Las Vegas Gambling Tips – Video Keno – Part Three (Continued)

Las Vegas Gambling Tips – Video Keno – Part Three (Continued)

Las Vegas Gambling Tips: Video Keno – Part Three (Continued)

On The Town With Vegas Vic
By: Victor H. Royer

Welcome to Las Vegas! My name is Victor H. Royer, but everyone just calls me Vegas Vic. I was named after that famous neon sign in Downtown Las Vegas, that cowboy with the hat on top of the Pioneer Club, always waving his hand and beckoning to his long love, Sassy Sally, on the other side of the street. I will be writing a few articles for, so I hope you enjoy them.

This article is continued from Video Keno – Part Three

Video Keno – Part Three (Continued)

The point is — as it applies to Video Keno — that while many of the payback percentages for Video Keno games are in the “bad” category, when viewed statistically, this is useful only as a guideline, and should be treated as such, and not as the “ogre of bad tidings” that many gambling experts seem to suggest, pointing to them as “lousy games”. Being a statistically “lousy” game is not the domain of Video Keno only. All casino games can easily fall into this category, even those that are — or can become — player positive expectation games. If we are playing a machine game that can pay back over 100% if played correctly, this still doesn’t mean that we will always, each time, get back more than 100% of the money we play in it. If we are playing a table game where we can expect a positive payback percentage because of skill, this doesn’t mean that it will always so happen. Even games considered “good” by the math experts don’t always pay, and even those who are skilled players of positive-expectation skill-based games don’t always win. A good payback percentage is better than something lower because this payback percentage is a good guide and shows the potential for greater hit frequency and greater pays, requiring an overall lower bankroll. However, this doesn’t mean that a game whose payback percentage is slightly lower should automatically be excluded from your game selection mix.

Some Video Keno games pay back as low as 90%, and sometimes lower. Is this “bad”? Well, how do we consider it? There are Video Keno games that pay back 94%, and better. Is that “good”? Well, how do we consider that? Quarter reel slots pay back around 88%, and can sometimes pay back as low as 75%. Dollar reel slots usually pay back around 94.7%, and many pay back around 98%, with some even paying back 99%. Is that “good”? Comparatively speaking, as a guideline, absolutely, yes, it is very useful. I would be more than likely to play a machine that I knew had a 98% payback potential than a machine with only an 88% payback potential. But that’s also an arbitrary decision, however intelligently made. There are many other factors involved here, most of which cannot be so neatly quantified in the math.

What kind of a machine, where is it, and how well can you play it? Well, on reel slots, I’d always go for the most visible slot island, and play the best payback percentage machine I can find. This makes sense because my profitability is enhanced by my knowledge of these factors (see my Slots book for details). But what about Video Keno? This game is not the same as the reel slots, and it is not the same as video poker, and not the same as any other game. It is incredibly different. Since there are so many possibilities in Video Keno, a machine that may have a really “bad” payback percentage — perhaps as compared to other machines, such as the reel machines with a 98% payback percentage — it can actually yield better financial results and “pays”, and more often. On the reel slots, all you have at your disposal are the combinations as preprogrammed. In Video Keno, however, you have an 80 number total pool, out of which you can select from 1 to 10 numbers to match the picks, and the machine picks 20 new numbers each game for you to match. While the overall math may indicate long odds, the fact remains that you can select numbers and number combinations based on several recurring factors. You see, what the mathematics cannot quantify is the human ability to play by patterns.

All Video Keno games are fairly simple to play, at least initially. There are, however, many differences in the games themselves, how they play and pay, and their pays, payoffs, and payback percentages. Before you select which game you wish to play, you should always consider the fun-and-win factors. Which is your primary goal? Is it to be entertained, or to make a profit? Although neither necessarily exclude the other, in Video Keno some games are a little more fun, while others are a little more profitable. Creating a balance among these games can be difficult. Fortunately there are many different Video Keno games available in the IGT Game King series of multi-game and multi-denominational machines that provide such a balance. I begin with Cleopatra Keno, an Egyptian-themed game resembling the very popular Cleopatra video slot game, also from IGT.

We will continue this discussion in the next column.

Victor H. Royer, known as Vegas Vic, is the author of 42 books. Mostly known for books, articles, and columns on casino games and gambling, he is also the author of New Casino Slots, Great Gamblers: True Stories and Amazing Facts, The Great American Joke Book, as well as his works of Fiction, which include: Another Day, and the Western: Riders on the Wind. Versatile and multitalented, Royer is the creator, producer, and host of the Web-TV show Great Casino Slots, now showing at He also composes music and performs under the names Glenn Diamond, Pappy Jones, Hans Dorfmann, and Miguel Armandaiz. For more information, please visit him at and Sign up for the Insider Advantage Newsletter at:

His books can be ordered through this website, by following the links provided

(c) Copyright 2016 Victor H. Royer. All rights reserved. For syndication purposes, contact GSR Holdings Inc. at: [email protected]

Return To Las Vegas Gambling Tips