Can video keno jackpots repeat?

Oct 20, 2009 5:07 PM
Cluster Keno by L. J. Zahm |

You’ve probably heard people mention that they, at one time or another, hit back-to-back royals, or back-to-back 7-spots or back-to-back something or others.

Well, I must confess I’ve never been so fortunate. I’ve come close a couple of times, but never hit a big back-to-back jackpot.

The best I’ve been able to hit is a second solid 7-spot or a nice 8-of-9 jackpot within a few minutes after hitting it the first time.

Maybe I would hit more of these, except that I often change machines after hitting a big jackpot. The theory being that the machine had paid out its "quota" for the day, and it’s time to seek more fertile ground.

Lately, however, I’ve been persisting on a machine that has been gracious enough to hit. And, I’m not sure whether I’d call it a trend, but I’ve found that I’ve been able to "coax" a second jackpot out of a machine under the right circumstances.

Specifically, I’ve noticed over the past several weeks that, after hitting a solid 7-spot while playing Multi-Card (20-card) Keno, the machine would eventually pay out a smaller jackpot, such as 8-out-of-9.

I often criss-cross 7-spots with 9-spots while playing 20-card keno and, if the machine hits one of the 7-spots, it sometimes comes back with an 8-of-9 jackpot not too long after the first award.

Maybe this had to do with the lesser odds of hitting the 8-of-9 jackpot, which is about 30,000-to-1, about 26 percent less than the odds of catching 7-of-7 (about 41,000-to-1).

I don’t know if this scenario can be predicted, but I’m certainly going to stick around on a machine perhaps longer than I usually would, hoping to catch that nice, albeit, slightly smaller payoff.

7-spot vs. 8-spot tickets

In response to my last couple of columns detailing my catching eight solid 7-spot cards while playing Multi-Card Keno, a reader suggested that, instead of marking eight 7-spots "underneath" eight given numbers, I would have won a lot more by simply marking eight 8-spots.

While this is true, it doesn’t take into account the reality that catching all eight numbers is a rare occurrence, and that you will win more over the long run because of all the 7-of-8 hits you’ll receive.

Here’s how the math (gulp!) works: The odds of catching all eight numbers in an 8-number pattern is about 230,000-to-1, while catching seven of those eight numbers is only 6232-to-1.

This means that for every solid 8-spot you hit, you’ll hit (statistically) about 37 7-of-8 jackpots!

And it is the latter that will pay off in the long run.

Here’s why: You’ll cash (theoretically) 37 times more (and larger) payoffs than with the solid eight.

Watch every Tuesday for a brand new Cluster Keno article.

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