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  • Jeff Young

Slots Vs. Video Keno

Updated: Nov 20

I’m a slot machine fan from way back, and I still play them occasionally, though I prefer video keno. Why is that? The level of control I have over placing video keno bets. It’s true that monster jackpots can only be won on a wide-area progressive slot. But I’m happy with smaller payoffs, and I can manage my money more effectively on video keno.


One of the most attractive features of 4 Card Keno is the ability to vary bet size on any of the four individual boards.


There’s a trick to it. If you drop paper money or a voucher into one of these machines and press “Bet One” one to four times in a row, or “Max Bet”, your wager will be distributed evenly across the boards you chose. Go ahead and do that if you wish, but then zero in on each board and decide if you want to increase the bet on just that board.


Lately, as I’ve shown on YouTube, I have been playing a 3-spot within a 5-spot within a 7-spot within a 9-spot. I bet more money on the smaller boards to make those smaller hits more worthwhile. Sure, it costs more overall, but those smaller picks hit more often.

Figure A: Nickel 9-spot. One unit bet returns 10,000 units (give or take) for a 9-of-9 win (about $500 on a nickel machine).


Figure B: Nickel 7-spot. One unit wagered returns 7,000 units for a 7-of-7 hit ($350 on a nickel machine).


Figure C: Nickel 5-spot. TWO units wagered returns 1500-1600 units ($75-80) on a nickel machine when hitting all five.


Betting just a nickel here would only net you about $40 with a 5-of-5 hit. Hitting just three numbers in the entire 7 or 9 range of numbers would only return 6 to 21 units.


Figure D: Nickel 3-spot. Eight units wagered here returns about $18. Not retirement money by any means but it keeps your bank afloat and you in the game longer so you can afford to chase a bigger payoff.


Maximum allowed bets per individual board varies from one casino to another. If the max bet on the game is 16 units, then you may only bet up to 4 coins per board. Some casinos allow 32 max - 8 per board. That's the case at Dottys, a favorite of locals, where players can wager one coin on Board A, one on Board B, two on board C, and the remaining 28 ALL on the 3-spot on Board D, for a net win of about $250, give or take.


The higher the limit, the more leverage you have when utilizing this betting approach.


Keep in mind that if you're betting that much consistently & your numbers refuse to hit, your bank will disappear in short order. Best practice: always decide what your bank floor is before you enter a casino. Once you hit it, quit it - and live to play another day.


Figure E: An expanded view of your bets.



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