# Step up to a 15-spot ticket

Dec 28, 2004 2:46 AM

This week we’ll continue our empirical testing of keno tickets, this time using our benchmark 6-spot versus a \$1 15-spot. The 15-spot was once a very popular ticket, and of the transdecimal tickets (those tickets with more than 10-spots) it is still the most popular except for the 20-spot.

Part of the 15 spot’s popularity is a holdover from the 1950s and early 1960s when these tickets were very popular. Many 15-spot players are older citizens, and when they learned how to play keno they played whatever tickets were popular at the time. These were chiefly 15’s, 12’s, 10’s and 9’s. Many beginning keno players also start by playing 15 numbers reasoning that the more numbers played gives them more chances of winning. These beginning players keep playing 15’s, presumably quite happily, until some keno writer or runner tells them not to! These writers and runners are only half informed, and they tell the player things like "15’s are housetickets," or "You’ll never hit a 15 in a million years!"

I say half informed, because I have proved to you several things in the last year or so. I have proved that THE MORE NUMBERS YOU PLAY, THE BIGGER CHANCE YOU HAVE OF WINNING. This is true on both STRAIGHT and WAY TICKETS. While it is true that it is extremely hard or practically impossible to hit solid on a 11-, 12-, 13-, 14- or 15-spot ticket, I have proved that one need not do so to end up winners. I proved several months weeks ago that the 12-spot is in many respects superior to play than the extremely popular 6-spot.

Here is the 6-spot to fifteen spot comparison, one million games of keno each, 1,000 players each playing 1,000 games:

SIX-SPOT 28.00% 15-SPOT 33.27%

AVERAGE \$721.50 AVERAGE \$667.90

MEDIAN \$528.00 MEDIAN \$584.00

HIGHEST \$5,477.70 HIGHEST \$5,005.00

LOWEST \$170.00 LOWEST \$259.00

PERCENT WIN 12.70 PERCENT WIN 8.30

The first thing that we note is that the house percentage of the fifteen-spot is quite a bit higher than the 6-spot’s house edge. This accounts for the substantial difference in the average winnings for \$1,000 played. Even though this is true, the MEDIAN figure for winnings (this is the figure that matters to most keno players) is substantially higher on the fifteen-spot ticket. THIS MEANS THAT THE FIFTEEN-SPOT IS MUCH SAFER TO PLAY THAN THE SIX-SPOT! In other words, the typical keno player will finish a \$1,000 play period with more of his or her bankroll intact by playing fifteens versus 6’s!

The potential reward on both tickets, \$5,000 or so, is very similar though the 6-spot has a small edge. The 6-spot also has an edge in percentage of players ending up money ahead after 1,000 games. All in all though, I would be hard pressed to find much difference in risk/reward, potential return, or frequency of wins between these two tickets. So why not play a few fifteens once in a while?

I mentioned above that the fifteen-spot has a higher house percentage than the six-spot. This is not at all unusual at many keno games. One thing to look for if you want to find a more liberal fifteen-spot is to find one that pays two for one on a 6/15 catch.

Well, that’s it for this week. Good luck, and I’ll see you in line!percentage than the six spot. This is not at all unusual at many keno games. One thing to look for if you want to find a more liberal fifteen spot is to find one that pays two for one on a 6/15 catch.

Well, that’s it for this week. Good luck, and I’ll see you in line!