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The attached picture shows a $50,000-plus winning way ticket from the El Cortez in downtown. It is an example of a combination ticket used to good advantage. A combination ticket is where multiple rates are used on a way ticket.

In this case we have a 16-spot ticket divided in to four groups of four. The individual fours are played at the 40-cent rate and the six 8s are played at the $1.25 rate. Eight of the 16 numbers were drawn but they were drawn the “right” way, that is the eight numbers drawn were four from each of two groups resulting in a solid 8, four solid 4s and two 4-out-of-8s.

The solid 8 paid $50,000, the four solid 4s each paid $60, and the two 4-out-of-8s paid $1.25 each for a total win of $50,142.50. Not bad for a few minutes work. The player used the strategy that to hit a solid 8, it is best to draw from a greater pool of numbers to give you a better chance, even though you have to pay for each way played.

I like this play and might have even played their special 16-spot as well in case the numbers were scattered. Anyway, it is a great hit and kudos to the lucky winner.

The El Cortez pay book features nine different rates. Through combination tickets you may play one, all or just a few on any given ticket.

I especially like the 40-cent rate as ways can be played at this rate for 20 cents a way. I like the 65-cent rate as the top end pays are very generous for the bet size. For those who want heavier action there is the $1.25 rate.

Using my favorite ticket grouped as 2-2-1-1-1-1, I like playing the 5s at the 40-cent rate (82% return), the 6s at the 65-cent rate ($2,000 for a solid 6 hit), the 7s at the 40-cent rate ($7,000 for 7-out-of-7) and $1.25 for the 8-spot (pays $50,000 for the solid 8-spot hit).

Total ticket cost is as follows: There are 12 fives at 40 cents each costing $4.80. There are 8 sixes at 65 cents each costing $5.20. The 4 sevens at 40 cents each cost $1.60 and the single 8-spot costs $1.25 for a total ticket cost of $12.85 per game for a very powerful ticket.

Of course if the price of this ticket is too steep for you, you can play all the ways at 40 cents for a total cost of $10 a ticket or even at 20 cents a way for all ways (you will of course win proportionately less) for a total ticket cost of $5.

The El Cortez currently is offering 5 times slot club points for keno play, that is 5 points per dollar. Since 2,500 points is worth $5 you are effectively getting a 1% rebate on all keno ticket purchases but there is a lot more. You also, in addition, build up comp points and get good email and postal mail offers from your play without having to use any points to take advantage of these excellent offers.

Across the street are their beautiful totally non-smoking Cabana Suites. All their blackjack pays 3-to-2 and they have 10 times odds at craps. Some video poker is up to 100% and more with proper play and even some keno machines return 98%. Plenty of good food at Siegel’s as well.

The keno game is 24/7, half of the keno area is non smoking, and there is a large screen TV to watch sporting events as you play keno.

Here’s the deal, if you are a big winner send a copy of your big winning ticket and I will put it in a column.

Please let me know which of your numbers were drawn so I can give it a good write up. If it is from a casino outside of Las Vegas please include a photo of the appropriate pay table that you played. You may use the email address below. Looking forward to seeing more winning tickets! Yeah!

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