Tired of vanilla? Try these 4-way-9s

December 31, 2007 3:05 AM



Here are a few 4-way-9s that are easy and enjoyable to play, if you are tired of plain vanilla 3-3-3-3.


Ticket 9/9 8/9 7/9


4-3-3-2-2 349,542 8,114.80 477.78

4-4-3-2-2 349,094 8,032.88 466.30

4-3-3-3-2 345,921 7,817.01 446.36

4-4-3-3-2 345,729 7,793.25 445.97


These tickets are curiosities, and if not twins are certainly siblings or at least cousins. They range from 14 to 16-spots, and they all consist of groups of fours, threes, and twos. As 4-way-9s, they are all fine tickets to play, among the best. Although the 4-3-3-3-2 belongs here among its relatives, we’ll ignore it this week, as it is an analogue, a variation, of the famous 6-3-3-3 4-way -9 (the field of six is merely split into a 4-2) that we have previously discussed at length.

There is an old maxim of Keno play that states the way to win is to play a large amount of money on a small number of spots. As you faithful readers know, I have played millions of games of Keno over the last month using computer simulations. The truth of the matter is that the old maxim above is valid only in reverse. If you play a small number of spots, (ones, twos, threes or fours) you MUST play a large amount of money on them if you want a chance of coming out ahead in the long run.

For instance, I played a million dollars worth of 2-spots, simulating a thousand players playing a thousand dollars worth of one dollar 2-spots each. When the simulation was over, NOT ONE of the players was money ahead! This was true even though the ticket held its theoretical house percentage, and the median winnings were very similar to those of a 6-spot.

One-spots, 3-spots, and 4-spots produced like results, with 4-spots producing a few players money ahead after spending a grand. By playing a thousand dollars worth of hundred dollar 1-spots, hundred dollar 3-spots, hundred dollar 2-spots, or ten dollar 4-spots, the results of my simulations more closely matched those of one dollar fives, sixes, sevens and eights. The moral of this story is clear. If you’re going to play these tickets with small amounts of numbers on them, and if you’re going to play for any length of time, (like for a thousand dollars worth) you MUST play an amount larger than a dollar per ticket or way to have a chance of ending up money ahead.

After doing all these simulations (and I’ve probably played well over a hundred million games in the last three months) I’ve just got a glint of a new rule of thumb for Keno players. Here it is: To MAXIMIZE your chances of ending up money ahead after playing, you should match the highest pay out on the ticket you are playing with your bankroll.

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 kenolil@gmail.com.

Well, that’s it for now. Good luck! I’ll see you in line!