Increasing chances for a solid 7-spot

Jul 29, 2003 2:34 AM

Week after week, I run into players who want to know the best strategy for hitting a solid 7-spot. Of course, this is understandable. Catching 7-of-7 with four quarters bet pays a staggering \$7,000, when the odds are about the same for hitting a royal flush, which pays only \$1,000 for five coins.

Moreover, playing the 7-spot invites the chances of hitting 6-of-7 for a nice payoff of \$400 (for four quarters bet). And at odds of about 1,365 to 1, the 6-of-7 pops up frequently enough to help pay for your keno sessions.

Admittedly, hitting a solid 7-spot at odds of 41,000 to 1 isn’t an everyday occurrence. But you can greatly increase your chances by using the Cluster Keno method while playing Four Card Keno.

(I indicated last week we’d look at Game King’s new 20-card keno game, but since I’ve only been able to find a few at the El Cortez and the Rainbow Club in Henderson, I haven’t had time to give it a good run. We’ll try again next week!)

If you’ve never tried Four Card Keno, it’s among the Game King games in which players can bet from one to four cards in the same keno game.

As noted in previous articles, I’ve indicated that you can cover a specific zone or cluster in Four Card Keno, thus increasing the likelihood of hitting your tickets if and when the numbers finally land in your "zone."

This week I’d like to point out two systems that have proven successful in hitting the solid 7-spot. Both rely on the notion that eventually the numbers will "cluster" in a specific pattern in a specific location, thus opening the possibility of hitting one of four shots at the solid ticket.

The first pattern involves covering an area very similar to the overlapping 9-spots (the 3-by-3 boxes) I’ve described in previous discussions. This system involves the 12 numbers that make up a 3-by-4 box (see illustration), either above or below the middle line.

For instance, let’s take the box bounded by 46, 47, 48 on the top, 46, 56, 66, 76 on the left, 76, 77, 78 on the bottom and 48, 58, 68, 78 on the right.

Within this box, we’ll mark four 7-spots (which will over lap) that include 46, 47, 56, 57, 66, 67, 77; 47, 48, 57, 58, 67, 68, 77; 46, 47, 48, 57, 57, 58, 67; and 66, 67, 68, 76, 77, 78, 57.

Now, within this box of 12 numbers, the hope is to hit a solid 7-spot of course. But by way of consolation, there will be times when you will hit overlapping 6-of-7’s and a multitude of other payoffs.

Obviously, you don’t need to fill all 12 numbers to win big. You can hit a solid 7 with just 7 of the 12 numbers coming up.

The odds of six numbers hitting within the box is only 31-1, so there will be plenty of opportunities to hit over the course of a relatively short period of time.

In addition, the odds of seven numbers hitting among the 12 are 142-1, while the odds of eight numbers hitting are 980-1. For a little perspective, getting seven numbers (at 142-1) to fall within the "zone" is slightly easier than hitting 6-of-9 numbers at 174-1, while corralling eight numbers (at 980-1) is quite a bit easier than catching 7-of-9 numbers at 1,690-1.

So you see, it’s certainly possible that you will have at least seven or eight numbers fall within your four-card zone; hopefully, they will have landed to fill a solid 7-spot!

Another pattern that has proved profitable is marking four 7-spots in two adjacent columns, such as the 7- and 8-columns (see illustration).

In this pattern, we will mark 7 of the 8 numbers in the two columns, then mark four in one and three in the other column, in a "staircase" pattern.

In this arrangement, we now have a total of 16 numbers marked, rather than 12. The probabilities of having more numbers hit within the "zone" are obviously higher: seven numbers will hit at odds of 23-1; eight numbers will fall in at 83-1; and nine will land at odds of 415-1.

It’s rare when 10 numbers hit out of the 16 (2900-1), but it does occur and when it does you have a good chance of hitting a nice jackpot when it does.

This method of marking several cards within a zone of 12 and 16 numbers will be further developed next week. In essence, by doing this we take the 80-number board and reduce it to a smaller "playing field" of, say, 12, 16 or 20 numbers and try to strategically land a few numbers that can pay off.

(L.J. Zahm is the author of "Cluster Keno: Using the Zone Method of Winning at Video Keno." For a copy send \$19.95 to Cluster Keno, P.O. Box 46303, Las Vegas, NV 89114.)