Jackpot serenade in video keno!

Oct 6, 2009 5:08 PM
Cluster Keno by L. J. Zahm |

One of the most beautiful sounds in the casino is when your machine lapses into its "jackpot jingle." It’s a distinctive tune, not unlike those tunes that signal an incoming call on your cell phone.

Of course, the best part of the jingle is it signals you’ve hit a hand-pay jackpot, which requires the services of a slot attendant and the signing of a W-2G form.

I heard the jackpot jingle twice this past weekend. Once, when a fellow near me was dealt a royal flush while playing a 25¢ Triple Play video poker machine (worth $3,000), and again when my Multi-Card Keno machine filled in nine numbers on the row of 10 numbers I used for a group of 7-spot and 9-spot tickets.

I have alluded to these patterns in the past, but have never had nine numbers drop into the "cluster." I have had eight numbers drop in, and of course, seven numbers. But hitting nine was a first.

The patterns I marked include: eight 7-spot cards marked on the "outside" eight numbers of the 30’s row – numbers 31 through 40. Overlapping these were eight 9-spot cards, which included moving the empty space among the inside eight numbers (numbers 32 through 39).

When the numbers landed in my row, they hit every number except 39. The resulting jackpots included: one solid 9-spot, one solid 7-spot, seven 8-of-9 jackpots and seven 6-of-7 jackpots.

It’s not important what was scribbled on my W-2G, but on a fully-loaded penny machine the payoff would be about $2,000; on a nickel machine it would be about $10,000.

It’s interesting to note that the payoff included only one solid 7-spot – the only "hole" in the pattern fell into my group of eight 7-spots. If it had fallen elsewhere, the payoff would have been considerably higher, since 7-spots pay at the rate of 7,000-for-1, as opposed to the 4,700-for-1 that 8-of-9 jackpots pay.

But who’s complaining?

While playing this configuration – and other patterns leading up to it – I noticed a few quirks of the machine worth noting.

First, when you mark ALL your cards on the one row – there are four additional cards available (up to a maximum of 20 cards) – the machine seems to go into a "dead zone."

At one point, I had all 20 cards marked on the 30’s row, but found the machine would only drop two or three numbers at a time into the row.

When I moved the extra four cards to a different row, the machine appeared to go back to normal (or what I would consider normal), with a variety of different hits into the row.

Also, after hitting significant awards, such as 6-of-7 or 7-of-9, the machine would slow down on the hits, until it was "re-set" and the game resumed.

By re-setting, I mean cashing out your ticket and starting over, using the same numbers and configurations. I haven’t an explanation why this seems to work, but it does. Maybe it’s akin to re-booting a computer, but for whatever reason, it sometimes helps to get the machine back into a regular – rather than a "take it all back" – mode.

Anyway, maybe once the machine will drop all 10 numbers into the row, creating a monster jackpot. Until then, I’ll keep listening for the sweet tune of keno success.

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