Is keno really keno?

Feb 20, 2006 6:08 AM

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that those video keno games are keno games in reality.

After all, if you play long enough, you start to notice how the numbers fill in and what kind of patterns they create.

Eventually it defies believability that such-and-such patterns can actually occur all over the board, except on the numbers you’ve marked.

A case in point is the "2" and "3" column of 16 numbers that I often mark while playing Multi-Card Keno (20-card keno).

As I’ve pointed out before, I’ll overlap a bunch of 7-spots and a few 8-spots on top of these 16 numbers. The point is that I’ve marked 16 numbers and, if the keno game is in fact a random keno game, these 16 numbers should receive, on average, about the same amount of hits as any other group of 16 numbers.

But it sure doesn’t work out that way! In my case, it sometimes seems like the group of 16 numbers to the immediate left of my group (the first and second column of numbers) is constantly getting way more hits than my group.

To add insult to injury, it seems like the numbers just to the left of my numbers also seem to line up in the patterns that I’ve marked!

For example, if my "power numbers" include the 2X4 box of numbers below the middle line, then the box to the left of mine always seem to fill up in what would have been a monster jackpot payoff in my cluster.

I know some of you keno players have experienced the same phenomenon. So, I don’t think it’s a simple case of paranoia or a persecution complex on my part.

I’ve also discovered that when those "mirror" patterns occur next to my cluster, it seldom ever follows that mine will be so fortunate.

Perhaps the machine is programmed to replicate the patterns you’ve marked, only in another section of the board, just to tease you into thinking you have hope. I don’t know. Or maybe the numbers I’ve marked are "locked out" of the machine’s hit pattern and fill in more liberally elsewhere.

But I’ve discovered through too many hours of hunkering down over keno machines that it doesn’t follow that I’ll catch a winner if the numbers next to mine keep filling in the same pattern.

Instead, what I have found is that a lot of "re-setting" of the machine sometimes helps to break this vicious, annoying cycle. That is, cashing out and starting again, or just closing out the keno game, returning to the main menu, and then coming back to the keno game you were playing.

I can’t offer a scientific explanation why this seems to work. Only each new game probably begins a new cycle for the computer, and most of the major jackpots I’ve ever hit were within a few plays of re-setting the machine.

How do I determine how frequently to reset the machine? Using the cluster example I just cited, I re-set when it appears that the pattern isn’t getting the "appropriate" amount of hits for the total numbers marked.

With a total of 16 numbers marked, probability theory holds that you should catch, on average, four numbers per game. The odds of catching four are 3.98-1.

But, obviously, catching only four numbers out of 16 isn’t going to cut it. I’ve determined, that the machine is working "properly" when you can average six hits a game (the odds are 9-1).

For whatever reason, when a machine consistently hits six or more numbers out of 16, a big hit could be on the way.

And, by big hit I mean catching nine, 10 or 11 numbers. When you can corral that many numbers, it usually holds that the machine will put seven or eight of them into the right pattern, thus triggering a decent jackpot.

Like I noted, this isn’t scientific, mathematically-based or otherwise proven in a physics laboratory. But it seems to hold. Let me know if something like this has worked for you.