When you play keno you’re up against the highest house edge in the casino, around 25%! Yet, one can while away an hour or two in the Keno lounge at little or no cost.
Play keno games the right way and you can have a realistic hope of coming out ahead. Let the cocktail waitress bring you some free drinks, relax, and play Keno the frugal way suggested here. Because the house advantage is so high, you should never bet big money on Keno.
While waiting for your food in a Las Vegas casino restaurant, you might be filling out one of those Keno slips found on every table. Here’s how to write Keno tickets that will cost you very little but will give you a much greater chance of actually winning some money or at least breaking even.
Pick your four favorite numbers. For instance, your birthday. Lets say it’s 07/14/1943. Your numbers would be 7, 14, 19, and 43. Play those numbers as a “way ticket”. Most casinos let you play three or more ways at half the regular $1 rate.
Using your four numbers, draw a circle around a single number and another circle around the other three numbers as a group. For example, 7, 14 and 43 could be your group of three numbers and 19 is your single number.
You can play this ticket three ways, 1/1 (your single number), 1/3 (the group of three numbers) and 1/4 (all four numbers). Played at 50-cents a way the cost is only $1.50 per game. Usually there are about six to eight games played per hour. Even if you didn’t win anything at all, your hourly cost would be a maximum of $12. Deduct the value of the free drinks and Keno becomes the cheapest way to gamble. You can’t get that good a deal playing any other game in the casino.
The payoffs vary slightly from casino to casino. In most places you will collect
- $1 for catching 2 of 3 and 2 of 4 – any two numbers in the group of three
- $1.50 for catching 1 of 1 – the circled single number only
- $2 for catching 1 of 1 and 2 of 4 – the single number and any one number in the group of three
- $3.50 for catching 1 of 1, 2 of 3 and 3 of 4 – the single number and two numbers from the group of three
- $24 for catching 3 of 3 and 3 of 4 – the circled group of three numbers
- $82.50 for catching 1 of 1, 3 of 3 and 4 of 4 – all four of your numbers
Here’s another way to play Keno frugally. Veteran Las Vegas Keno managers admit that straight three-spot tickets are the least profitable for the casino, because three numbers are relatively easy to hit. In most casinos a three-spot ticket pays $42 for a bet of $1, and you also get your money back if you catch two out of the three numbers you picked.
Choose three lucky numbers and play 21 games at $1 each. If all three of your numbers come up only once in 21 games, you’ve made a profit of at least $21. In other words you’ve doubled your money! Why 21 games? Because if you play the same ticket at least that many consecutive times you have up to one year to collect your winnings. I buy a ticket like that in the evening, get a good night’s sleep, and let them surprise me in the morning.
In case you’re hoping to score a much bigger Keno win, here are some facts to consider: The odds of hitting 6 out of 6 numbers are 7,753 to 1. The payout for a six-spot ticket is usually $1,500. Your chances of catching 7 out of 8 on an 8-spot ticket are 6,232 to 1. The odds are considerably smaller, but the payoff is exactly the same = $1,500! With this in mind, would you play a 6-spot or an 8-spot ticket?
Definitely opt for the 8-spot ticket. The chances of hitting 7 out of 8 numbers are considerably better than those of catching 6 out of 6, and you win exactly the same amount. Plus the 8-spot ticket gives you added leverage. If it’s your lucky day, you could hit all 8 numbers and collect $20,000. That possibility doesn’t exist if you play only 6 spots, since the maximum six-spot payout is $1.500.