The 7-spot overlay

Sep 2, 2003 7:24 AM

Talk about your labor of love! I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend in the casinos. I know I did.

First, I’d like to thank everyone who takes the time to write and offer their experiences. It’s great to hear from fellow video keno players, what they’re up to and ”” most important ”” what they’ve won!

I’ve received some queries about where to play IGT’s new Multi-Card Keno game. I’ve asked IGT for a list of Nevada casinos, and as soon as I receive it, will pass the info along.

At this time, I’m only aware of the large bank of machines at the El Cortez (they’re on the south wall, facing Fremont Street) and the Rainbow Casino in Henderson.

I’d also like to point out that the machines are NOT 20-card keno games. Of course, you can play up to 20 cards per game, but you don’t HAVE to bet all 20 cards.

There has been some confusion, especially since the El Cortez has posted some placards over the machines that announce "20 Card Keno." Even some of the El Cortez staff are unaware of how the game can be played because I’ve overheard them tell customers that they MUST play all 20 cards.

Not true! You can play any number from one to 20 cards.

As players get used to the new game, they’re finding new ways to win. Last week, I was seated next to a gentleman who appeared to be playing all the eight numbers in the first column (1, 11, 21, 31, 41, 51, 61, 71).

After a new minutes of play, the machine began making that harp-like sound that signals a high payoff. I glanced over and saw his credit meter racing, and that one of his cards had registered a 7,000-credit win.

On the Multi-Card Keno game, the screen tells you the status of all 20 cards: how much is bet on each one (if any), the number of spots marked and the number of spots hit.

In this fellow’s case, he had a solid 7-spot, plus several 6-of-7 spots. I said something inane, like "Great going," and he pointed to the keno card, which showed seven of the eight "one column" numbers had been hit, and said, "If that eighth number would have landed, I would have hit eight solid 7-spots.

Eight solid 7-spots, at 7,000 credits per, would have paid 56,000 credits!

He explained that he was playing all the possible 7-spot cards that you could mark in the first column of eight numbers. Basically, you marked everything in the column except for one of the eight numbers, thus creating eight 7-spots.

I liked the idea and tried it myself. But I expanded the concept to mark all the 7-spots contained in side-by-side columns. Most of the time I used the one- and two-column of numbers for my series.

For several sessions, I experimented with this cluster or zone of 7-spots, and hit a lot of 6-of-7 spots.

After awhile I became frustrated, and decided to try an old standby: using the "outside" eight numbers in one of the horizontal rows as a basis for marking eight 7-spots.

If you’ve read my book, you know that I’ve had some success catching solid 7-spots when marking two 7-spots in the outside eight numbers, which include 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10. (See the illustration.)

So, I essentially treated the outside eight numbers of, say, the 40’s and 50’s row, as my friend treated the first column of numbers.

It didn’t take long before I finally hit that elusive 7-spot. I look forward to varying this approach, but I really like the idea of filling up eight numbers (pick any eight numbers, even a two-by-four box) with eight 7-spots.

It’s fun watching them hit, and eventually I know I’ll catch all eight for an eight-fold jackpot!

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