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Cluster Keno machines can test patience

May 27, 2008 7:00 PM

Cluster Keno by L. J. Zahm | One of the most disturbing explanations I ever heard of how a video gaming machine works included the notion that a machine will never pay a jackpot if it had not taken in a pre-determined amount of money.

Similarly, the same theory postulates that a machine will pay off generously if its intake had exceeded a certain level.

These notions were given by someone claiming to have knowledge of how a slot machine works, relative to payouts versus its hold percentage.

If, in fact, this is how a video keno machine (or video poker or whatever) works, how do you play without a defeatist attitude?

I have to admit that sometimes a machine plays as if this were true. That is, sometimes a machine seems bound and determined to take your money without ever offering any kind of token payback.

Iíve always believed that gambling is based in large part on luck, but if the manufacturer has removed that element and substituted it with a quota, I think machines should no longer be perceived as a "gambling device."

For now, I donít subscribe to the aforementioned theory. Instead, I think you have to be patient, especially when playing a Cluster Keno type of strategy.

There are several components to playing Cluster Keno, but I think the most salient one, especially in light of machines that appear to be adverse to jackpots, is the practice of "resetting" the machine frequently.

By reset I mean that the numbers from the previous game are erased, and new numbers are marked Ė even though the new numbers may be exactly the same numbers that were played before!

Video keno is different than live keno, in which players often mark their card and wait for the numbers to come in. Iíve found the live-game strategy has seldom, if ever, worked for me.

I seldom play the same numbers for more than three games before I re-set the machine. Most times after re-setting the machine, I will mark the same numbers.

I think itís important to be consistent. Blackjack and video poker players have their basic strategies, and experienced craps players typically bet a certain way and seldom deviate. By following your system, whatever that happens to be, you give yourself a chance to overcome, the odds of the game.