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Best of John Grochowski

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High Edges

13 February 2020

Games with the lowest house edges give players the best chance to win, but there are winners on high-edge games too. There have to be, or no one would play.

Roger, an Illinois reader, went from exasperation to exultation – or at least to relief – in a January casino excursion in which a high-edge video keno game saved his day after bad runs at low-edge blackjack and video poker.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Roger said. “You don’t know what a reach that was for me. I play almost nothing but blackjack and video poker, but it was one of those frustrating days when nothing worked.

“I started with $500 and was down to $150 after blackjack and video poker. I needed to clear my head and think about what to do for the next couple of hours when I was meeting my wife at a restaurant nearby.”

Roger said he decided to play seven spots on a video keno game available on the same video poker game he’d been playing.

“I NEVER play keno,” he said. “It had probably been 15 years at least. But I decided to slow down and play cheap to extend my time.

“I chose a combination of family birthdays – mine, my wife’s, our two kids’. The combo was 2-8-22-28-30-74-78. You can probably guess, there are a couple of years in there. I bet four quarters, and the machine dinged on six of my numbers. It got every one except 22.

“The payoff was 348 coins per coin wagered, so 1,392 quarters. That’s $348 dollars so it got me almost back to even for the day.”

I asked what Roger did after the comeback. Did he keep playing keno? Did he go back to his usual games?

“First, I breathed a big sigh of relief. Truth be told, I don’t like keno that much, and I wasn’t going to keep playing. I needed to chill for a bit, so I sat down at the snack bar over a cup of coffee.

“When I’d relaxed for a bit, I went to blackjack and had a normal session, just about even.”

How did he wind up at keno? It started with a bad run at blackjack.

“I bought in for $200 and bet the table minimum of $10 a hand,” he said. “My first eight hands were losers, and what broke the streak was a push when the dealer matched my 20. Then I lost another three before I finally won one.

“In 20 minutes or so, my $200 was gone.”

Instead of reaching for his wallet, Roger headed to the video poker area.

Video poker was next. The best game in the house was 9-6 Double Double Bonus on quarters and dollars, with the dollar version having a progressive jackpot.

“I spent $100 on dollars, and it was a disaster,” Roger said. “I was done faster than on blackjack. So I moved to quarters. That started out good with four Kings for $62.50. But then that machine went cold, too, and before you know it, I was down to $50 on the game and $100 in my wallet. I decided to call the session right there.”

With losing sessions at his main games and a dwindling bankroll, Roger was looking just to survive his next couple of hours before meeting his wife. Then video keno saved his day.

“It made for a good story over dinner,” Roger said. “But it didn’t make a keno player out of me. Games with some skill and low edges are the ones I like.”


Look for John Grochowski on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

Winning Tips for Casino Games

> More Books By John Grochowski