Figuring the 'exact' house edge in keno

Sep 8, 2009 5:08 PM
by Keno Lil |

Now that we know how to calculate the true house percentage on a progressive ticket, we realize that we need to know two essential pieces of information: The reset value of the jackpot and the amount that the meter is incremented per ticket (or per dollar) played.

We need this information in addition to the knowledge we have of the original pay-outs and the price of the ticket in order to compute the exact house percentage.

In a perfect world, this information should be available to you, but in many cases it is not posted. Your first step is to ask a keno employee.

There is about one chance in four that you’ll get an answer. Next, ask a keno supervisor. Then, ask to speak to the keno manager. He or she should be able to tell you.

If all this fails, you can still determine these figures. The increment amount is easy, just pick a playing time, like graveyard, when you might be the only one playing the ticket. After five or 10 games, compute the amount that the meter has advanced, and then divide that figure by the amount of money you have played. This will give you the percentage increment of the meter per dollar played.

To get the reset amount, you’ll have to be around when it hits, though this should be common knowledge at the keno game. Just ask around a little until you get an answer. Once you have these two figures, you can compute the total house percentage using the methods we covered last week.

As a matter of fact, these same principles hold true at video poker progressive machines. To assess the real house percentage requires the same information: initial pay-out schedule, meter increment percentage and frequency of jackpots.

To verify the increment, you would use the same modus operandi – just play some hands on graveyard shift when you are the only player, and see how many pennies per dollar played go on the meter. The increment on the meter certainly affects the house percentage. Strangely, there are video poker books on the market now that completely ignore this reality.

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