Cluster Keno by L. J. Zahm | In recent weeks I’ve described a pattern for the 20-Card Keno game that includes marking eight 7-spots inside a 2x4 "box," then adding two "orphan" numbers outside the box to create eight 9-spots.
I would duplicate this pattern in a mirror image below the center line, so I would have two sets of eight 9-spots, and would use the other four cards for overlapping 8-spots (these would include the two adjoining columns of numbers, plus the two "cross-over" patterns – the top left column of four numbers coupled with the bottom right column of numbers).
The result has been catching quite a few 7-of-9 jackpots and several 8-of-9 awards.
Over the last week, however, I’ve discovered an interesting pattern evolving while playing this particular cluster.
I’ve noticed that after the pattern produces a 7-of-9 jackpot – either by hitting six numbers within the box plus one orphan or five boxed numbers plus both orphans – if I drop the two outside orphan numbers (thus creating two sets of eight 7-spots), the machine would deliver a solid 7-spot (seven of the eight numbers inside the box) for a nice payoff of 7000-for-1!
This scenario occurred on different machines at different casinos (Arizona Charlie’s and Palace Station).
Of course, the jackpots hit after re-setting the machine several times – cashing out and starting again – because, as is usually the case, after hitting the 7-of-9 award, the machines tend to go into the "tank" with very few hits immediately following.
This tactic might be worth trying since the 7-spot award, obviously, has a healthier return than the 8-of-9 jackpot.
Nonetheless, I still recommend 9-spots, whether playing straight keno or one of the multi-card games.
In many ways, the 9-spot game offers the best of both worlds. It offers the chance of hitting a huge payoff (for catching either eight or all nine numbers), but also holds out a decent "consolation" payoff with the 7-out-of-9 award. You need something like this when the top awards become rare as hen’s teeth.
Note that the odds of hitting the $4,700 jackpot on a quarter machine (four coins bet) is about 25 percent less than hitting a royal flush on a poker machine, but the payoff is a healthy seven and a half times better!
Multi-card games – Four Card Keno and 20-Card Keno – lend themselves to experimenting.
Try the aforementioned cluster and let me know how you do.