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Casino Games Article

Best keno at 5 cents is Cleopatra

February 07, 2012 3:09 AM by Mark Mayer

This week, being overloaded with Super Bowl material, my views here come from many experiences of frustration at slots, video poker and keno.

For me, hitting royals occurs less frequently than being struck by lightning. And since I mostly play penny slots, the big enchilada is always beyond my reach.

So by the natural process of elimination (aka money management), keno becomes the smartest game of choice to throw $20 on. On occasion I was able to hit a 7-of-7 or an 8-of-9, but more often than not it’s $20 and out.

If I am really in a cheap mood, like this past Saturday, I toss $5 into a five-cent machine and play Cleopatra Keno. Now if you are familiar with Cleo, you know there is always the possibility of getting paid 4x and even 10x the value.

I choose, however, to look at the more realistic side, which is you only lose a nickel every time you press spin. I also decided to change strategies by becoming ultra conservative – meaning playing four numbers.

The strategy worked once – all four came up for a profit of some $3. Wow, it’s BK whopper time! Obviously, I was just looking to kill time. This particular strategy is pure lunacy if you are thinking of making a quality hit at the machine.

I happen to like playing Cleo Keno when in a more competitive mood – meaning $20 on 8 numbers. Hitting 3-of-8 will result in a push and that’s really not too bad. It will keep you in the game long enough to land a few 6-of-8s or maybe one 7-of-8 so you can walk away with dinner and drinks money.

The game of choice really is Double Double Bonus poker. Of course we all strive for the royal, but getting at least $65 for a 4-of-a-kind isn’t bad. And, there’s always the chance of four aces and a kicker. My friends hit that far more than I.

I also like the poker game where all 4-of-a-kinds are paid $100. That’s far better than the $35 payoff for Bonus Poker, although the tradeoff between the two games is Two Pair pays 2-for-1 in BP and just 1-for-1 in the other.

Being a sports bettor primarily, I much prefer the chances of winning there. My goal would be to hit six of every 10 bets correctly. But even 50 percent wins sure beats the number of times I’ve lost at those games of chance.

The "luck" games can be entertaining, especially slots. I’ll grant you that. But my New Year’s resolution was to focus more on the Los Angeles Clippers than Wheel of Fortune.

And, I’m sticking to it.


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