Here’s the rules for 5-spots: Play ’em.

February 19, 2008 5:19 AM


Recently we looked at which tickets might give us the best chance of winning a tournament. We simulated 1,000 tournaments on the computer and discovered that a simple $1 5-spot would win more than 20% of the tournaments played. This week we’ll simulate another thousand tournaments, but this time we’ll "optimize" the 5-spot. We’ll play it for $2, so if it hits it will pay about $1,600. Remember that there are eight players playing in this tourney, with a buy-in of $1,500 per player. Player one plays 1-spots, player two plays 2-spots, etc., on up to 8-spots.

Here are the results with the optimized 5-spot:

Total Wins By 1-Spots : 68 Total Wins By 5-Spots : 275
Total Wins By 2-Spots : 60 Total Wins By 6-Spots : 147
Total Wins By 3-Spots : 87 Total Wins By 7-Spots : 96
Total Wins By 4-Spots : 126 Total Wins By 8-Spots : 141

By optimizing the 5-spot, we have increased its winning percentage from over 20% to 27.5%, which means that a $2 5-spot will win these tournaments more than TWICE as often as they should given a random chance of winning! There is something going on here, and all you who play in keno tournaments should take heed.

On a scale of one to five spikes, with five being the highest, the optimized 5-spot get a rating for tournament play of 5 spikes and I don’t give this rating lightly.

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