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Insider Secrets of Keno


By: VictorVegas Vic” Royer

Video Keno is my personal favorite casino game. It’s a game full of secrets that, when unlocked, can provide big wins. In fact, some of the biggest wins of all casino slots. Let me give you a little quiz:

If you had a choice of playing a video poker machine at the 25-cent denomination, where the machine takes 5-credits for a total investment of $1.25 per event, and where the machine is a Jacks or Better games with 99.54% optimum play payback, and where the Royal Flush pays $1,000 for a max-credit bet of $1.25, and where the odds of hitting that Royal Flush are about 44,000:1 –

OR ….

Playing a 25-cent denomination Video Keno game by marking a standard 10-spot ticket, where the maximum bet is 4-quarters = $1, and where the payback percentage is 91.75% payback, and where the hit of 8-out-of-10 pays $1,000, and where the odds of hitting that pay of 8-out-of-10 for $1,000 are about 7,500:1 ….

Which would you choose?

Well, the answer should be obvious: Video Keno.

On video keno you are wagering only $1 for the max bet, a saving of 25-cents per event over the video poker game. At the same time, on the video keno game you are not only paying less to play, but the win of $1,000 – the same amount as on that video poker game for a bigger bet requirement – faces odds of only about 7,500:1 against, while the video poker game has odds for that $1,000 payoff of about 44,000:1 against.

Additionally, on that video poker game, the top win is that $1,000 for the Royal Flush, and that’s it. But on the video keno game, that $1,000 jackpot is only the 3rd biggest. The video keno game has another, bigger, jackpot of the 9-out-of-10 hit, which pays around $4,500, plus there is still yet another jackpot – still bigger – for hitting the perfect 10-out-of-10 hit, which pays $10,000. Yes, it’s true that the odds of these bigger hits are much higher, but at least they are there – while the video poker game that costs you more to play doesn’t have any further jackpot chances.

OK, so you might say: The video poker game has a payback percentage of 99.54%, while the video keno games has a payback of only 91.75%. True.

But on video keno you are paying less for a game where you hit that $1,000 jackpot 5.87-times more often than on video poker. Add it up.

So, which would you rather play?

Personally, I play video keno.

I have written several times about this game in my career, and I have also written an entire book on keno: Powerful Profits from Keno. In this book I speak about live keno, also known as Lounge Keno, as well as the various forms of video keno – Four Card Keno, Multi-Card Keno, regular Keno, and other popular video keno games. I also provide several patterns, and strategy suggestions.

There are many players with whom I correspond about video keno, and with whom I have had discussions about this game, and suggestions, hits, tips, and other valuable insights. Here are a few extracts from that correspondence which I think you will find interesting.

The first question comes from Joe from Phoenix, Arizona, who writes:

“We have been playing at Harrah’s Ak-Chin casino and doing pretty well on four card [keno].  I use the patterns and combinations you delineated in your book almost exclusively and have hit some nice jackpots.  The other day I hit the first seven numbers in the top row betting $3 for $5,450. I believe [that] a few days prior to that I hit the side wrap core and one seven on the lower right side just as you described in your book for $4,850.  I can attest to the fact that your book is full of factual information and examples that absolutely do work!

 I have a question if I may please:  I like to play the lower right side wrap a lot and I have come close to hitting the core many times by missing only one number.  This happened to me last night 3 times on different machines. The seventh number usually hits too but when the core is 5 out of 6 of course it is not a winner.   [My] question is: when this happens should you keep the numbers as is (because you have come so close and the numbers may not be back there again for a long while) or change to another pattern?  This seems to happen quite often to me and I don’t know what the correct method is.”

Here is my reply, in part:

“Hi Joe, good to hear from you. I am glad to learn that you are having success with keno, and with the patterns I provided. 

If [the situation you described] is happening repeatedly, I tend to change the pattern, and not just the number. In fact, I will leave that pattern altogether, and go to play a different pattern entirely elsewhere on the board. I also do this after a jackpot, although I do tend to give the pattern and the machine “another try” for a while after a big hit. But the decision point is up to you, because each situation is different, and requires the observation, and decision, “in the moment.” “

The next comment comes from the Keno King himself, Wally, who writes:

“I play only Video Keno [multi-card]. I can’t agree that keno has the worst odds. I have 5 wins in a row again. I hope I am not [banned] from the Indian Casinos. I read your articles. Very interesting.”

Wally and I corresponded earlier about video keno being a “misunderstood game”, and how it is always considered as a “house” game, or a “bad” game. So, in part, here is what I wrote back to Wally:

“Hi Wally, good to hear from you. I agree with you about video keno. I love the game, and have had many very good wins on it as well, including recently. And don’t worry about being banned. Casinos consider video keno a “house game”, and so the more you win, the more they will want you to keep coming back and playing again and again. And they will give you lots of comps as well.”

For today, the last question comes from Susan, who plays keno at Tribal casinos, but wanted to know about playing on the Internet. While Internet gambling is not yet fully authorized in the United States – some individual States, like Nevada, for example, already have passed legislation permitting it, once all the banking issues with the federal UIGEA are worked out – eventually Internet gambling will be available in the USA. So, why not get a head start, and ask about video keno on the Internet? That’s what Susan wanted to know. Here is what she asked:

“Dear Vic, I LOVE to play four card keno.  Are there any online casinos that have four card keno? I have searched and searched but yet haven’t found one. Thanks for your help and your articles on keno are great.”

Here is my reply, in part:

“Hi Susan, thanks for writing, and thank you also for the kind words.

Four Card Keno is a great game, and I play it myself as much as I can. There aren’t any on the Internet, as far as I know. On the Internet I only play Poker – the “live” poker, not video poker. Those games are so easily quantified, and so many players worldwide know how to play it, that cheating is usually confined only to the players themselves, and very rarely to the sites that run the software.

While there have recently been several very high-profile cheating scandals, these were not caused by the poker sites themselves, but by players who were able to breach the security protocols. This resulted in cheating going on for several years. But these sites paid back all the losses, to the tune of millions of dollars, and retooled their servers and security, so poker sites on the Internet are secure, and you can comfortably play there [although there have been some noted exceptions to this, including those in the recent news such as what happened with Full Tilt – fortunately, also being resolved as we speak].  

You can read more about this in my books: Powerful Profits from Internet Gambling and Powerful Profits from Internet Poker.

And so for now, these are just some of the letters I have received, along with questions and interesting points to discuss and discover. From time to time I will revisit this, and I will again write some more about the correspondence I have with readers of my articles, and my books and videos. So until next time, try video keno. You’ll need a little patience, but I think you’ll like it. And if you don’t – well, there are always the regular slots which we all like. My newest book: New Casino Slots shows you many of them as well.

Best of Luck!

© Copyright 2012 Victor H Royer. All rights reserved