The ‘king’ keno ticket often reigns supreme

April 16, 2002 4:18 AM
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A one spot in Keno is most often referred to as a king, though in the 1950’s and 1960’s it was also known as an ace.

“Playing an ace,” or “playing a king” refers to someone who is playing a one spot keno ticket.

A king ticket is a Keno ticket composed totally of groups of ones, or kings.

King tickets have these properties: 1) There are a maximum number of ways per number played on the ticket Âí­”” thus it’s often expensive, 2) there’s a low frequency of winning, and 3) when they hit they Âí­often pay more than a way ticket with a larger number of combinations.

It is easy to compute the number of ways on a king ticket. One of the best ways is the Âí­improved bridge system. An example is the six spot (1-1-1-1-1-1). If we split the ticket in two and create the Âí­matrix below:

1/3

3/2

3/1

1/3

3/2

3/1

These are the ways on each half of our ticket. We proceed filling in the matrix using the system of multiplying the Âí­numerator and adding the Âí­denominator of each fraction.

1/3

3/2

3/1

1/3

1/6

3/5

3/4

3/2

3/5

9/4

9/3

3/1

3/4

9/3

9/2

As you can see, the total ways, all 63, are evident.

When tickets were checked manually over a decade ago, king tickets like this baffled many inexperienced checkers, while others took a long time to compute a winner. It is true that there are a lot of ways to check on a king ticket, but conversely, there are many fewer catches to check. A ticket with ten kings on it may have over a thousand ways on it, but it only has eleven possible catches!

Should you play a king ticket? Mmmm...probably not. Consider the 6 spot king ticket above. It has a six way five on it. But there are better ways of playing a six way five! Like twelve spots, grouped 3-3-2-2-2, a ticket that hits solid fives much more often than the king ticket.

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