'All good things for those who wait.'

Aug 26, 2008 6:58 PM

Cluster Keno by L. J. Zahm | After a weekend session at Arizona Charlie’s Decatur, I couldn’t help but think of Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s admonition to FBI agent Clarice Starling in the film, "Silence of the Lambs:" "All good things for those who wait."

The good thing for me was finally catching a solid 7-spot while playing Multi-Card Keno. It seems those jackpots have been scarce for awhile, but it was refreshing to see the numbers fall into place.

Before getting into the events leading up to the hit, I’ll review what was the overall strategy.

The cluster I have been playing included all 16 numbers in the "6" and "7" columns. The cards included four 8-spot tickets and two sets of eight numbers that included eight 7-spot cards.

For those who don’t know, the way you mark eight 7-spot cards "under" eight numbers is to play all the numbers except for one eight times. Very simple.

As some readers may recall, I’ve noted that I often mark the two sets of 7-spots on the "cross-over" numbers, that is, the top four numbers in the 6 column coupled with the bottom four numbers in the 7 column, and the bottom four numbers in the 6 column coupled with the top four numbers in the 7 column.

This leaves the four 8-spot cards the two columns of eight numbers, and the two 2-by-4 boxes above and below the center line.

As I previously recounted, this cluster has worked well in the past with several 7-out-of-8 jackpots, along with a 7-out-of-8 in the cluster of eight 7-spots, which pays for a solid 7-spot plus seven 6-of-7 awards.

Well, at the start of last weekend, I decided to change my configuration. I started by marking my eight 7-spots in the two boxes above and below the center line.

This left the 6 and 7 columns and the cross-over numbers as the 8-spot cards.

Then over the course of a few hours, I would play the same pattern. During this time I hit about two or three 7-out-of-8 awards, but could not catch 7-of-8 in the cluster of eight 7-spots.

It eventually got to the point where it seemed like the machine was intentionally resisting filling 7-of-8 numbers in the two boxes!

But finally the numbers filled in, ending with a gratifying seven numbers.

Over the course of playing this cluster, I did quite a bit of re-setting the machine. That is, I very often cashed out the ticket and replayed it back into the machine.

Or I would reset by leaving the credits on the meter and exiting the game, only to return to the game and re-bet the numbers. (After leaving the game and coming back, the cards remain marked but you have to re-bet the cards).

The frequency at which I re-set is hard to quantify. It gets to be an instinct after awhile. Basically, if the machine consistently hits one below the minimum catch amount (three hits for the seven spots and four hits for the eight spots), I cash out and start again.

Moreover, I like to see the machine distribute at least four numbers into the top box (or the bottom box) and catch five of eight within the first five games played after re-setting.

This latter issue, re-setting the machine, must be something you acquire with practice and patience. I hope everyone who tries this approach fares well. Please let me know if you have some results you’d like to share with the rest of us.