Let’s say you repeatedly bet $1 on one number. You will lose on average three times and win once. Remember, keno keeps your winning wager. That works out to $4 cost and $3 profit, or 25 percent of your once-through bankroll.
Keno’s house edge doesn’t get much better, and it frequently gets worse. 30 percent is common. That includes the astronomical probability of catching a big combination so the effective edge (without the big win) is even higher.
If you’re betting straight tickets be prepared to lose it all. Every penny. Yes it’s possible to catch three out of three or four out of four, but the odds are against it. Play three spots forty times and you may break even, but you probably won’t.
Write a good way ticket and you’ll see a steady trickle of money coming back, but it will rarely match what you’re spending. The result is similar to roulette. The house edge doesn’t change. The more you spread the risk, the less you will potentially win. And there will always be a number combination that will eventually do you in.
So the price for fun is 30 percent. But what is your once-through bankroll?
The answer to that question is the key to playing keno. The house edge is massive, but the price for fun can still be minuscule. Why? Look at it this way. A bad run at $5 per hand blackjack will have you down $25 in about 2.5 minutes. The same $25 can last two hours when playing keno. That’s one dollar per ticket every five minutes.
How much could you ever win playing blackjack? Compare that to keno. Consider the free drinks, the relaxation factor, and the pleasure of contemplating a big windfall. Put it all together. Many people consider keno a positive expectation experience, if not a positive expectation game.