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Try a trimmed 20-card keno

Sep 30, 2008 7:01 PM

Cluster Keno  by L. J. Zahm | In last week’s column, I noted a request from a reader, Deidre, who was interested in Multi-Card Keno, but felt loading up a 20-card video keno game could become costly, which it can.

I suggested Four Card Keno, but have also been experimenting with playing 20-card-keno, only marking a smaller number of cards.

Last weekend, I was marking six-and eight-card patterns on several 20-card machines and found a cluster that paid off handsomely in two different casinos.

Specifically, I used the bottom two rows to mark overlapping 9-spots on each row and then placed smaller tickets "underneath" them.

The 9-spot cards consisted of the first nine numbers of one row coupled with the second nine numbers of the same row. (These were marked on the bottom two rows, but I suspect you can use any two of the eight rows.)

Then, I marked the outside six numbers (the first three and last three in the row) for a 6-spot to go along with the overlapping 9-spots.

Thus I marked a total of six tickets on the two bottom rows.

I first played this cluster at Jerry’s Nugget, which has a nice selection of 20-card keno games.

I played for about 45 minutes, during which time I hit several 6-of-9 payoffs, but never a 7-of-9. Then, lo and behold, nine numbers jumped into the row of 10, creating two 8-of-9 jackpots (each paying 4,700-to-1) and a solid 6-spot!

Let me also point out that leading up to the jackpot, I "re-set" the machine numerous times, that is, cashed in and re-started playing.

Later that weekend, I tried the same clusters at Arizona Charlie’s, only instead of marking a single 6-spot, I marked two 7-spots, which consisted of the first three numbers coupled with the last four numbers, and the first four numbers in the row coupled with the last three.

Once again, after a time lapse of about 45 minutes, nine numbers jumped into one of the rows, creating another two 8-of-9 jackpots, plus two 6-of-7 awards.

It’s interesting to note that in each instance, even though nine numbers fell into the row, it missed filling in either of my solid 9-spots, which would have paid 10,000-to-1! I guess you can’t have everything.

I was particularly stunned to see nine numbers fall into the rows, something I can’t recall seeing for quite awhile.

In the past, when playing those overlapping 9-spots on Four Card Keno, I had a couple of instances in which all eight numbers that were shared by both patterns (the "inside" eight numbers) fell into place, creating two 8-of-9 awards. But I’d never had nine jump in the way they did.

Take a shot with these patterns next time you’re on a 20-card machine. Maybe you’ll be fortunate enough to catch that elusive solid 9-spot!