• Jeff Young

Does it matter which Keno numbers I choose?

Updated: Sep 13

No. But patterns are another story.

Yes, it's true that each machine is governed by a random number generator (RNG), and you can never outfox the RNG - but you can take advantage of the fact that the RNG tends to pick certain patterns in waves.

I've heard what the "experts" have to say, and they make some good points (no Craps pun intended), but I've found that an effective way to win more often is to choose patterns and hope the machine targets one or more of those zones with a similar or exact pattern. It happens more often than you might think.

Go for a group of numbers boxed together neatly, or pick shapes - like H's, I's, and T's - right side up, upside down, or both. Try a horseshoe. Lock two of those together as mirror images. Play blocks of 3 or 4 numbers in opposite corners. That's a good way to hit a 5, 6, 7, or 8 spot. Going for a 6 is ideal in my book, because the return is enough to let you play more and take bigger chances with higher bets or by choosing more numbers.

The reason we prefer 4-Card Keno over single boards is that we're able to construct 4-Hs within a corner or wherever we like on the board. Columns of 6's or 8's - either straight or zig-zagged. We can play with all kinds of shapes.

Why not play the 20-board multi-card machines since they offer even more ways to play with patterns? We do. But they cost more to play if you want a decent return. When playing a penny-per-board on Multi-Card Keno, a 6 of 6 win only returns $16. That same 20 cents on a 4-Card machine nets you roughly $80, or $160 at the 10-cent level.

1600 units (coins) is average for a 6-of-6 win, but payouts vary, and many machines only return 1500 units when you catch 6-of-6.

Bottom line: you should be aware of what the potential return to you is on the machine you've chosen to play. Payouts can vary widely, not only around town, but within ONE casino.


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