# Playing 20-spots in keno is a matter of tracking the numbers

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The idea of playing a way ticket based on 20 spots is daunting to some players. After all, with 20 numbers there are a staggering number of ways and combinations available to play.

But still, the 20 spot is convenient in one respect. The Keno draw involves 20 numbers each game. So you can go up to the counter and get a ball frequency report based upon the last 5, 10, 20 or 100 games and find out which 20 numbers have been coming up the most in recent games. Conversely, you can also see which numbers have appeared rarely or not at all.

Now there has always been a debate over whether it is better to play so-called “hot numbers,” numbers that have been coming up frequently, or whether it is better to play “cold numbers,” numbers that have been called infrequently or not at all.

There has even been debate over whether any kind of hot-cold system is mathematically viable.

I can tell you this: If your Keno number selection system is absolutely random, then there is no mathematical support for any ball selection based upon past performance. The “balls have no memories” as they say and future and past events are wholly independent.

However, I can also attest to this: I have never seen a Keno selection method that is completely random. Mechanical devices can be almost random, but not quite. Small imperfections will result in small deviances, while things like missing or damaged balls, or an extra ball or two will seriously distort the results.

I have seen all of these things in my Keno career, either through carelessness or intentional cheating. Your random number generator is by definition a “pseudo-random” generator. It merely produces a long string of digits and then starts over again. The best ones produce very long strings.

So what I am saying is in the real world it makes a difference whether you play “hot numbers” or “cold numbers” even though in pure mathematical theory it makes no difference.

You should play the hot numbers.

Why? Let’s take an extreme example. You order a ball frequency chart for the last 100 games and you notice No. 78 has not come up once in 100 games! Now this is not mathematically impossible but if I were a supervisor at the game and I noticed it I would have to open the apparatus and physically check the balls.

No.78 could be missing! Now the “cold number” advocates would tell you 78 is “overdue” and thus will come up more often in the future. I say it may be missing.

Likewise you may see a number that has come up more than it should. (It should have come up 25 times in 100 games, on average.)

There may be some damage or imperfection (or flaw in the software of an RNG) that is causing this. Does it make any sense to bet against this if this is the case?

I didn’t think so.

Well that’s it for this week, good luck and see you on line at [email protected]