This week we have some exciting news to report about Cluster Keno in action, but first I’d like to extend my thanks to Susanna Liberty of Santa Monica, California for a lovely note she sent me a couple of weeks ago.
Susanna and her friend, Jane, are devoted video keno players (hooray!), who had some questions about IGT’s Game King keno machines, including its popular Four Card Keno game.
The Game King machines are usually so identified by its glass panels, but some casinos often choose a different or personalized machine title.
In any case, the Four Card Keno and Multi-Card Keno games are usually grouped with other choices — straight keno, video poker or even a few slot games — and are available in a variety of denominations, ranging from a penny per credit up to $1 or $2.
In Las Vegas, the best places to find these machines are at the casinos that cater to locals. These include Coast Casinos, Station Casinos, Arizona Charlie’s, Sam’s Town, Ellis Island and most of the casinos along the Boulder Strip and in downtown Las Vegas.
The two games that have become wildly popular in Las Vegas are the aforementioned Four Card and Multi-Card keno. In the former, a player can select and bet four different cards per game, while he can mark up to 20 cards per game playing the latter.
For keno players, these games are similar to the Triple Play and multi-hand games that have swept video poker in recent years.
Obviously, multiplying your bet four and 20 times can become expensive, so there must be a prudent strategy in place — and that’s where my "Cluster Keno" concept comes into play.
Essentially, the Cluster Keno approach is to mark keno cards in specific zones or patterns in hopes of catching the right numbers when they drift into your zone.
The theory is based on the simple premise — which any avid keno player will testify to — that numbers often fall just outside of our marked pattern, prompting cries of frustration that "if only" the number could have landed just one or two spaces over.
We see a tremendous example of this theory put into lucrative practice this week with the success a close friend of mine experienced over a four-day stretch playing Game King machines at Palace Station.
Without being too specific, my pal Bruce hit five $1,900 jackpots playing Multi-Card Keno using one of the patterns in my book, Cluster Keno, then capped his tremendous run with an $11,200 super jackpot on Saturday.
What makes Bruce’s feat even more amazing is that these awards were won on nickel machines! Take that, you video poker fans!
Here’s how Bruce did it. He picked a pattern that I particularly enjoy — it includes the 16 numbers contained in the "3" and "4" columns. Under these numbers he marked four 8-spots and two sets of eight 7-spots.
It will be easier to understand the pattern by looking at the accompanying illustration.
As you can see, the group of eight 7-spots are contained in the "cross-over" numbers — the four on the top left coupled with the four on the bottom right, and four on the bottom left coupled with the four on the top right.
In the past, I’ve also used the "3" and "4" columns and the two-by-four boxes above and below the center line for the 7-spots, but for some reason most of the big hits have come by marking the cross-over cluster.
Bruce’s $1,900 wins occurred when seven of the eight numbers in the cross-over pattern fell into place — this created one solid 7-spot winner of $1,400 and seven 6-out-of-7 winners at $80 each.
Bruce’s "super jackpot" occurred when all eight numbers landed in the cross-over pattern, which prompted a winner consisting of eight $1,400 awards.
In addition to his big scores on Multi-Card Keno, Bruce also hit a nice jackpot playing Four Card Keno for quarters. His winning pattern, which is also offered in my book, consisted of four 10-spot cards — the entire "9" and "0" rows, plus the two "cross over" patterns consisting of the first five numbers in the 9-row coupled with the last five numbers in the 0-row, and the first five numbers in the 0-row coupled with the last five numbers in the 9-row.
Bruce caught 9-out-of-10 and $4,500 when four numbers landed in the 9-row’s first five and all five landed in the 0-row’s last five. At odds of over 1 million to one, catching 9-of-10 is one of keno’s Herculean feats — way to go Bruce!
Bruce wanted me to point out that he also likes to cash out frequently and start a game over. He believes that "cold" machines seem to pay better than ones that have been played hours on end.
Who’s to say it isn’t so? Over the past week it’s been reported that a couple of million dollar progressives were won by players who said they hit the jackpots after playing for just a few minutes and after investing a minimum number of coins.