Pro-rating for fun and strategy

Dec 30, 2002 11:03 PM

   In the pre-computer days of Keno we would prorate a ticket that had certain types of errors on it. If there were more or fewer ways on the ticket than the price indicated, any resulting pay would be pro-rated to reflect the price paid for the ticket. Automation has largely eliminated these types of errors, so now when we speak of pro-rating a ticket, we are speaking of a playing strategy.

   Let’s say for example that your goal as a player is to win $1,000. The club where you are playing has the following pay schedules in effect:


   $1 5-Spot   $1 6-Spot


   3/5 $1   3/6 $1

   4/5 $9   4/6 $3

   5/5 $820   5/6 $90

            6/6 $1480


   If you have a bankroll of $100, you will have about 350 shots to fire on the average with either ticket before you tap out. Of course, with the 5-spot you will fail to achieve your goal, because the ticket only pays $820, while the 6-spot pays about 50% more than your goal.

   The answer to this dilemma is to pro-rate your tickets when you play them. If you play your 5-spot for 1.25 at the pro-rated regular rate, your solid five will pay $1,025, and you will have achieved your goal. This will necessarily reduce your playing time to about 285 shots, but you still have much more chance of achieving your goal than if playing a $10 6 or 5. If you play a 6-spot for 70¡ at the pro-rated regular rate, your 6-spot when hit solid will pay $1,036, which will achieve your goal. In addition, because you are playing for less per way, your number of shots will increase from 350 to about 510! You will have that many more chances to achieve your goal of winning a grand.

   There’s only one problem with this playing strategy; at the present time very few Keno games will let you do it! Most Keno games, although they have computerized, will not let the players deviate from the pay rates stated in their pay folders. Before automation, these deviations would cost the game valuable time, because the pro-rations had to be done manually. This is not the case any longer, and the Keno systems really don’t care how much per way you play. They can and will calculate your winnings correctly no matter what, with no additional labor for the Keno personnel. As time goes on, more and more Keno games will realize this and forego this outdated tradition. In the meantime, if you want to try this strategy, just ask the supervisor where you are playing, the worst thing that they can say is no!

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