Use caution when 'going for broke' in keno

Apr 7, 2009 5:03 PM
by Keno Lil |

Last week we discussed (and simulated) a small Martingale, and discovered that it’s not a good strategy to use. And, deuces were not particularly good either.

I also hinted that the "go for broke" strategy might not produce great results.

With 100,000 players starting with a $100 bankroll and each playing only a $1 five spot until going broke or hitting a solid five, we ended up with these results:

Solid fives hit: 7,121

Odds against a solid five: 1 in 14.04

Games played per player: 1,107

Dollars wagered: $11,070,270

Dollars won: $5,775,131

By not playing the Martingale on the deuce, we’ve improved our performance considerably. Instead of one chance in 23 we’re down to one in 14 of hitting a solid five! Also, instead of the total players win of $3,498,654 we win $5.7 million or so. By omitting the deuce we are improving our performance tremendously.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that our win is only 57 percent of our initial bankroll, on a game which has a theoretical win of about 72. What’s wrong? It must be our strategy of "going for broke."

The "go for broke" strategy calls upon us to keep playing until either we go broke or we win the solid five. If all players merely played their $100 bankroll completely and then quit, we are guaranteed over the long run a 72 percent win from the initial bankroll with nearly the same chance of hitting a solid five.

Of course, many players will end up with a few dollars, some with none, and some with the solid five. It is the "in-between" players, who quit with some money left that make the disparity in the player’s win percentage and the house take.

To me best gambling strategy is setting your bankroll, playing it and then quitting once you have run through your bankroll one time. This is the way to best preserve at least some of your bankroll, maximize your keep vs. the house percentage, give yourself a chance to hit big and minimize your chances of going broke.

The principle is self-discipline, setting your playing limit per session. Although we have applied it to Keno, its application to other games and situations is self evident.

On a scale of one to five spikes, with five being the highest, Keno Lil rates setting a session playing limit:

If you have a Keno question, please write to me c/o GamingToday or contact me on the web at [email protected].

Well, that’s it for now. Good luck! I’ll see you in line!