New games, please

Nov 27, 2006 1:41 AM

Noticeably absent from the G2E expo floor were any new keno machines. There were oodles of video and mechanical slots, video poker and other electronic games.

Bur for some reason, video keno machines were lacking.

That’s truly a shame because these games are very popular, especially in the "locals" casinos of Southern Nevada.

About five or six years ago there was a new wave of keno machines. First, there was Four Card Keno that rode in on the coat tails of multi-hand video poker (first Triple Play, then Five Hand and so forth).

That was followed by 20-Card Keno (aka Multi-Card Keno) and other bonus-related keno games such as Cleopatra keno and Power Ball keno.

Please, manufacturers, don’t ignore this significant segment of the addicted slot playing public. We like our keno games and will continue to play them, almost exclusively.

There was one machine at G2E, displayed by Bally Gaming. The machine was actually a roulette game, but company info implied there’s a keno version floating somewhere.

The game is included in Bally’s new Alpha Elite platform, a tall machine whose oversized screen would lend itself well to a keno board. As it was, the roulette layout was generous with razor-sharp graphics and an actually spinning wheel above the layout.

If and when Bally releases the keno version of this high-tech system, I’d love to have a shot at it.

In the meantime, it’s mostly Four Card and Multi-Card keno for me. I don’t recommend the other "gadget" games too highly, mostly because of the reduced pay tables.

That’s another thing. Always check the payback table to make sure you’re getting a "normal" return for a jackpot.

You don’t ever want to hit 7-out-of-7 and only get 4,000 coins, when the standard payback is 7,000 coins. I’ve seen it happen, and worse.