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Last Updated: February 17, 2021

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Wolf Run Keno

Introduction

Wolf Run Keno is a keno variant by Action Gaming. The game features a free spin bonus with random multipliers, which can last over many spins.

Rules

  1. The game is based on conventional keno, which I assume the reader is familiar with.
  2. As in convention keno, the player will choose 3 to 10 spots. The game rules call these Marked Spots.
  3. Next, the player will pick five Bonus Spots.
  4. The player choose to let the game pick the Marked and/or Bonus spots randomly.
  5. As in conventional keno, the game will draw 20 random numbers and the player will be paid according to how many match his chosen non-bonus spots and a pay table.
  6. If the 20 ball draw by the game results in hitting at least four Bonus Spots, then the player shall play the bonus.
  7. In the first stage of the Bonus, the player will pick Free Game Multipliers. If four Bonus Spots are hit, the player will pick five icons from a field of eleven to determine his multipliers. If five Bonus Spots are hit, the player will choose ten icons out of an unknown number of choices (I've never seen all five Bonus Spots hit).
  8. If four Bonus spots are hit, the possible multipliers are 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 10.
  9. If five Bonus spots are hit, the possible multipliers are 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 20, and 25.
  10. The multipliers are not equally likely. It is obvious in playing that the lower multipliers are more likely. The average multipliers, I do know know.
  11. After the selection of multipliers, the bonus will go into the second free spin stage.
  12. In free spins, the player will have the same number of spots as the initiating spin. The player may choose different spots, including Bonus Spots, if he wishes.
  13. The game will arrange the multipliers in order, from lowest to highest.
  14. Before the 20-ball draw, the game will pick a random unchosen spot to place a "Multiplier Shield." This shield will indicate the current multiplier.
  15. Any win from the ball draw will be multiplied by whatever the current multiplier is. The win does not depend on whether the Multiplier Shield is hit.
  16. If the Multiplier Shield is hit, then the game shall advance to the next available multiplier. In other words, it is a bad thing for the Multiplier Shield to be hit.
  17. Free games may trigger the bonus. If this happens, I assume the new multipliers are added to the ones prior to the bonus re-trigger.
  18. The bonus ends when the last Multiplier Shield is hit.
  19. There is a maximum limit in the bonus of 100 multipliers, 600 free spins, or a win of 20,000x the initiating bet.

The following pay table was taken from VideoPoker.com. I would expect most casinos to use stingier pay tables than this one.

VideoPoker.com Pay Table

Catch Pick 3 Pick 4 Pick 5 Pick 6 Pick 7 Pick 8 Pick 9 Pick 10
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 16 2 1 1 1 0 0 0
4   23 18 6 2 2 1 1
5     108 14 6 6 4 2
6       210 34 23 14 5
7         635 210 36 17
8           2500 710 210
9             3500 1250
10               5000

Example

The following bonus example is based on a bet of one credit in the initiating spin.

wolf run 1

In the image above, I chose the numbers 11 to 15 as my Bonus Spots. The game draw hit four of them, as evidenced by being marked with a wolf howling at the full moon.

wolf run 2

In the image above I'm presented with 11 icons and directed to pick five of them.

wolf run 3

The image above shows five I chose marked in green (3x, 3x, 3x, 4x, and 6x). The others show the unchosen multipliers. The average of all multipliers in this bonus was 39/11 =~ 3.5455.

Wolf run 4

The above image shows I choose to keep my picks the same. My ten Marked Spots are marked with X's. The five Bonus Spots are marked with wolves. You can also see my multipliers in the panel on left. One of the 3x multipliers is highlighted, which will apply to the next game.

wolf run 5

The image above shows the second free game. Only two Marked Spots were hit, which didn't win anything. Unfortunately, the Multiplier Shield was hit on number 72. It is hard to tell, but the background behind the shield is dark purple, indicating it was hit. That caused the game to advance to the second of my five multipliers, another 3x, in the next free game.

wolf run 7

In the game above, I caught six of my ten Marked Spots, for a base win of 5. At the time, I was using my second 3x multiplier, so my win for that spin was 5×3 = 15. The lower right corner shows a win of 18, because I won 3 credits on a previous spin.

wolf run 8

The image above is from later in the bonus, when I hit five Marked Spots with my final multiplier of 6x, for a win of 2×6 = 12 for that game.

wolf run 9

The image above is my final game of the bonus. You can see the Multiplier Shield is on 39 and it was hit, as evidenced by the dark purple background. Only two Marked Spots were hit for a win of zero on that spin.

Wolf run 10

The image above summarizes my bonus results -- 23 games played and a win of 43 credits.

Analysis

Let me start with the easy part, the base game. I already stated the VideoPoker.com pay table in the rules section. The following table shows the return for any combination of number of picks and catches.

Base Game Return Table

Catch Pick 3 Pick 4 Pick 5 Pick 6 Pick 7 Pick 8 Pick 9 Pick 10
0 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000
1 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000
2 0.138754 0.212635 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000
3 0.222006 0.086496 0.083935 0.129820 0.174993 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000
4   0.070458 0.217662 0.171228 0.104382 0.163007 0.114105 0.147319
5     0.069652 0.043339 0.051831 0.109816 0.130406 0.102855
6       0.027087 0.024891 0.054434 0.080074 0.057397
7         0.015496 0.033696 0.021300 0.027389
8           0.010864 0.023141 0.028438
9             0.002535 0.007651
10               0.000561
Total 0.360759 0.369589 0.371249 0.371473 0.371592 0.371817 0.371561 0.371611

As you can see, the base game return ranges from 37.0% to 37.2% for all number of picks, except three. I would like to emphasize this is based on the VideoPoker.com pay table, which is probably the most liberal one available. Most casino slot managers will choose a stingier one.

The probability of catching at least four Bonus Spots is 0.016768. Of those bonuses, 96.2% will be for catching four Bonus Spots and 3.8% for catching all five.

Not considering the bonus retriggering, the average number of free games per multiplier is exactly 4. After considering infinite levels of the bonus retriggering, the average number of free spins per multiplier is 4.381472. As stated in the rules section, the player earns five multipliers for triggering the bonus with four Bonus Spots and ten multipliers for five Bonus Spots. Considering the 4.381472 spins per multiplier, the average number of free spins is 21.907361 for four Bonus Spots and 43.814721 for five.

In playing the game, it is clear the various multipliers are not equally likely. The game tends to favor the lower multipliers. If they were all equally likely, the return would be over 100%. Unfortunately, the game does not state the weighting of each multiplier or an average. However, I do know that VideoPoker.com likes to set their keno games to a return of about 94.4%. Based on that and a small sampling of bonuses, I estimate the average multiplier for catching four Bonus Spots to be 3.8. For catching all five, where larger multipliers are possible, I estimate the average to be 10.

The following table shows the average win from catching both four and five Bonus Spots as well as the weighted average.

Bonus Average Win

Pick 4 Bonus Spots 5 Bonus Spots Weighted Average
3 28.475627 149.871722 33.144708
4 29.172583 153.539911 33.955942
5 29.303590 154.229421 34.108430
6 29.321257 154.322406 34.128994
7 29.330698 154.372093 34.139982
8 29.348428 154.465413 34.160620
9 29.328213 154.359014 34.137090
10 29.332133 154.379645 34.141652

Overall, the return from the bonus in this game is high. In the case of the VideoPoker.com pay table, it is 57.28% for the pick-8, which offers the highest return. In general, it will be 154% of the base return. To get the return for any pay table, I suggest entering it into my keno calculator and multiplying by 2.54.

External Links

Discussion about Wolf Run Keno in my forum at WizardOfVegas.com.


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