No need to chase those numbers!

Nov 21, 2005 4:39 AM

This past weekend I was talking to several other video keno players at Palace Station about my practice of "resetting" the machine.

It’s kind of hard not to notice when you’re constantly cashing out a ticket (the printers are awfully noisy!) and reinserting it and continuing to play.

I even found a fellow player who did the same thing (note that she cashed out a decent amount of credits in the process).

Re-setting the keno machine has been a foundation of my play strategy for years. By "reset," I mean I cash out my ticket, then play it back into the machine.

With the advent of new multi-game and multi-denominational machines, "resetting" also has come to mean closing out the keno game by returning to the main menu screen, then coming back to the video keno game I had been playing — all the while leaving my credits, if any, intact.

In the past the process of resetting has also mean that the numbers from the previous game are erased, and new numbers are marked — even though the new numbers may be exactly the same numbers that were played before. At this point, I would say I rarely remark the tickets.

Note that this process is 180 degrees opposite of how you’re supposed to play in live keno, where players often mark their card and wait for the numbers to come in.

I’ve found the live-game strategy has seldom, if ever, worked for me. In fact, I have tried to play the same game over and over, not touching the numbers, not re-betting, but the only results have been a long string of losing games.

But this does not mean I re-set the machine after every game. But I seldom play the same numbers for more than three or four games before I reset the machine. Also, keep in mind that most times after re-setting the machine, I will use the same marked numbers.

Let me give you an example. If I’m playing the solid eight numbers in the "nine column," I may play the numbers for two or three games, then erase and mark the

same column of numbers. For some reason, this sometimes leads to hitting, say, a seven out of eight jackpot, more frequently than when simply sitting on the same numbers, game after game.

I can’t say why there’s more likelihood of hitting a jackpot on the first few plays of a game than on the tenth play or even the hundredth play?

But keep in mind that the keno program was designed by an engineer who is charged with the task of creating a machine that makes money for the casino. It’s not likely they would ever create a keno game that would pay a jackpot just because you put in "enough" quarters.

In fact, I’ve noticed in recent months, that some keno games go into a losing spiral the more you play the same numbers. Maybe others have noticed that, on some occasions, the numbers continue to be "bad," that is, return little or nothing at all, no matter how long you play them. I’ve found that re-setting the machine is the only way to "stop the bleeding."

Remember that these principles of mine are not hard and fast rules. But I think it’s important to be consistent. Blackjack and video poker players have their basic strategies, and experienced craps players typically bet a certain way and seldom deviate.

By following a system, whatever that happens to be, you give yourself a chance to keep up with, if not overcome, the odds of the game. In order to make the odds work for you, it’s best to be consistent and follow your system.

Now I’d like to address the "cluster" or zone action of my strategy. Anyone who has played video keno has seen how numbers form certain patterns. For instance, there are eight rows of ten numbers on a keno screen, and if you play long enough, you’ll see that most of the eight rows eventually hit seven or even eight of the ten numbers.

In addition, there are ten columns of eight numbers, and during the same session you might note that several columns line up seven of the eight. Occasionally, all eight will fill up. The key is being there when they do — and re-setting the machine frequently has been a method to do so.

Other clusters that I’ve found have paid off include sold eight boxes, two by four boxes, either above or below the center line, and three-by-three boxes of nine numbers, again marked above or below the center line.

Maybe you have or have seen some patterns that have worked for you. If so, let me know about them.