Don’t worry,play happy!

Sep 21, 2004 1:47 AM

Our subject this week is how to be a happy keno player. Keno, the game we love, is a form of entertainment and should not be taken terribly seriously. We do play the game with real money, and real money is serious, but no one should pursue any form of gambling with the intent of improving their lives beyond the simple joy of entertaining themselves.

So, Rule No. 1 of Happy Keno Play: Spend only that amount of money playing keno that you can reasonably budget for entertainment.

Since our goal when playing keno is to have fun, the best way to have fun is for most people to share your enjoyment. So find a keno game where you feel comfortable, that has the amenities that you like (the kind of restaurants, hotel, smoking or non-smoking, other peripheral types of gaming that you might enjoy) and do most of your playing there.

Get to know the employees, and let the employees and supervisors get to know you. Sign up for a tracking number if it is offered at your game of choice, because if you have a tracking number and your play warrants it, you will be offered comps. (If your play warrants it and you are not offered some comps, then you are playing at the wrong game.)

A tracking number is very helpful both to the casino (which if well-run wants to offer good players comps) and it is helpful to you: You will be better able to budget your playing and if you are in a position to declare gambling losses you will have the best possible documentation available for the IRS. So Rule No. 2 of Happy Keno Play: Find a happy place to play, and do most of your playing there.

Another essential for your keno experience to remain happy is to set a gambling budget and stick to it. If you are an out-of-towner and visiting a casino, whether it is in Las Vegas, Reno, Mississippi, or Nebraska, simply take your entire bankroll and divide it by the number of days you will be staying. Set a daily limit based upon this arithmetic. When that budget is reached, win or lose, stop playing and go do something else, have a nice dinner, go to a show.

If you stick to your budget you will have a chance to play tomorrow, and you can enjoy your keno play throughout your stay. Rule No. 3 for Happy Keno Play: Set an entertainment budget and stick to it.

Keno is a lottery, and the wins can be substantial but sometimes few and far between. If you want to play happy it is important that you set a goal according to what you want to accomplish. If you merely want to have some fun, play a high-frequency ticket like a 20-spot, a Sweet 16, or some three- or four-spots, but realize that your chances of winning anything substantial are slim or non-existent.

If you want to shoot for a grand or more, play any ticket between 6 and 12 spots, they are all playable and have their good and bad points, but the one thing they do share is a potential win of more than a grand when played for a dollar. If you want to win more than a thousand, stick to these tickets and forget the deuces, threes and fours. Rule No. 4 for Happy Keno Play: Be clear about your keno goals and play accordingly.

The computerization of keno has had some good effects on the game but it has also produced a false sense of security among players and writers, who no longer check their tickets for accuracy as eagerly as they once did. This is a mistake. You should check your tickets each time they are re-written to make sure that they have the correct spots marked, the correct ways played, the correct number of games played if a multi-race, and the correct amount wagered on each way. There is nothing as heartbreaking as missing a winner because your ticket has been altered. These things happen, and it is your responsibility as a player to check your tickets. Rule No. 5 for Happy Keno Play: Check your tickets.

If you follow these five rules, your chances of a happy keno experience will rise, and you will most likely find enjoyment in your play. The luck of course must be your own.

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