Ask the Wizard: Keno - FAQ
Mr. Wizard, your site is truly informative. There is a keno game here where we can bet on HEAD, TAIL or EVEN. HEAD meaning 11 numbers or more in the first forty numbers, TAIL meaning 11 numbers or more in the last forty numbers. EVEN meaning 10 numbers each in the first forty and last forty respectively. There are 20 numbers drawn each time. What are the odds of each bet winning? One more thing, since the house is negative according to you (for some online casinos), does that mean that a player can consistently win in the long run in the game of blackjack?
|Probability of 0 to 20 Heads|
This shows the probability of 11 to 20 heads is 39.84%, for a house edge of 20.32%. The probability of exactly 10 is 20.32%, for a house edge of 18.70%.
Sir, I recently read in a book about odds that the odds of hitting all 20 numbers in keno are a quintillion to one. The book described this by saying that if there were one drawing per week and everyone on earth always bought a ticket, it would take 5 million years to produce a winner. My question is, is there a prize for hitting all 20, and if so, has anyone ever hit it? I’ve heard that no one has ever hit keno in the history of Vegas, it this true?
— Tim from Greenville, SC
My wife and father in law went to Las Vegas a couple of months ago and she asked where the Keno games are (sot the Keno slot machines) and was told that most hotels didn’t have keno any more. Is that true? And if so do you know why Mr. Wizard?
— Bill from Malibu
P.S. A reader later wrote in to correct me, stating that the New York New York casino in Las Vegas removed their keno lounge.
There is an interesting way that one can play keno, though not in the way the state intended. Bet that at least 11 of the 20 numbers will appear in 3 rows; horizontal, vertical or a combination. Stress that there are 18 rows. Many times the sucker will play. A variant of this bet is that one row will be blank. I hope that you can use this. You have an excellent, informative site. Note that one needs a bankroll though not a large one. 10 to 15x the largest bet that you are going to cover is enough.
— Richard M. from Silver Spring, MD
|Even Money Keno Props|
of a Win
|No row will have 5 or more hits||53.47%||6.94%|
|Greatest number of hits in a column will be exactly 4||55.2%||10.4%|
|Every row to have at least one mark||66.61%||33.23%|
|Number of empty columns will not be 1||54.08%||8.15%|
|Top/bottom to have 9 to 11 marks||56.09%||12.17%|
|3 lines (rows and/or columns) will contain 12 or more marks||53.68%||7.36%|
Does it matter what numbers you pick in video keno at all? I understand that it is a RNG chip like any slot machine and that the numbers are just to give us the illusion of control. I’ve tried writing IGT but they won’t respond. Thanks!
— Jari from Minnetonka, MN
Suppose you are playing standard 80-spot Keno with 20 drops, but the drops are "with replacement." That is, after a ball is dropped, its number is recorded and it is put back in the hopper and may be drawn again. Suppose you mark a card with 4 spots. What are the probabilities of 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 distinct hits?
— Eliot from Santa Barbara
What ratio of genes would I have in common with a full brother or sister, other than identical twin?
If we used keno as a comparison, everybody would have 40 genes, each represented by a keno ball. However, each ball would have unique number. When two people, who are not related, mate it is like combining 80 balls between the two of them into a hopper, and randomly choosing 40 genes for the offspring of the mating.
So when you were conceived, you got half the balls in the hopper, and the other half were wasted. When your brother or sister was conceived he/she got half from the balls drawn when you were born, and half that were not drawn. So you are 50% genetically identical. Much for the same reason that if 40 numbers were drawn in keno, two consecutive draws would average 20 balls in common.
This question was raised and discussed in the forum of my companion site Wizard of Vegas .
Reason #1 why the Wizard likes Bovada:
Excellent customer support
The thing that separates Bovada from the rest is its customer support. Many other online gaming companies outsource their support. It can be difficult getting a response from them, and if you do it is often slow and handled by somebody with little understanding of gambling or even of English. But Bovada’s support is handled by Bovada, and their support staff is actually knowledgeable and helpful.
I’m so confident that you’ll have a good experience with Bovada that if you have a problem getting paid and you can’t resolve it with them on your own, I’ll talk to them myself. I personally have known the Bovada management for about three years and always found them to be professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. I have also personally visited one of their call centers so I could see first-hand how they handle customer issues. (More on my mediation service.)
If you have a problem with any other casino besides Bovada, I can’t help you. I get complaints from players of other online casinos every day who have difficulty getting paid. However that isn’t my job nor my problem. If you play at Bovada after clicking through my site I’ll stand behind you 100%. Any place else and you’re on your own.