Many people believe that no viable strategy exists for a game like Keno, which is based largely on random chance. It’s true that there is no way to determine which numbers will come up, but that does not mean there is no strategy. Instead of basing a Keno strategy on lucky numbers or clusters of numbers that appear “hot,” players can improve their Keno odds by sticking to the best strategy and focusing solely on what they can control: their bets.
The Players’ Influence
In Traditional Keno, the players control only two aspects of the game: the amount they wager and how many numbers to choose. These factors are the players’ only influence on the game’s outcome, so they need to understand how these decisions influence the odds.
The Basic Idea
Keno is basically a small scale lottery. Players select anywhere from three to 10 numbers out of a total of 80, and 20 are selected at random. How many numbers are chosen does not change the amount of the bet, but it does determine how many numbers players must choose correctly to win a payout. Unlike some games, players should avoid playing conservatively. Selecting fewer numbers will neither increase the chance of winning nor reduce the chance of losing, and it shuts the door to larger payouts.
Choosing Fewer Numbers
Playing small is a bad way to go. If players choose only three numbers, two of them must be selected for a payout. The initial odds for the first selection are three out of 80; the odds change in the second selection depending on whether a chosen number was selected. If it was, the odds get worse, lowering from three out of 80 to two out of 79. On the other hand, the opposite is true when players’ numbers aren’t selected. Betting more numbers takes advantage of the fluctuation of odds and outweighs the burden of having to correctly select a few more numbers.
There are two reasons why selecting more numbers gives players an edge: They can take advantage of the way Keno odds fluctuate and enjoy the potential for larger payouts. If players pick ten numbers, at no extra cost to them, their odds improve every time a number they didn’t pick is selected. If the first selection is not one of the players’ numbers, the odds increase to 10 out of 79, a substantial improvement over three out of 79. Even if players choose three numbers and hit them all, which is unlikely, the reward on a $.50 wager is a mere $9. If, however, players choose ten numbers on the same wager, the maximum reward is $5,000.
Don’t Underestimate the House
Playing only a few numbers in Traditional Keno is a great way for players to enjoy a slow, painful slaughter. Like all casino games, Keno favors the house, and over a long enough period, the players are likely to lose. Players do, however, enjoy the occasional good round, and when they do, the potential for a substantial payout must be “on the table,” so to speak. For more information about winning read 10 keno tips.