If you remember last week’s column, (I know you do!) I showed you a plethora of ways to play a four-way nine, some of them quite interesting.
Consider these four different tickets, which all have 15 spots, and which are all four way nines: 6-3-3-3, 5-3-3-3-1, 4-3-3-3-2, and 3-3-3-2-2-2. All of these tickets have exactly the same odds against catches on the nines, which may seem strange at first glance, but the reason becomes apparent with just a little more investigation. Basically, the three groups of three are the same on all of these tickets; the only difference is that the field of six is split up into smaller pieces on the other three of these tickets, which is a good thing to do if you want to play something besides just the four way nine. You don’t lose anything on the nines by splitting up the field, and it gives you more variety on the other ways.
Or consider these two tickets, which we might call "twins": 21 spots, grouped 5-4-4-4-4, and 24 spots, grouped 5-5-5-5-4. Both tickets are four way nines, of course, but which one has the best odds for catching those nines? Since you saved last week’s column as I requested you to, its easy to look at it and deter- mine the answer! The ticket with the 24 spots has the better odds, and as you will recall Keno Lil’s general rule, the MORE numbers you have on a ticket, the BETTER the odds will be. This general rule flies in the face of most of the advice you will get from most keno players or writers, but it is true, with a few exceptions!
Take a look at these three different tickets: 11 spots grouped 3-2-2-2-1-1, 11 spots grouped 3-2-2-2-2, and 13 spots grouped 4-3-2-2-2. All three of these tickets have identical odds to one against hitting the nine solid, but the best ticket here is once again the one with the most numbers on it (4-3-2-2-2). You will hit a seven out of nine some forty games sooner on it than on the other two tickets!
Also interesting to me is the set of tickets which I call "criss-cross" way tickets. They are very simple: each consists of only two different size groups, and the nines are made by "criss- crossing" one of each size group with one of the other size group. An admirable example is the 5-5-4-4, which is the best way to play the four way nine in this class of ticket. The 6-6-3-3 is not at all bad, because it is better than both of the traditional four way nines that are usually played. The 7-7-2-2 and the 8-8-1-1 should be avoided, however, because the odds start to turn bad on them.
There is one more interesting group of tickets here, and they are: 15 spots, grouped 4-4-3-2-2, 16 spots grouped 4-4-3-3- 2, and 16 spots grouped 5-4-3-2-2. Although these tickets are not "twins" they are certainly closely related; the second ticket can be produced from the first by changing a deuce to a group of three, while the third ticket may be produced from the first by changing a group of four to a group of five. The best ticket to play in this bunch, is in my opinion, the 16 spots grouped 4-4-3- 3-2. It offers odds nearly as good as the best of the four way nines, and it is fun to play, as there are a lot of good combina- tions on it. It has a 1 way 14, 2 way 13, 2 way 12, 2 way 11, 3 way 10, 4 way 9, 2 way 8, 4 way 7, 3 way 6, 2 way 5, 2 way 4, 2 way 3 and a one way 2, for a total of 30 ways. I play the four way nine and the two way 8, which makes a nice $6.00 ticket.
That’s it for this week, and that’s it for four way nines for a while, too! Good luck, I’ll see you in line! email [email protected]