# The Heart and Soul of keno

Jun 22, 2004 1:33 AM

One "power ticket" that was once very popular but is rarely played these days is the way-nine. It was usually marked using groups of three numbers, in which six groups of three gives you a 20-way nine and seven groups of three gives you a 35-way 9. Since we investigated a 28-way 8-spot several weeks ago (and decided that it was superior to the 28-way 6-spot in many ways), we’ll use the way 8-spot as a benchmark ticket. Just to be fair in comparison, we’ll use a 35-way nine, and pro-rate the price and the pays down to 80 cents per way, so the two tickets will cost the same (\$28) per game.

The 35-way nine is marked using 21 numbers grouped in threes. There are a total of 119 possible different catches on this ticket, and 111 of them produce some sort of winner on a standard nine that pays for five hits or more! Below is a chart that compares the 28-way 8-spot with the 35-way nine:

 35 way 9 28 way 8 Any winner 3.13 3.57 \$28.00 or more 10.24 16.07 \$100.00 or more 28.57 18.32 \$1,480 or more 932.00 228.42 \$5,000 or more 6,107.06 8,232.81 \$10,000 or more 30,520.13 8,234.22

The 35-way nine has a slight edge in small winners, producing a winner of some sort every 3.13 games, and \$28 or better once every 10.24 games. In the mid-range of pays (up to \$5,000) the 8 spot enjoys a sizeable advantage in frequency of pays. In the range of \$5,000 to \$10,000, the 9 spot is once again the leader in frequency of pays, while the 8 spot once again provides more pays on the top end, \$10,000 and more. This is kind of a mixed bag, and is really the result of the way pays are structured on the two tickets. A 5-of-9 is much more common than a 5-of-8, and this means that small pay outs on the 35-way nine will be much more common. On the other hand, the 8-of-9 is about eight times as likely as the 8-of-8, and since the 8-of-9 pays about \$4,000 at most casinos, the way 9 spot holds an advantage in this area. The 8 spot is still the champion for big winners though, chiefly because a solid 8 spot is much easier to hit than a solid 9 spot. I feel, for these reasons, that the 35-way nine, while playable and superior to the 28-way six discussed a few weeks ago, is inferior to the 28-way eight, unless you are aiming for winners in the \$5,000-\$10,000 class.

On a scale of one to five spikes, with five spikes being the highest, the 35-way nine gets a rating of four spikes:

Just for fun, here is the same comparison with the 6 spot:

 35 way 9 28 way 6 Any winner 3.13 1.30 \$28.00 or more 10.24 14.81 \$100.00 or more 28.57 15.29 \$1,480 or more 932.00 283.21 \$5,000 or more 6,107.06 924,849.13 \$10,000 or more 30,520.13 7,439,526,596.95

As you can see, the 9 spot is superior to the 6 spot in both small pays and big pays, with the intermediate level of pay off the only level where the 6 spot has any advantage. Perhaps you should give it a try for 10Â¡ a way at your favorite game, where a 35-way nine will cost only \$3.50!

Well, that’s it for now. Good luck! I’ll see you in line!