Back-to-back video keno payoffs weird, and welcome!

Jun 30, 2009 5:09 PM
Cluster Keno by L. J. Zahm |

I had an interesting phenomenon happen over the weekend while playing video keno at one of Las Vegas’ locals-oriented casinos.

Usually, my games of choice are Four Card Keno and 20-Card Keno, but lately I’ve been experimenting with some of the bonus keno games, such as Cleopatra Keno and Power Keno.

Okay, admittedly I’ve been outspoken in the past about how bad the pay tables are on the so-called bonus keno games, and I certainly wouldn’t suggest earmarking serious money for their play … the expected return is simply too low.

But they can be amusing and quite, well, fun to play, especially the Power Keno game.

Anyway, what happened on two different occasions was that, immediately following a winning session playing multi-card keno, one in which I caught a decent jackpot such as 7-of-8, 8-of-9 or even 7-of-7, by switching to Power Keno I was able to also hit something significant.

Specifically, on one occasion I hit 7-of-9 with the bonus, and another time I hit 8-of-10 with the bonus.

Prior to this past weekend, the best I had ever hit with the bonus, which pays four times the regular pay table, was 6-of-9 several times.

That’s why it was so surprising to have those "last ball" bonuses hit, actually within just a few plays of having hit a couple of nice awards playing 20-card keno.

I have no explanation; maybe it was pure coincidence. Or, maybe the machine had slipped into a "loose" mode and it carried over to another game. I simply don’t know.

In any case, the awards were a nice surprise, although the bonus payouts were still, in my estimation, less than what they should be.

Except the 7-of-9 bonus. With the 4X multiplier, the payoff was 350-for-1, rather than the "standard" 7-of-9 payoff of 335-for-1. Still, this is much better than the pre-bonus, 7-of-9 payout of a paltry 87-for-1.

The 8-of-10 award was another story. Even in the 4X bonus it paid only 500-for-1, half of the customary 1,000-for-1 on a regular keno pay table. If you do the math, you’ll realize that the non-bonus payout for 8-of-10 on the Power Keno game is a pathetic 125-for-1.

Obviously, the only way to justify playing these bonus games is if you can catch something in the bonus mode. These two orphans that I corralled won’t ignite any IRS audits, but they were fun.

It’s always fun to leave with more cash than when you strolled into the casino.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: LJ Zahm