four Card Keno or 20-card keno.

In any case, thanks again, Gill, and hopefully we’ll play a few keno games together some time.

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