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Rating the 8-spot against the venerable Six

Mar 5, 2002 3:24 AM

Six spots account for probably 20-25 percent of the total money wagered at Keno games in the state of Nevada. Eight spots, though they are quite popular, account for probably only half that amount. We saw last week when we compared six spots and five spots that five spots certainly have their advantages over six spots in terms of how many players end up money ahead after a playing session. (Almost triple the number of players ended up ahead by playing five spots.) This week we’ll compare eight spots and six spots, using the six spot as our benchmark because it is so popular.

First, a little anecdote. Once, while passing a little time in a Keno lounge, I was engaged in conversation by an avid Keno player. This player insisted that eight spots were a better bet than six spots, and his logic proceeded thusly:

1. It is easier to hit a 7/8 than it is to hit a 6/6. (True enough, 6,232 for 1 as opposed to 7,753 for 1.)

2. Once I have hit a 7/8, I still have the chance of hitting that last number for the big bonanza, a solid 8, while on the six spot my potential is limited to $1,500 or so. (True enough, also.)

This is an attractive argument, and one that I tend to agree with, because my bias is towards playing Keno to win BIG. The downside of playing eights instead of sixes, of course, is that

1. It is a lot easier to hit 5/6 than to hit 6/8, for roughly the same pay off. (323 for 1 opposed to 423 for 1.)

2. You will win about eight times as often on a standard six spot (once every six games or so) than you will on a standard eight spot (once every 48 games).

Keno Lil played a million games of Keno on each ticket, a $1 six spot and a $1 eight spot, (1,000 players each playing 1,000 tickets), and the results are listed in the accompanying table.

Although the eight spot players won slightly more on the average than the six spot players, this is attributable to the house percentage. (The eight spot had a slightly lower house percentage.) There are three important comparisons here. One, we can see that the eight spot is a riskier ticket to play than the six, because the MEDIAN winner is quite a bit less on the eight than on the six. The median figure is what the typical player will end up with after 1,000 plays. We can also see this risk reflected in the lowest win figure, which is a minuscule $63 for one player on the eight spot after investing $1,000. (Talk about a tough day!) Two, though the eight spots are riskier, they can be a lot more rewarding. The largest winner of the eight spot players won over $20,000, as opposed to the largest six spot winner’s return of $5,000 or so. (Four players out of the 1,000 hit solid eights!) Three, and most telling, over 17percent of eight spot players ended up money ahead after playing $1,000, as opposed to only 12percent of the six spot players. This is chiefly due to the fact mentioned above that it is easier to hit 7/8 than 6/6.

Well,“you pays your money and you makes your choices” but my choice in this instance would have to be the eight spot over the six spot. In my opinion the potential reward just outweighs the additional risk. What do you think?

On a scale of one to five spikes, with five being the highest, Keno Lil rates the eight spot:

SIX SPOT  

28.00%  

EIGHT SPOT  

27.42%

AVERAGE  

$721.50  

AVERAGE  

$734.19

MEDIAN  

$528.00  

MEDIAN  

$426.00

HIGHEST  

$5,477.70  

HIGHEST  

$21,878.00

LOWEST  

$170.00  

LOWEST  

$63.00

% WIN  

12.70%  

% WIN  

17.20%

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 [email protected] Well, that’s it for now. Good luck! I’ll see you in line!