Tempting 12-spot is worth a shot!

Jul 9, 2002 2:36 AM

The number 12 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, as well as asymmetrical groupings like 7-5-2.

Many of you already play six-way sixes or three-way eights using 12 numbers, and if you run across a decent 12-spot pay rate, it might do you good to cover the 12 spot on your tickets as well. Don’t be mislead by people who say that 12 spots are house tickets.  Many of them are, but remember this depends on the small pay outs, not the impossibly large ones.

Consider a typical six spot, along with a typical 12 spot.  The 12 spot has a house percentage almost three points higher.

Even though the house percentage is almost 3 percent better for the player on the six spot than the 12 spot, and this results in the average winner being a little lower on the 12 than the six, the average figure includes all the big winners, so the median figure gives us a better idea of reality that the typical player will face.

Here, the typical player ends up with over $70 MORE by playing the 12 spot, even though the house percentage is higher!  What this means is that the 12 spot is considerably LESS risky to play than the six spot. This is confirmed by the "lowest winner" figure, which is HIGHER for the 12 than the six! Does anyone find this interesting?

In terms of win potential, the 12 spot offers almost TRIPLE the potential that the six does, $13,600 to $5,400, and 13.1 percent of those players playing 12’s managed to end up winners as opposed to only 12.7 percent of six spot players.

You have just been shown a ticket that offers a much higher win potential than a six that you can play at less risk to your bankroll, and yet, the 12 spot is rarely played these days, (probably 1/2 of 1 percent of all keno tickets are 12’s) and the six spot is probably played by at least 20 percent to 25 percent of all keno players!

We’ve already covered the reasons why sixes are so popular, but why are 12’s so unpopular, given the facts outlined above?

Myth: Most tickets higher than 8 spots are unpopular with contemporary keno players. Players have been told for years that such tickets are "house tickets,"  or perhaps they have obtained a copy of Keno odds and believe that the odds are just too long on these tickets.

Truth: There are very few keno tickets that truly fall into the category of "house tickets." The results obtained above did not result from a




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solid 12, but only from an 11-out-of-12. If the 12 spot player had hit a 12-out-of-12, the results would have been even better!

What is true is that many casinos offer worse house percentages on 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 spot tickets than on smaller tickets, probably because it is harder for the player to "eyeball" the payoffs to determine which is better from casino to casino. Whether small differences in house percentages really make any difference to the player is debatable, though. If you have been a careful reader for the last few weeks, you will see that differences of up to 5 percent in house percent meant virtually no difference for the TYPICAL (median) winner.