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Betting Variations
 

There are many ways to make Keno wagers, several of which are described below:

Straight Bet The most common bet is the straight bet, (or ticket) wherein the player selects from one to fifteen numbers from the field of eighty available on the blank. Payoffs are predetermined by the casino and are posted on rate cards. Payoffs vary, based on the total number of selections compared to the number of matches. For instance, a player who had five spots (numbers) correct from a total of eight spots selected should be paid about $9 on a $1 wager, while another player in the same games should receive a payoff of about $88 for correctly selecting five spots from a total of six spots selected; the higher the percentage of correct matches, the higher the payoff. Payoffs vary from casino to casino, so always read the rate cards to know what to expect.

Split Bet This bet is two or more straight bets that are marked on one Keno blank. The player circles or splits the numbers into groups, and must make certain that the runner or the ticket writer realizes that there is more than one wager on the blank.

Way Bet A way ticket is marked so that there are at least three equal groups of numbers where each group can be combined with the other groups to form several straight ticket combinations. For instance, by picking three groups of four numbers (and circling each group) you would have twelve numbers working to win on an eight-spot selection.

Combination Bet Combination tickets are the most versatile, but also the most complicated, form of Keno wagering. They can be a spin-off of the way ticket, where the groups of selected numbers vary in quantity, or they can be more complicated combinations that tax the comprehension of both the player and the writer! The player must also know that the house edge isn't reduced by betting these tickets, but they do add more spice to the games. For more information on combinations and other exotic keno bets, talk to the Keno staff or read some of the websites listed in the bibliography.

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However, it is more likely for a good player like Baldwin to suffer these bad beats, as they are called, than for an average player or a weak player to suffer them. "I've heard good players complain to me about how they get drawn out on all the time," Baldwin said after the 1981 tournament. "But if they want to better their game and better their emotional state while playing, they should realize it's a mirage. If you are an excellent player, people are going to draw out on you a lot more than you're going to draw out on them because they're simply going to have the worst hand against you a lot more times than you have the worst hand against them. There's no way you're going to draw out on anybody if you don't get all your money in there on the worst hand."
 
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