Chasing those elusive 9-spots!

Nov 11, 2003 2:36 AM

This past week, I was experimenting with IGT’s Multi-Card Keno game, playing all of the 9-spots contained on a row of 10 numbers.

Specifically, I was playing adjacent rows, the bottom row and the 60’s row of numbers above it. Playing all the 9-spots on both rows results in a 20-card bet (there are 10 9-spots on each row).

Finally, eight numbers landed on one of my rows, resulting in a payoff of two 8-of-9 jackpots and eight 7-of-9 jackpots. The total credits awarded were 9,400 for the two larger jackpots, and 2,400 (eight times 300 credits) for the smaller pots.

I like playing the 9-spots because they offer a good chance of hitting a decent payoff (4,700-1 for catching 8-of-9). They also have enough "lower level" payoffs to ensure there is a return of coin so players aren’t simply feeding the machine.

Moreover, the 7-out-of-9 jackpot pays a very respectable $335 (for four quarters bet) at odds of about 1690-1.

This corresponds very well to the "mid level" jackpot available for 7-spot players. While the 6-out-of-7 jackpot of $400 has a smaller house edge (the odds are about 1365-1), the opportunity to hit the 8-out-of-9 jackpot might make the nine spot slightly more attractive than the seven spot.

While it’s always possible to hit a solid nine spot, most players should realistically hope to hit the 8-out-of-9 award.

Note that the odds of hitting the $4,700 jackpot is about 25 percent less than hitting a royal flush on a poker machine, but the payoff is a healthy seven and a half times better!

Moreover, there are casinos around town that offer a progressive jackpot for the 9-spot game, which can range anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000. Obviously, the player’s edge increases as the jackpot climbs above the standard $10,000 payout for a solid nine (on a quarter machine).

My Cluster Keno system has been used to hit several 8-out-of-9 jackpots. The clusters or "zones" that were successful include an eight-number column coupled with a single, adjoining number; a solid three-by-three box; nine of 10 on a horizontal row; and a U-shaped pattern with a single number connecting two four’s.

When playing Four Card Keno, there have been several patterns that have proved successful. One of them involves playing the first nine numbers and second nine numbers on a horizontal row. Once, this method actually hit two 8-out-of-9 spots on the same row!

Another method that has worked is overlapping four 3-by-3 boxes. This often produces twin 7-out-of-9 winners, and an occasional 8-out-of-9 jackpot.

The Four Card Keno always lends itself to experimenting. But I’ve found that the best bet is to overlap your cards. This way, when the "shared" numbers hit, there is the increased likelihood of multiple payoffs. Try it with your own numbers and let me know.

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