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Casino Advantage in Keno

 

Since the house gives out cash prizes that can run as high as $250,000, and since a player can participate in the games for as little as 35¢ or 70¢ with a chance to win large payoffs, the casino makes certain that its edge in this games is very high. In fact, the edge is greater than on any other casino games.

To illustrate the house advantage, let's examine the odds on a one-spot ticket, the easiest and simplest of all tickets. When playing a one-spot, the player selects but one number, and if the number catches, he wins. If it doesn't catch, he loses.

The payoff on a one-spot is 3 for 1. This means that the actual payoff is 2-l. The player receives $2.10 for the 70c bet. There are eighty numbers that can possibly be selected in keno, and only twenty of them are called by the operator of the games. Therefore, the chances of winning with a one-spot ticket are twenty out of eighty, or 3-1 against. By paying only 2-1, the house has a 25 percent advantage on this wager.

This edge is even higher if the player bets a two-spot, for the chances of winning are slightly less, and the payoff is even smaller in proportion to the one-spot win. A two-spot wager gives the casino an advantage of 26.9 percent. A three-spot ticket gives the house 35 percent, a six-spot 37 percent, and the twelve-spot, the first ticket to pay $25,000 for a 70¢ bet, gives the house its greatest edge, 40 percent.

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