Last Updated: October 29, 2003

Nevada Numbers

Reason #2 why the Wizard likes Bovada: No-hassle practice games

Most online casinos spend more effort trying to separate you from your money than they do trying to give you a good experience. They have all kinds of popup windows, they usually make you download their software, and if they do offer play-in-browser games then you have to register an account before you can play. And if you register they start sending you emails trying to get you to deposit real money.

But Bovada is different. They have no popup windows at all, and their practice games play right in your browser, with no download, and no registration required. You don't even have to give up your email address. It couldn't be simpler: just one click and you're playing the game.

I wish all online casinos showed this much respect for their players. Other casinos practically ask for your first born child to play for free. Meanwhile Bovada is patient and does not twist anybody's arm to play for real money. You can play as long as you like for free with no obligation. The real-money games are available if that's your preference, but if not, you can play the free practice games for as long as you like without hassle.

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Nevada Numbers is a game offered at different keno lounges around Nevada. I've been told a few times that Nevada Numbers is a lottery and not keno, but what makes the difference I don't know. Mathematically they are the same.

  • For $2 player picks 5 numbers from 1 to 80.
  • At 6:00 PM every day 5 numbers are also picked from 1 to 80. These shall serve as the winning numbers at all casinos.
  • The ticket pays according to table 1 below.
  • The progressive shall reset to $5,000,000 and go up by 25% of money bet.

The following is the pay table.

Table 1

Catch Pays
5 Progressive
4 $2,000
3 $20
2 $2
1 $1
0 0

The next table shows the number of combinations for each number of catches, the probability, and return based on the theoretical average winning jackpot of $17,020,008.

Return Table

Catch Combinations Probability Pays Return
5 1 0.00000004 17020008 0.353993
4 375 0.00001560 2000 0.015599
3 27750 0.00115433 20 0.011543
2 675250 0.02808858 2 0.028089
1 6077250 0.25279725 1 0.126399
0 17259390 0.71794420 0 0
Total 24040016 1 0 0.535623

The lower right cell shows an average return of 53.56%, or a house edge of 46.44%. This is a long-term return. At any given moment the return is 18.16% plus 2.08% for each $1,000,000 in the meter. For the odds to switch to the player's favor the jackpot would need to pass $39,347,282.

This game may sound like a terrible bet but it isn't the worst. The Las Vegas Hilton offers a Million Dollar keno game with a return of only 43.05%. However as far as I know the worst bet in Las Vegas in any game is the "Millionaire Keno" game at Harrah's and the Rio, which is a pick-10 with a return of 39.99%.

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