Let’s fiddle with thenon-descript 4-spot

Oct 10, 2005 2:16 AM

What is the proper strategy for keno play if we’re operating on a short bankroll, say $10? Are certain tickets better than others in this situation? With this series of columns we’ll endeavor to answer this interpellation.

When we played a four spot with a $10 bankroll for a million players, we ended up with these results:


2 out of 4 2,126,111 times

3 out of 4 432,484 times

4 out of 4 30,581 times


The average player ended up with $7.15 which is about what we’d expect. We ended up with 41,001 players hitting $10 or more, and 30,523 hitting $100 or more. None of our virtual players hit $1,000 or $10,000 or more.

We can see an anomaly in the results: Although we have 30,581 solid fours, which pay over $100, we have only 30,523 players who win $100 or more. This aberration is accounted for by the fact that there are a lucky 58 players who hit more than one solid four within 10 games! (I should be so lucky!) As a matter of fact, I’ll award at least (one spike):





Four Spikes to anyone who can do this! Of course the odds against this happy event are about 17,241 to one!

These results point up the problem with four spots (and therefore threes, twos, and ones.) You just can’t win enough money on them to make playing them worthwhile in the long run, even on a short bankroll. With only 4 percent of players breaking even and 3 percent winning a hundred dollars or more, the four spot compares very unfavorably with an eight spot or five spot played on a short bankroll. Distressfully, with the four spot this situation becomes magnified the more you play. On a larger bankroll it becomes harder and harder to win in the long run playing a four spot. I substantiated this and wrote about it a couple of years ago.

On a scale of one to five spikes, with five being the highest, the four spot on a short bankroll gets:





Here is a summary of our results (playing on a short bank roll) so far:


WIN= $10 $100 $1,000 $10,000

Four 41,001 30,523 0 0

Five 72,426 6,436 0 0

Five S 11,624 6,321 6,321 0

Six 33,135 32,147 1,289 0

Eight 38,708 25,336 1,632 46


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