The proof is always in the payoffs!

Oct 18, 2004 11:33 PM

I am often asked about statistics, payback percentages, expected value, mathematical models or computer analysis of keno games that would be helpful in shaping or supporting my play strategy.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any mathematical models. I don’t have any computer-simulated games. I don’t have any probability theory. I don’t have any permutation charts or any of that stuff.

Instead, all I have is the personal experience of having played countless numbers of video keno games, and a stack of W-2 forms for all the jackpots I’ve hit in excess of $1,200.

Now, I don’t offer this latter tidbit as a kind of in-your-face arrogance. But I’ve always believed, like Cervantes, that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. And the only thing worth feasting on in the casino is the jackpots. So, unless someone can show me the jackpots they’ve won using a specific play strategy, all of their suggestions are pure speculation.

In my book, Cluster Keno, I list dozens of W-2 verified jackpots that include payoffs of $7,000 (seven-out-of-seven), $4,700 (eight-out-of-nine), $7,800 (eight out of eight nickel progressive), and $5,000 (eight-out-of-eight), to name a few.

More importantly, I describe the circumstances surrounding how these awards were won — the steps that seemingly led up to the winning payoff. The scenario will probably surprise long-term video keno players.

Admittedly, anyone can sit down at a video keno machine and ring up a jackpot. But to consistently win significant jackpots over a period of time must be the result of some pattern or methodology that, for whatever reason, produces winners.

There’s no way I or anyone else can guarantee a winning system. If anyone offers such a system, run the other way.

All I can do is explain what happened at these machines when a certain style of play was used. That’s all I can do.

As pointed out before, the tenets of my system are simple.

The first one is very similar to the theme in that classic Seinfeld TV episode in which his buddy, George Castanza, in an effort to turn things around in his miserable life, decides to do everything contrary to what he would ordinarily do. In essence, he said and did the opposite, without regard of where the chips would fall.

As a result (you saw this coming!), he instantaneously became a winner: he got a lucrative job after behaving like an imbecile in the interview and landed a beautiful girl by acting an idiot.

My keno slant on this theme is to do the opposite of what most keno players do, which is, wait for the numbers to come to them.

Instead, I’ve found that my jackpots have come almost immediately after re-setting the machine. This means playing the coins or credits, then erasing the numbers and marking the card again.

Now, I’ve often marked the exact same numbers as previously played, but the key point has been to re-set the machine. I haven’t a clue why this would have a bearing on the outcome, but that’s been my experience.

I’ll give further examples next week.

(L.J. Zahm is the author of Cluster Keno: Using the Zone System to Win at Video Keno. Pick up a copy at the Gamblers Book Shop in Las Vegas.)