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Prorating keno tickets solid strategy

Jun 3, 2008 7:06 PM

Keno Lil | In the pre-computer days of keno we would pro-rate a ticket that had certain types of errors on it.

If there were more or fewer ways on the ticket than the price indicated, any resulting pay would be pro-rated to reflect the price paid for the ticket. Automation has largely eliminated these types of errors, so now when we speak of pro-rating a ticket, we are speaking of a playing strategy.

Let’s say, for example, that your goal as a player is to win $1,000. The club where you are playing has the following pay schedules in effect:

$1 5-spot: 3-of-5 pays $1; 4-of-5 pays $9 and 5-of-5 pays $820.

$1 6-spot: 3-of-6 pays $1; 4-of-6 pays $3; 5-of-6 pays $90 and 6-of-6 pays $1,480

With a $100 bankroll, there are about 350 shots to fire, on the average, with either ticket before you tap out. Of course, with the 5-spot you will fail to achieve your goal, because the ticket only pays $820. The 6-spot pays about 50 percent more than your goal.

The answer to this dilemma is to prorate your tickets when you play them. If you play your 5-spot for $1.25 at the pro-rated regular rate, the solid five will pay $1,025.

This will necessarily reduce your playing time to about 285 shots, but you still have a much better chance of achieving your goal than if playing $1 for a 6 or 5.

If you play a 6-spot for 70 cents at the prorated regular rate, a solid hit will pay $1,036. Because you are playing for less per way, the number of shots will increase from 350 to about 510!

One problem with this playing strategy is that, at present, very few keno games will let you do it! Most will not let the players deviate from the pay rates stated in their pay folders. Before automation, these deviations would cost the game valuable time because prorations had to be done manually.

This is no longer true. Keno systems really don’t care how much per way you play. They can and will calculate your winnings correctly no matter what.

As time goes on, many more keno games will realize it and forego this outdated tradition. If you want to try this strategy, ask the supervisor where you are playing. The worst thing they can say is no!

If you have a keno question, please write to me care of GamingToday, or email me on the web at [email protected].