A reader emailed last week and asked about the "keno" games found on keno machines, such as Cleopatra Keno, Power Keno, Caveman Keno and the like.
I decided to try a few of these games and will report on my results over the next few weeks.
One of the more amusing variations can be found on the Bally Keno Plus machine, called Triple Trouble. The concept behind this keno game is that you pick your numbers in the standard manner, choosing up to 10 spots, as you would in a standard game.
But the game features a bonus round that kicks in when three of the colorful Bally "Devils" appear on screen (all three have to pop up in order to enter the bonus round). During the three ensuing, automatic games (you can’t re-set your numbers once the bonus round kicks in), all payoffs are tripled.
To compensate for the possibility of paying back "too much" to the player, the pay tables on many of the rewards are reduced.
Nevertheless, it makes for some exciting play when the red devil comes up and you have a shot at some nice payoffs during those three games.
The only time I’ve been able to hit anything of significance playing Triple Trouble was catching 7-of-8 numbers during the bonus round for a payoff of $4,800 (three times the standard 7-of-8 payout of $1,600).
The only other jackpots I’ve ever hit during the Triple Trouble bonus round have been 7-of-10, 7-of-9 and 6-of-7.
Another keno variation that gets a lot of play is Caveman Keno, which is among the choices on IGT’s Game King. In addition to its molar-rattling sound effects, Caveman Keno features a novel screen with prehistoric volcanoes, landscape and – hopefully for the player – dinosaur eggs.
The eggs are the key, and they function in much the same manner as the red devils in Bally’s Triple Trouble.
Here’s how the game works: The player chooses from 2-10 spots, just as in regular keno. The computer will then draw three numbers at random (among those that theplayer did not pick). These three numbers will be marked with a dinosaur egg. The game proceeds with the machine pulling 20 numbers, and the player wins or loses depending on his catches.
If the player has hit enough spots to win something, that award is multiplied by a factor depending on whether the egg numbers match the 20 numbers chosen by the machine.
The multiplying factor is 1 if the number of egg matches is 1 or less, 4 if two eggs match, and 10 if all three eggs match. The bonus feature is similar to the devils in Triple Trouble, but you don’t need all three to appear in order to gain a multiplier.