Here's a Keno five-way-five for fun and profit

Jul 14, 2009 5:07 PM
by Keno Lil |

The 5-way-5 has always been one of my favorite tickets. There are several ways to play a 5-way-5, but the ticket we consider this week is one of the best. There are other 5-way-5s that maximize your chances of hitting a solid five (this one doesn’t) but of course in the long run the house percentage is the same on any of them.

This ticket lends itself both to serious play and to "fun" play – recreational keno. If you want to play seriously, I recommend that you do not play the deuces – just stick to the fives and perhaps the sevens. (There is also a 3-way-6 on the ticket if you want to play it, but I rarely do.)

I have hit quite a few solid fives and six out of sevens on the ticket, but alas, never a solid seven. Please remember that when I recommend a ticket such as the sample below, I am not recommending numbers to play, just the mode of playing! You will have to supply your own numbers!

The sample ticket below is marked for "fun" play – an evening out at the casino, relaxing. The deuces will provide you with small winners much more often than playing the fives alone. If you want to play "seriously" just eliminate the deuce play and play the fives for 50¢ per way. This will still give you a $3 ticket and double the wins on the fives if you get lucky.

The ticket combines elements of a king ticket- more chance of multiple wins, though less often – with elements of a classic combination/way ticket. There are two ways to make a five: 2-2-1, and 2-1-1-1. Likewise, there are two ways to hit a deuce: 2 and 1-1. So to hit a solid five, you either have to hit both deuces and at least one king, or hit all three kings and at least one deuce. It’s for this reason that this kind of way ticket is called a "back and forth" ticket in design.

On a scale of one to five spikes, with five being the highest, Keno Lil rates the five-way-five spot: four and one half spikes.

If you have a keno question that you would like answered, please write to me care of this paper, or contact me on the web via email at [email protected]. Well, that’s it for now. Good luck! I’ll see you in line!

The simple truth about 8-spots

The eight spot is one of the most popular tickets today, but it is hard for the average player to compare pay rates at various casinos to get the best rate. You can use the chart below with a desk calculator or pencil and paper and easily separate the good from the bad and ugly.


Simply multiply the payout for each catch by the factor given in the chart above, add all the results together, and divide the total by the price of the ticket.

For example, take a $1 8-spot that pays $18,000 for 8/8, $1,480 for 7/8, $100 for 6/8 and $8 for 5/8. $18,000.00 x 1 = $18,000.00, $1,480.00 x 36.92 = $54,641.60, $100.00 x 544.62 =$54,462.00, and $8.00 x 4,211.69 = $33,693.52.

Adding together gives $18,000.00 + $54,641.60 + $54,462.00 + $33,693.52 = $160,797.12. Since the ticket is a one dollar ticket, the final step of division by the price is unnecessary. The higher the final figure, the better the ticket is for you, the player.

Here is a rough rule of thumb for total pay outs on 8-spots:

The GOOD: $165,000.00 and up.

The BAD: Less than $161,000.

The UGLY: Less than $156,000.

If you can find a GOOD 8-spot to play, we’ll rate it, on a scale of one to five spikes with five being the highest, four spikes.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Keno Lil