Can the 15-spot compete with the six?

Oct 1, 2002 5:43 AM

   Part of the 15-spot's popularity is a hold over from the Fifties and early Sixties when these tickets were very popular. Many 15-spot players are older citizens, and when they learned how to play Keno they played whatever tickets were popular at the time.

   These were chiefly 15s, 12s, 10s and 9s. Many beginning Keno players also start playing Keno by playing 15 numbers; reasoning that the more numbers played gives them more chance of winning. These beginning players keep playing 15s, presumably quite happily, until some Keno writer or runner tells them not to! These writers and runners are only half informed, and they tell the player things like "Fifteens are house tickets," or "You'll never hit a 15 in a million years!"

   I say half informed, because I have proved to you several things in the last years. I have proved that THE MORE NUMBERS YOU PLAY, THE MORE CHANCE YOU HAVE OF WINNING.

   This is true on both STRAIGHT and WAY TICKETS. While it is true that it is extremely hard or practically impossible to hit solid on a 11, 12, 13, 14 or 15-spot ticket, I have proved that one need not do so to end up in a positive condition. I also showed that the 12-spot is in many respects superior to play than the extremely popular six spot.

   Here is the six spot to fifteen spot comparison, one million games of Keno each, 1,000 players each playing 1,000 games:


SIX SPOT   28.00%

AVERAGE   $721.50       

MEDIAN   $528.00       

HIGHEST   $5,477.70

LOWEST   $170.00       

PERCENT WIN     12.70%


15 SPOT   33.27%

AVERAGE   $667.90

MEDIAN   $584.00

HIGHEST   $5,005.00

LOWEST   $259.00

PERCENT WIN     8.30%


   The first thing that we note is that the house percentage of the 15-spot is quite a bit higher than the six spot's house edge. This accounts for the substantial difference in the average winnings for $1,000 played.

   Even though this is true, the MEDIAN figure for winnings (this is the figure that matters to most Keno players) is substantially higher on the 15-spot ticket. THIS MEANS THAT THE 15-SPOT IS MUCH SAFER TO PLAY THAN THE SIX SPOT!

   In other words, the typical Keno player will finish a $1,000 play period with more of his or her bankroll intact by playing fifteens versus sixes!

   The potential reward on both tickets, $5,000 or so, is very similar though the six spot has a small edge. The six spot also has an edge in percentage of players ending up money ahead after 1,000 games.

   All in all though, I would be hard pressed to find much difference in risk/reward, potential/return, or frequency of wins between these two tickets. So why not play a few 15s once in a while?

   I mentioned above that the 15-spot has a higher house percentage than the six spot. This is not at all unusual at many Keno games. One thing to look for if you want to find a more liberal 15-spot is to find one that pays 2-for-1 on a 6/15 catch.

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