Finding trends in ball frequency

Mar 2, 2004 12:27 AM

Many keno players are interested in how many times each number has come up over the last 10, 20, 100, or even thousands of games. Some books written on keno have included suggestions for tracking the number of times each ball has come up, with ideas on how to incorporate the results of the tracking into playing strategies.

It is not unusual to see keno players looking through the stack of draws which are available at most keno counters for this purpose, or to see a player sitting in a keno lounge manually keeping track of the results of each game.

With the advent of computers, however, it is not really necessary to do this. All the major computer keno systems which are on the market automatically keep track of ball frequencies. A keno supervisor may at any time call up a "Ball Frequency Report" which lists the number of times each ball has come up for the last consecutive games. The number of games may be set anywhere from one game to almost 1,000 games.

Many keno games will print out this information for you on request. I think that this information, while it certainly won’t guarantee you a winner, is very interesting and might help you avoid some mistakes as a player.

I don’t believe myself that playing strategies based upon "hot numbers," those numbers that have been coming up often, have much value. Neither do playing strategies base on "cold numbers" in the errant belief that things must "even out" over the long run. Indeed they will, but the run might be MUCH longer than your bankroll!

If there is any argument at all for number selection using ball frequencies, I would avoid those numbers that have NOT been coming up. There are two reasons (other than luck) why a ball might not be coming up: The ball might be damaged; or the ball might not be in the bowl.

If you look at a ball frequency report of 50 games or more and a ball has not come up at all, the latter situation is a distinct possibility. Although the situation is rare, it has happened. A helpful customer might, upon noticing this situation, tell the keno supervisor about it. A competent keno supervisor should immediately inspect the balls to verify that that particular ball is in the bowl.

Each keno ball should come up one-fourth of the time over the long run, so in 100 games each ball should come up about 25 times. If you see a ball frequency where a ball has only appeared four or five times in 100 games, the first possibility (broken ball) above might apply. A player might once again inform the keno supervisor of the situation.

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