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Little bang for bonus buck in video keno

Oct 28, 2008 4:03 PM

Cluster Keno by L. J. Zahm |

As noted last week, I’ve been trying some of the "other" video keno games, such as Power Keno, Caveman Keno and Cleopatra Keno, hoping to find some patterns or trends on which I could rely for positive expectations.

So far, however, I’m finding that the lower pay scales don’t allow for the return needed to continue playing for a very long period.

It’s probably like playing Deuces Wild video poker, when you finally catch a natural four-of-a-kind and only get paid 20 credits when it would be much greater on a jacks or better machine.

Obviously, those aforementioned "other" games require you to hit your numbers when the bonus is in effect, but that doesn’t happen very often.

Nonetheless, I’ll continue in hopes of finding some cluster or pattern of play that might prove profitable.

In the meantime, let me mention again the benefits of Four Card Keno, which one reader last week questioned me about.

Sticking with the video poker analogy, I guess you could say that Four Card Keno can be construed as video keno’s answer to the popular multi-hand video poker, such as Triple Play, five-hand, 10-hand poker and more.

Its concept is very simple: players can play up to four different keno cards on the same keno game. That is, you can mark one to four cards (you don’t have to play all four), picking any number of spots on each card. Then the game proceeds as in regular keno, with 20 numbers being drawn.

The obvious advantage is that you can cover a lot more numbers than with one card. Equally, the disadvantage is that you’re betting four cards instead of one, and the costs can mount.

Four Card Keno is available in various denominations, from a penny up to a dollar, and I’ve found that the multi-denominational machines offer the best chances to win, because you can move from one denomination to another by simply touching the screen.

Here are a couple of examples of how the game extends a player’s chances: A 10-spot player often bets the entire horizontal row, which is fine. But you can get a lot more mileage out of playing two 10-spot rows on top of each other (such as the 20’s and 30’s rows), as well as the two 10-spot cards made up of 21-25, 36-40 numbers and the 31-35, 26-30 numbers. This way you have an overlap, in which you can sometimes hit, say two seven out of 10, or even two eight out of 10 jackpots.

Similarly, I like to play two solid eight columns (vertical), such as the 3 and 4 columns, coupled with the two 8-spot cards made up of the 3, 13, 23, 33, 44, 54, 64, 74 and the 4, 14, 24, 34, 43, 53, 63, 73 numbers. Again, you have overlap, opening the possibility of "doubling up" on a six out of eight or even seven out of eight jackpot.

These are just a few examples, and you should experiment with your own favorite patterns. We all have them, whether they’re boxes, lines or just random numbers. If you have a favorite that has worked well for you, let me know about it and I’ll give it a try.