Keno cluster bombs landing everywhere

Oct 7, 2008 5:01 PM

Cluster Keno by L. J. Zahm |

I recently squared off in a conversation with a video keno "expert" who discredited video keno because the so-called payback percentages were higher on poker machines.

I tried to point out that the par value of a machine, or its long-term payback percentage is a theoretical value based on the life of the machine.

Essentially, a machine with a higher payback has less "breakage" than a lower-rated machine, but that just means you might need a larger bankroll to weather the storms.

What really counts are the odds to win. For instance, using poker’s royal flush as an example, the odds are about 40,000-to-1 to win an award that pays 800-1.

A comparable jackpot on a keno machine would be catching 7-of-7, with odds of about 40,000-to-1, but with a whopping jackpot of 7,000-1!

You could go right down the list of payoffs and find that the odds on a keno machine are closer to actual odds than on any poker machine.

I think it’s a small price to pay the "breakage," with a shot at something significant.

Speaking of keno jackpots, hats off to Arizona Charlie’s for extending the denominations available on their 20-card keno machines.

The machines previously allowed only 1¢, 2¢ and 3¢ denomination play, but they recently extended it to 5¢ play.

The difference in jackpots could be significant. Of course, a fully loaded nickel machine (four coins on each of 20 cards) is $4 a game, so plan accordingly.

Keep in mind, though, as I’ve been pointing out in recent weeks, you don’t have to play all cards. I have been having some success playing six and eight of the 20 cards.

Finally, I just got a nice note from a reader, Paula Tessier, of New Jersey: "It’s about time someone devoted articles to video keno. That is just about all my husband and me play. We have played video keno in Connecticut, New Jersey, Mississippi, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada and several places not even on the map. We love to play in Tunica, Mississippi. We look forward to your articles – you’re right about cluster keno: I only play patterns, all my wins have been in patterns. I have had some good hits, seven out of seven, six out of six. My husband even hit a solid 9-spot and a solid eight. I once hit a solid 8-spot. We look forward to every video keno article. Keep them coming!"

Thanks, Paula, and next time send along some of your favorite patterns. I’d love to give them a try!