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Finding new life for
the tired out 12-spot

Apr 8, 2003 12:51 AM

Twelve spot tickets have never been particularly popular. There are several reasons for this. The 12 spot has the worst percentage for the customer in many casinos, and keno players are smart enough to figure this out.

Even if they don’t have the mathematical know how to do the actual calculations, they do know a bad deal when they see one. Why does it frequently have a bad percentage? I suspect it’s because the 12 is the most popular ticket in the area between the 10 and the 15 spot tickets, and some keno games feel that they can boost up their keep in the tickets that have more than 10 spots.

Let’s look at a typical $1 12-spot pay rate.

Now even an optimist like Keno Lil has to admit that she has more chance of being hit by lightning than she does of hitting a solid 12! One chance in 478 million is a pretty long shot. Twenty-five grand doesn’t seem like much of a pay out for hitting a solid 12, and it isn’t. The casino could pay out $5,000,000 (yes, five million dollars) on the solid 12 without lowering the house keep by more than one percent.

Like most keno tickets, the real story on winning is not in the top end payouts, but in the smaller catches. It is the poor payoffs on the small catches that make this a bad ticket to play in most casinos.

The majority of casinos start paying on six out of 12. Your odds of getting six or more out of 12 are about 24-1. Some casinos start paying on five out of 12, and these tickets win with a frequency of once every 5.6 games. I personally like the 12’s that pay on five because more of the pay out money is allocated to catches you really have a chance of hitting.

If you can find a 12 spot to play with pays anything like these, go ahead and play it! The 11 and 12 catches are really inconsequential. They are there, but you probably won’t hit them. What you are really playing for are the eight, nine and 10 catches. It’s very similar to playing a six spot, both in frequency of wins and size of your potential winnings. If the pays on the smaller catches are generous enough, the 12 spot can be a good ticket to play.

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. Many of you already play six way sixes or three way eights using twelve 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 misled by people who say that 12 spots are house tickets. Many of them are, but remember this depends on the small payouts, not the impossibly large ones.

Well, that’s it for this week, good luck, I’ll see you in line!