Keno strikes back!

Jun 27, 2005 1:24 AM

It was recently brought to my attention that sports bettor turned radio talking head, Fezzik, took a swipe at my column, Cluster Keno, while hosting the You Can Bet On It radio show in Las Vegas last week.

It seems that Fezzik, who has been wrangling with one of our poker columnists, Rob Singer, mentioned that anyone who plays machines with less than a 99 percent payback percentage was nuts, or simply too stupid to know any better.

I’m sure he said this in response to my comments last week that practically none of the video keno games I play have a payback percentage higher than 94 percent or so.

I stick to my beliefs, and I’ll compare W-2Gs with Fezziwig anytime.

Let me reiterate that the par value of a machine, or its long-term payback percentage, is a theoretical value based on the life of the machine.

What really counts are the odds to win. To help illustrate how important this is, I’ve included a chart of the winning jackpots for most keno machines.

Let me point out a few numbers that should make any video player cringe. The odds to hit a solid 7-spot are about 40,000-to-1, about the same as hitting a royal flush in poker.

But look closely at the payoff. For about the same odds, the solid 7-spot pays an astounding 7,000-1, whereas the royal pays a paltry 800-1.

Check out another payoff. Catching 7-out-8 isn’t an unattainable goal, the odds are only about 6,200-1. But the payoff is once again astounding — $1,652 for a $1 bet.

To put this in perspective, you could hit six and one-half 7-out-of-8 jackpots for a whopping $10,658 in the same time it would take to hit one precious royal flush for a lousy $1,000.

Eat your hearts out video poker enthusiasts.

But I’m not here to gloat. Nor am I here to bandy words with an amateur, when it comes to gaming machines, such as Master Fezzik.

As I’ve point out, I have my system based on experience and success. I’m sure Rob Singer and his followers can effectively put forth their respective cases.

Let me add that, over the years, I’ve received nothing but positive feedback from readers, many of whom report success using my Cluster Keno system.

Here is a typical note from a reader, Paula Tessier, in New Jersey: "It’s about time someone devoted articles to video keno. That is just about all my husband and me play. We have played video keno in Connecticut, New Jersey, Mississippi, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada and several places not even on the map. We love to play in Tunica, Mississippi. We look forward to your articles, you’re right about cluster keno: I only play patterns, all my wins have been in patterns. I have had some good hits, seven out of seven, six out of six. My husband even hit a solid nine spot and a solid eight. I once hit a solid eight spot. We look forward to every video keno article. Keep them coming!"

Thank you, Paula.

Tune in next week, Paula. We’re going to report on an astounding run of success using the Cluster Keno system while playing 20-Card Keno at a locals casino in Las Vegas.

I’ve been talking to the winner, examining his W-2Gs, and finding out just how he hit so many jackpots (literally, dozens of them in June).

We’ll have all the delicious details next week.