I received an interesting request from a reader last week: "What is the simplest way to win a thousand dollars?"
Obviously, the "easiest" way is to take a thousand dollars and bet it on one hand of blackjack, win, collect your thousand, and move on.
Of course, I’ve ignored the context in which the reader was asking his question. He is an avid video poker player and considered hitting the royal flush for a thousand dollars (on a quarter machine) the ultimate goal.
However, he wasn’t having much luck hitting the royal, though he occasionally hit minor jackpots, such as four deuces or four aces, and so on.
Actually, he has a reason for feeling somewhat impatient, if not frustrated, at the infrequency of catching the royal.
True, the payoff for most royals on a quarter video poker machine is $1,000. But they occur, statistically, every 40,000 hands or so.
Thus at five quarters per hand (maximum coins to win the $1,000), a player could drop $47,500 through the machine before hitting the $1,000 royal flush.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to start with that big a bankroll to hit a royal because you’ll be getting paybacks on full houses, four of kinds, straights, etc.
So where does video keno come in? Through the front door!
I wouldn’t say it’s "easy" to win a thousand dollars, ever. But you’ll have greater likelihood, that is, with better odds in your favor, by playing video keno.
For instance, you can win $1,000 playing a 7-spot video keno game. And you don’t have to hit the 7-out-of-7 to do it. Simply bet $2.50 (there are 50-cent machines) and catch 6-out-of-7 and you’ll have your $1,000.
The odds of hitting 6-of-7 numbers are only about 1,365-1, which is 34 times better than the royal flush odds. Stated another way, for every royal flush, you should hit 34 6-of-7 jackpots!
Moreover, there’s always the real possibility that you will catch 7-of-7 numbers (the odds are nearly the same as catching a royal flush), which will pay you a staggering $17,500 for your $2.50 bet. (Remember, the same bet, $2.50, would only produce a $2,000 payoff for a natural royal.)
Here’s another fast track to a grand. Play a 10-spot keno game in hopes of hitting 8-of-10, which pays a cool $1,000 at odds of about 7,300-1. Notice the odds are higher, but you only need to bet four quarters, one buck, to make your nut.
The odds are actually better (6232-1) to hit 7-of-8 and win $1,652, with only four quarters bet.
But perhaps the best bet is playing a 5 spot and catching all 5 numbers at odds of 1,550-1. All it takes is five quarters or $1.25 to ring up a thousand. And with odds of only 1,550-1, what could be easier!