Milking a machine

Jan 2, 2006 11:51 PM

Over the holiday weekend, I had a particularly interesting and at once satisfying experience playing my Cluster Keno system.

As many of you know if you’ve been following this column, myself and others who use this particular pattern have had good success playing Multi-Card Keno (20 card keno) when we’ve marked two sets of eight 7-spots, along with four sets of 8-spots.

I’ve done this by using the side-by-side "3" and "4" columns and grouping the eight numbers as follows: the two columns of eight numbers; the top and bottom two-by-four boxes, and the cross-over (stair stepper) patterns of eight numbers.

The cross-over numbers include the top four numbers in the "3" column coupled with the bottom four numbers in the "4" column, and the bottom four numbers in the "3" column coupled with the top four numbers in the "4" column.

These configurations or clusters can be viewed as six 8-spots. But I choose a pair of complimentary clusters and instead mark eight 7-spot cards under those numbers.

You can choose any of the eight-number patterns to mark as eight 7-spots. But, for me, I usually use the cross-over pattern as my "hot" numbers, that is, the ones that contain eight 7-spot cards.

Since I’m marking both cross-over patterns, I’m actually marking 16 7-spots and four 8-spot cards.

In the past, I’ve moved my "hot numbers" to either of the other two patterns: the columns themselves and the top and bottom boxes. But more about that later.

Anyway, this past weekend, I played for a very short while before my cross over pattern filled six numbers into the cluster a couple of times. This always results in two 6-of-7 awards, along with a bunch of 5-of-7 payoffs.

Now, the machine just seemed to be throwing a lot of numbers into my entire 16-number cluster, so I was encouraged.

Then, sure enough, it filled in seven numbers, creating a decent jackpot that included one solid 7-of-7, along with a bunch of 6-of-7 hits (one more number would have produced eight solid 7-spots!).

Let me also note that during the period leading up to the jackpot, I was "re-setting" the machine constantly, that is, cashing out and starting again (using the same numbers, of course), at the rate of once every three or four games.

Since the machine didn’t show any signs of shutting down now that I’d hit my goal, I cashed out but came back and started playing the same patterns again. In the past, I’ve been fortunate enough to find a machine, which seemed like it was still in a generous mood (they aren’t always that way!), come back and hit a second jackpot.

In this case, I played for a while before the machine filled in seven numbers in the "3" column, resulting in a 7-out-of-8 jackpot. Not bad at all!

Usually at this point, I move to a different machine in hopes of finding more fertile ground. But this machine just didn’t seem like it was ready to put on the brakes.

So I cashed out my ticket, redeemed for hard green and came back for more.

This time, though, I decided to do something different. I remarked my clusters (still staying in the "3" and "4" columns) by making the top and bottom boxes my "hot numbers." That is, I made the cross-over patterns simple 8-spot cards and transformed the top and bottom boxes into two sets of eight 7-spots.

After a somewhat longer while than it took for the first jackpot, the machine finally came around to filling in seven numbers into the top box, resulting once again in a nice solid 7-spot jackpot along with those 6-of-7 awards.

By this time I was ready to leave and didn’t stick around to try any further shuffling of patterns. But perhaps some of you readers might let me know how you’re doing with your patterns.

I’ve heard that Joe in Las Vegas has been having success with his clusters.

One of his techniques is to mark a whole bunch of 5-spots "inside" a 3-by-3 box of nine numbers. Now, I know from experience in playing those kind of 9-spots that it’s not unusual to catch six or even seven numbers inside a box like that.

And with a box containing so many 5-spots, you’ll hit multiple solid 5-spots when the numbers do flood in.

And at a payoff rate of about 800-1 on each 5-spot, you can really mount up the credits when the numbers bounce in.

That sounds like a solid tip, Joe, thanks and congratulations!