Let’s assume that we still want to play five to six bucks a game, and this time we want to shoot for the big bonanza, $17,000 to $20,000. To do this we’ll have to hit a solid eight or a solid nine at a dollar per way, and we’ll need to find a five or six way eight or a four or five way nine that we are comfortable playing.
A couple of weeks ago we did discover a playable five way eight, made up of ten numbers, grouped 3-2-2-1-1-1. When we covered the ten spot for "insurance" the price of the ticket came to $6.00 which fit into our parameters.
One of the most popular way tickets of all time is the six way eight. A six way eight is marked with sixteen numbers grouped 4-4-4-4. This is absolutely the best way to play a six way eight. There is no need to buy insurance on the sixteen spot, as a very substantial hit on it is unlikely. As an historical note, the six way eight played using the numbers 31-32-33-34, 37-38-39-40, 41-42-43-44, and 47,48,49,50 was for many years called the "Sheepherder’s Special" perhaps because some of the Basque shepherds used to play it when they came to Reno. This ticket was very heavily played and still is today.
There are at least 30 or 40 ways to play a four way nine. Let’s look at three of them here. The very best way to play a four way nine is by marking eighteen numbers, and grouping them 5-5-4-4. I discovered this fact some years ago, and for today anyway you’ll have to take my word for it. If you play your four way nine this way, you’ll hit, in the long run, those paying catches on the nines many games sooner than on any other four way nine. The only catch here is the ten spot (5-5) and the eight spot (4-4) both of which must be covered for safety. So if we play the ten, the four nines, and the eight for a dollar per way, we have a decent ticket for $6.00 per game which will put us where we want to be when it hits.
The most popular four way nine at this point in time is marked with 12 numbers grouped 3-3-3-3. The nines are formed by using three groups of three at a time. Some players have a problem visualizing how this is done, but just use this trick: Mark four groups of three on a blank Keno ticket, and then just cover up one group at a time with your thumb. You will easily see that there are four combinations of nine numbers on the ticket. This ticket is not bad, it’s easily understood and the odds aren’t too bad on it ... but read on!
The "old timers" had a little trick up their sleeves. I don’t really think that they had worked out the math on it, but their intuition led them to a better way to play the four way nine. Instead of using twelve numbers to mark their four way nines, they used fifteen numbers, and grouped them 6-3-3-3. On this ticket, three of the nines are formed by combining the group of six with one group of three. The fourth nine is made up of the three groups of three. Using a group of six (referred to as a "field") actually resulted in better odds of getting a winning catch than using four groups of three.
If you like playing four way nines, give these alternatives a try, I think you’ll like them. Good Luck, I’ll see you in line!