Don’t fight, switch!

Feb 27, 2006 10:44 PM

Someone who purportedly has inside knowledge (an engineer, slot technician or soothsayer, I don’t recall which) once told me that the outcome of a keno game is based on how much the machine has won. That is, it will pay out if the machine has reached its goal of holding x-amount of money, but that it would never pay a jackpot if there were an accounting deficit.

Needless to say, this wasn’t encouraging. One who plays would like to think there’s a finite chance of winning on every play.

But the notion that the machine needs to "store up" winnings before it can become loose enough to hit a jackpot got me thinking.

Does this theory apply individually to games in a multi-game machine such as IGT’s Game King? That is, does the accounting patterns for each game (and/or each denomination) overlap or are they unique to its own game?

Based on play in recent weeks, it seems like a game that is incredibly tight, such as a Four Card Keno game that does nothing but take your money and give back little in return, often stimulates another, unrelated game to become loose.

Specifically, here’s what I’ve noticed. I have a tendency to stay with a keno pattern (on Four Card Keno) for a considerable period of time, sometimes returning to the same machine and same cluster day-after-day.

In the past, it’s my experience that eventually the machine reaches whatever level it needs to reach in order to hit the long-awaited jackpot.

Naturally, plugging away can become costly, even if you’re lucky enough to hit the jackpot at the end of the ordeal.

But in the interim, I’ve found that a different keno game, or even a slot or poker game, can often become very loose after a long dry period of keno play.

This has happened on a number of occasions, when I’ve left the Four Card Keno game and started playing, say, Cleopatra Keno or even a video slot like Double Bucks. (For some reason I love this funky game with the spinning coins and scales that bounce!)

Just this past weekend, in fact, I had spent considerable time and money chasing one of my favorite clusters on Four Card Keno. Then I abruptly stopped and began playing Double Bucks.

And the hits just kept on coming! I never experienced so many bonus rounds (with the three spinning coins) and had considerable success raking in the credits.

This has also happened playing other games, such as Cleopatra Keno and Power Keno (these are usually packaged with Four Card Keno.

So, if you’ve found your persistence and patience hasn’t paid off with a particular video keno pattern or cluster, switch to another game entirely. You might be pleasingly surprised.