The great6 or 8 debate

Dec 3, 2007 5:20 AM

Once, while passing a little time in a keno lounge, I was engaged in conversation with an avid keno player. This player insisted that 8-spots were a better bet than 6-spots, and his logic proceeded thusly:

1. It is easier to hit a 7/8 than it is to hit a 6/6. (True enough, odds of 6,232 for 1 as opposed to 7753 for 1.)

2. Once I have hit a 7/8, I still have the chance of hitting that last number for the big bonanza, a solid 8, while on the 6-spot my potential is limited to $1,500 or so. (True enough, also.)

This is an attractive argument, and one that I tend to agree with, because my bias is towards playing keno to win BIG. The downside of playing eights instead of sixes, of course, is that:

1. It is a lot easier to hit 5/6 than to hit 6/8, for roughly the same pay off. (323 for 1 opposed to 423 for 1.)

2. You will win (catch a payoff) about eight times as often on a standard 6-spot (once every 6 games or so) than you will on a standard 8-spot (once every 48 games).

It may be counterintuitive to you, but for the player with a bankroll of $100 or so, if you choose to play 8-spots instead of 6-spots you have 50% more chance of ending up money ahead if you stick to 8-spots. I have proved this in the past.

So try this 25-way-8 on for size: 20-spots, grouped 3-3-3-3-2-2-2-2. This ticket has a 16-way-15, 10-way-14, 24-way-13, 25-way-12, 20-way-11, 36-way-10, 20-way-9, a 25-way-8, 24-way-7, 10-way-6, 16-way-5, 6-way-4, 4-way-3, and a 4-way-2. Try some or all of these ways at your local keno parlour, and let me know how you do!

One thing to remember about 8-spots, though: They pay off less frequently than any other keno ticket. An 8-spot that starts paying at five out of eight (as opposed to four out of eight) pays out only once every 48 games, so patience is in order if you want to play 8-spots. Here are some simple and elegant ways to play way eights:

3-way-8 12 numbers grouped 4-4-4
4-way-8 11 numbers grouped 3-3-2-2-1
5-way-8 10 numbers grouped 2-2-2-2-2
6-way-8 16 numbers grouped 4-4-4-4
7-way-8 12 numbers grouped 4-2-2-2-2
8-way-8 16 numbers grouped 5-3-3-2-2-1
9-way-8 12 numbers grouped 3-3-3-1-1-1
10-way-8 20 numbers grouped 4-4-4-4-4
11-way-8 18 numbers grouped 4-3-3-2-2-2-2
12-way-8 16 numbers grouped 3-3-3-3-2-2
13-way-8 17 numbers grouped 4-4-3-2-2-1-1
14-way-8 16 numbers grouped 4-4-3-2-1-1-1
15-way-8 24 numbers grouped 4-4-4-4-4-4
16-way-8 19 numbers grouped 4-4-3-3-3-1-1
17-way-8 14 numbers grouped 3-3-2-2-2-1-1
18-way-8 15 numbers grouped 3-3-3-3-1-1-1
19-way-8 20 numbers grouped 6-3-3-3-2-1-1-1
20-way-8 19 numbers grouped 3-3-3-2-2-2-2-2

If you have a Keno question that you would like answered, please write to me care of this paper, or contact me on the web via email at [email protected] Well, that’s it for now. Good luck! I’ll see you in line!