Video keno's a grand game

Aug 11, 2009 5:10 PM
Cluster Keno by L. J. Zahm |

Scenarios for catching a $1,000 ticket

A woman seated next to me at Arizona Charlie’s said she had just discovered Multi-Card Keno and wondered what was the best strategy to win a thousand dollars playing nickel machines.

I was tempted to tell her to take a thousand, and go bet it all on the Angels when they’re playing a day game at home (thanks, Sid Diamond), and she would have a better than 60% chance of doubling her money.

I resisted the impulse for the sake of civility.

She mentioned that when she played video poker, that was always her goal: catching a royal on a quarter machine for a $1,000 payout.

Or course, statistically royals only occur every 40,000 hands or so. Thus at five quarters per hand (maximum coins to win the $1,000), a player could drop $47,500 through the machine before hitting the $1,000 royal flush.

But, I suggested to her, video keno might have a better way to get there.

I wouldn’t say it’s "easy" to win a thousand dollars, ever. But you’ll have greater likelihood, that is, with better odds in your favor, by playing video keno.

For instance, you can win $1,000 playing a 7-spot video keno game. And you don’t have to hit the 7-out-of-7 to do it. Simply bet $2.50 (there are 50-cent machines) and catch 6-out-of-7 and you’ll have your $1,000.

The odds of hitting 6-of-7 numbers are only about 1,365-1, which is 34 times better than the royal flush odds. Stated another way, for every royal flush, you should hit 34 6-of-7 jackpots!

Moreover, there’s always the real possibility that you will catch 7-of-7 numbers (the odds are nearly the same as catching a royal flush), which will pay you a staggering $17,500 for your $2.50 bet. (Remember, the same bet, $2.50, would only produce a $2,000 payoff for a natural royal.)

Here’s another fast track to a grand. Play a 10-spot keno game (on a quarter machine) in hopes of hitting 8-of-10, which pays a cool $1,000 at odds of about 7,300-1. Notice the odds are higher, but you only need to bet four quarters, one buck, to make your nut.

The odds are actually better (6232-1) to hit 7-of-8 and win $1,652, with only four quarters bet.

But perhaps the best bet is playing a 5 spot and catching all 5 numbers at odds of 1,550-1. All it takes is five quarters or $1.25 to ring up a thousand. And with odds of only 1,550-1, what could be easier!

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