Shop around when playing 12-spot tickets

February 12, 2002 3:51 AM
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Twelve spot tickets have never been particularly popular. There are several reasons for this. The twelve spot has the worst percentage for the customer in many casinos, and keno players are smart enough to figure this out. Even if they don’t have the mathematical know how to do the actual calculations, they do know a bad deal when they see one. Why does it frequently have a bad percentage? I suspect it’s because the twelve is the most popular ticket in the area between the ten and the fifteen spot tickets, and some keno games feel that they can boost up their keep in the tickets that have more than 10 spots.

Let’s look at a typical $1 twelve spot pay rate.

Catch  

Pays

6/12  

$6 

7/12  

$28 

8/12  

$200

9/12  

$850 

10/12  

$2,400 

11/12  

$13,000

12/12  

$25,000

Now even an optimist like Keno Lil has to admit that she has more chance of being hit by lightning than she does of hitting a solid twelve! One chance in 478 million is a pretty long shot. Twenty five grand doesn’t seem like much of a pay out for hitting a solid twelve, and it isn’t. The casino could pay out $5,000,000 (yes, five million dollars) on the solid twelve without lowering the house keep by more than one percent. Like most keno tickets, the real story on winning is not in the top end pay outs, but in the smaller catches. It is the poor payoffs on the small catches that make this a bad ticket to play in most casinos.

The majority of casinos start paying on six out of twelve. Your odds of getting six or more out of twelve are about 24 to one. Some casinos start paying on 5 out of 12, and these tickets win with a frequency of once every 5.6 games. I personally like the twelves that pay on five because more of the payout money is allocated to catches you really have a chance of hitting.

Here are the kind of 12-spot pays that I would like to see:

Catch  

Pays

5/12  

$1

6/12  

$5

7/12  

$20

8/12  

$200

If you can find a twelve spot to play with pays anything like these, go ahead and play it! The eleven and twelve catches are really inconsequential. They are there, but you probably won’t hit them. What you are really playing for are the eight, nine and ten catches. It’s very similar to playing a six spot, both in frequency of wins and size of your potential winnings. If the pays on the smaller catches are generous enough, the twelve spot can be a good ticket to play.

The number twelve is very interesting because it is divisible in so many ways. It can be grouped into six groups of two, four groups of three, three groups of four, or two groups of six. Many of you already play six way sixes or three way eights using twelve numbers, and if you run across a decent twelve spot pay rate, it might do you good to cover the twelve spot on your tickets as well. Don’t be mislead by people who say that twelve spots are house tickets. Many of them are, but remember this depends on the small pay outs, not the impossibly large ones.

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 kenolil@math.net.

Until next time, good luck and I’ll see you in line.