In every form of gambling the greater the potential payoff the more people who have to lose in order to cover that payoff. Among lottery games keno is the most well-known and also the most put down. All the experts tell you not to play keno because the chances of winning are so bad. And yet people still play keno. If you’re determined to play the game then you should understand a few things.
First: Although it has been said that playing keno is a low budget form of gambling that is not entirely true. While each ticket may be relatively inexpensive you can still buy as many tickets as you wish and some keno players may lay down $20 to $50 on the game for every drawing. To keep this a truly low budget form of gambling you must limit how many tickets you buy per drawing.
Second: Your best chance of winning on any drawing is to play the smallest picks possible. Some variations of the game require you play at least a Pick 2 How Betting with Real Money changed our lives in The Brand New Year | MathoRestaurant (two numbers). The more numbers you pick the worse the probabilities get.
Third: The best spread on potential return is on the Pick 4. The combined potential return for Pick 4 is rated at 74%. That means you have enough ways to win combined with enough pays to nearly match the return for a Pick 1 (which is rated at 75%). The next three best picks in order of preference are Pick 3 and Pick 2 (both rated at 72%) and Pick 5 (rated at 71.6%).
Fourth: No matter how many numbers you pick in keno, the highest probability always falls on a combination that pays you nothing.
Fifth: The theoretical return to player on most slot machine games is better than on keno. And yet the probability of winning the highest combination in keno improves over slot machine games as you pick fewer numbers in keno versus playing more reels in slots. The probabilities in keno are more predictable as well because you know all the numbers used in keno whereas you don’t know how many slots are assigned to each reel or how the symbols are allocated across the reels.
The key takeaway here is to keep your expectations low by gambling on fewer numbers in keno. If your casino doesn’t allow you to play the Pick 1 option then go for Pick 4 and don’t buy more than a few tickets per drawing. The less money you spend on keno the longer it will take you to lose your money.