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Expo's slim pickens' for video keno lovers

Nov 25, 2008 5:08 PM

Cluster Keno by L. J. Zahm |

I had a chance to visit G2E last week, and spent most of an afternoon searching the expo floor for new video keno games.

Unfortunately, there were few offerings, most of which included just fancier boxes, crisper graphics and louder sound systems.

There were a couple of gems, however, that looked promising for us keno players.

The best is probably the new Multi-Play Keno machine from WMS Gaming.

The machine contains five new keno games, including Rapid Play Keno, Rapid Play Jackpot Party Keno, Jackpot Party Keno and Golden Ball Keno.

The Rapid Play game was particularly intriguing. It allows several hands to be played (you know how I like multiple game machines, such as Four Card Keno and 20-Card Keno), in a single game action, with different outcomes determined by multiple hopper draw.

The other game that piqued my interest was Jackpot Party Keno, which features single card play but uses a 40-ball hopper. The way it works is there’s a variable number of balls drawn, which is determined by "Pooper" balls that are added to the mix. Rather than drawing a fixed number of balls, balls are drawn until a Pooper ball is drawn.

You can see that with the extra number of balls drawn past the normally 20 balls, the chances for improving your ticket are greatly increased.

IGT, which already produces the aforementioned Four Card and 20-Card keno games, made some improvements to its standard 2-10 spot keno game.

The changes include an enlarged keno card on the bottom screen, with the top screen available for keno information such as progressive pots.

Hopefully, we’ll see some of these new games in a casino environment, where we can take our shots with real money.