Try this (gulp!)15-spot ticket

Jul 20, 2004 2:04 AM

Sometimes I like to play a 15-spot ticket. When I do, it’s not unusual for a keno writer to remark to me that I’m "playing too many spots" or that I’ll "never hit it solid in a million years." This is no knock against the writers; for the most part they are sincere in their advice but they are just misinformed.

The results from playing a 15-spot over thousands of games are remarkably similar to the results you would get from playing a six-spot over the same amount of games. Your total amount of winnings, your frequency of wins, and your largest win are almost the same.

Both tickets are similar in that the median amount of win is about the same also. Both the six-spot and the 15-spot are relatively "safe" tickets to play in the respect that the median amount of wins are higher than most other keno tickets.

What this means for the player is that by playing a 15-spot the median player will have more money left after the playing session than most players playing other tickets. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with statistics, the median player is the middle-half of the players would win more and half would win less.)

When you play a 15-spot are you playing "too many numbers?" Actually, (although this goes against the grain of traditional keno advice) the more numbers you play the better off you are, at least in terms of winning more often.

After all, 20 out of 80 numbers are called each game, which is one-fourth of the numbers. So if you play an eight-spot, you can expect to average hitting two numbers per game. If you play a 15-spot, you can expect to hit an average of 3.75 numbers per game. This fact pretty much guarantees that you will win more often on the 15 spot than the eight spot.

You’ll "never hit a 15 spot solid in a million years!" Well, I know that, as a matter of fact it might be more than a million years! But I don’t play 15 spots to hit them solid, I play them to hit a nine, 10, 11 or 12 out of 15, which I have done and found to be financially rewarding.

If you’d like to try a nice little 15 spot way ticket, try this: Line off the ticket into four quadrants by drawing a line down between the 5 and the 6 column, and across between the 30 and the 40 row. Mark five numbers in each quadrant. You now have a four-way 15, and you can play it for 50 cents per way for a total of $2.