Playing deuces on ‘way’ tickets

Sep 25, 2006 5:06 AM

One conjecture that’s always been a curiosity to me is whether deuces are a good bet on a keno ticket or not.

For instance, given a bankroll of $100, and the intention of hitting a solid six, is it better to play $2.50 on a $1 six and three deuces, or is it better to stick to straight $1 six-spots?

With the power of modern personal computers, we can now answer this question! I ran a simulation with these rules: Each player has a $100 bankroll, and each player plays until either broke or until he hits a solid six.

I ran a total of 200,000 simulations, with 100,000 players playing a $1 six and three deuces for 50 cents (a $2.50 ticket) and 100,000 players playing straight $1 sixes.

We know from previous experience that playing the deuces will increase our winning frequency about six-fold, which will plausibly keep us in playing money and thus let us play longer.

Unhappily, this somewhat naive analysis fails to take into account the price of the ticket, which of course is two and one half times the cost of the straight ticket.

Out of the 100,000 players playing deuces, 1,411 of them succeeded in hitting solid sixes before going broke. Of those who stuck to straight sixes, 2,453 of them hit solid sixes.

This means that by sticking to straight six-spots, and eschewing the deuces, you almost double your chances of success before going broke!

When I ran the same simulation using a straight eight-spot ticket, and an eight with four deuces, the results were even more dramatic. 1,398 players playing deuces hit a 7/8 or more before going broke, while 2,592 players hit a 7/8 or more while playing straight eights.

These results shouldn’t be too bewildering, I guess. In the case of the six and three deuces, 60% of your wagers go toward producing wins of $6, while in the case of the eights, 67% of your wagers do.

On a scale of one to five spikes, with five being the highest, the deuce gets a rating of 1 spike (pretty weak).

Well, that’s it for now. Good luck! I’ll see you in line! e-mail: [email protected]