How about some magical numbers

Jul 8, 2003 3:38 AM

One of the joys of playing video keno in Las Vegas is the type of people you get to meet while playing in the casinos.

There’s definitely a "gambler’s mentality" among keno players, that is, everyone seems to share in the joy when one of our own hits the big one and, conversely, everyone understands the frustration that goes along with long periods of waiting for the big one.

Similarly, you’re never at a loss for conversation with other video keno players, especially the ones who have been at it awhile.

While most of the keno chit chat hinges on the jackpot that "almost" hit, or the numbers that filled in immediately after the machine was reset, occasionally you find a player with some solid, worthwhile ideas on how to play the game.

A few weeks ago I met one of those players at one of the older downtown casinos. The gentleman, let’s call him Jerry, is a longtime Las Vegas keno player and he’s won just about everything you can win.

Jerry has hit nearly everything over the past 25 years, including keno progressives in the six-figure range.

And, like myself, Jerry has become a huge fan of the Four Card Keno game from IGT. In fact, Jerry says he doesn’t play "straight" keno any more; he exclusively plays Four Card Keno.

That’s understandable. Looking at video poker as a comparison, Triple Play and then Five Play poker have taken the poker world by storm, and I’m told there are many players that love the multi-hand games so much they rarely go back to one-hand games.

One of the obvious attractions for playing the multi-card keno games is the increased likelihood of hitting a jackpot.

Just as in poker, if you’re dealt three aces on the bottom hand, you have two additional chances of drawing that fourth ace when playing Triple Play.

The same is true with Four Card Keno.

Jerry understands this, and he’s made it pay off. I won’t get into all the jackpots he’s won, but he’s nearly a daily player and he seldom leaves the casino with empty pockets.

What I can do is reveal the cluster of numbers that Jerry says he plays every time. And, he adds, he never deviates from playing these same numbers.

Jerry’s four cards consist of two 9-spots and two 7-spots. The 9-spots are adjacent to each other with a small amount of overlap; one of the 7-spots partially overlaps the first 9-spot; and the second 7-spot is far out in left field, away from the other numbers.

Jerry says one of the best hits with this configuration (see the charts) is catching 8-out-of-9 on the A ticket while catching 7-out-of-7 on the first 7-spot.

While he says he has hit this double jackpot, it doesn’t happen often.

What does happen often, and I know this from playing the configuration myself, is that there are lots of 7-out-of-9 and 6-out-of-7 hits. And while these payoffs won’t rouse the IRS, they can add up and give you a nice profit.

I’d like to thank Jerry for sharing his special cluster. And I’d encourage keno players to give his numbers a try.

I’d also suggest trying a few variations of your own. You might want to move some of the numbers around, or alter the configuration.

That’s half the fun — adapting the cluster to your own system. I know I have tried a few variations, with limited success.

But it’s fun to keep trying new patterns. Who knows, your next pattern could lead to the big one.