Drawing a ‘goose egg’ isn’t that easy!

July 30, 2002 4:09 AM
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How many times have I heard one of my fellow keno players complain that they just can’t hit a number. Not just can’t get a win, but can’t even hit one spot! Well, the odds against this occurence aren’t really as high as one might expect. The chart, which is reproduced below, gives you the chances of being shut out for various numbers of spots played.

If you play a six spot for instance, you have one chance in 6.002, or odds of 5.002 to one against getting shut out. In layman’s terms, this means you can expect to get shut out about every sixth game when playing a six spot.

There’s really nothing that unusual about being blanked or shut out on a keno draw. Even a 20 spot gets blanked every 843 games on the average. The player who gets blanked really suffers more psychologically than financially; the mere fact of a blank is not evidence that you are really unlucky!

Some Keno games have tried to soften the psychological blow to getting blanked. These casinos offer special tickets that pay on zero catches. The well known 20 spot ticket that is ubiquitous around Nevada is a good example.

For a $5 wager, casinos frequently pay from $500 to $1,000 for a 0 out of 20. As you can see, the chances of a zero are not that long! Anyone who plays the 20 spot on a regular basis is bound to hit a zero sooner or later.

The 8 spot is another logical candidate for a zero pay. The typical 8 spot which pays on 5 or more offers a pay out frequency of about once in 50 games. By paying a push or better on the zero catch, the frequency of wins can be increased five fold. The player will win five times as often and will presumably be that much happier.

How can you reduce your chances of getting blanked? The obvious answer is to play more numbers. For instance, if you play a five-way eight marking ten numbers, grouped 2-2-2-2-2, you stand a chance of getting blanked of one in 21.8 games. If you play five straight 8’s using 40 different numbers, you have only one chance in 25,000,000 of getting blanked!

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

Number of Spots  Shut Out One Chance in

1

1.333

2

1.785

3

2.400

4

3.243

5

4.401

6

6.002

7

8.225

8

11.329

9

15.686

10

21.838

11

30.573

12

43.053

13

60.991

14

86.945

15

124.748

16

180.191

17

262.097

18

384.003

19

566.861

20

843.379

21

1,265.069

22

1,913.822

23

2,921.098

24

4,500.070

25

7,000.109

26

11,000.171

27

17,470.860

28

28,059.260

29

45,596.299

30

75,013.266

31

125,022.110

32

211,244.255

33

362,133.009

34

630,379.682

35

1,115,287.130

36

2,007,516.834

37

3,680,447.530

38

6,880,836.687

39

13,136,142.767

40

25,646,754.927