Revitalizing Keno: A Call for Pattern-Based Proposition Bets

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Christopher Michael Ingrassia


Keno is a renowned game of chance offered by both lotteries and casinos throughout the world.  The premise of the game is simple: a set of numbers is drawn at random and players are paid for selecting all or most of those numbers in advance.  The mathematical foundation governing the odds and payouts for these basic wagers is elementary.  More sophisticated bets, however, have associated probabilities which cannot be easily calculated by applying a manageable series of formulas.  As a result, keno’s wagering menu has remained stagnant since the game’s widespread inception.  Namely, proposition bets, now commonplace in virtually every other form of gaming, have never been developed for keno to any large degree.  This is both unfortunate and surprising because keno is ideally suited for such an expansion.  Unlike most other lottery-style games, keno highlights all drawn numbers on a rectangular grid, creating random visual patterns at the conclusion of each drawing.  Creative new wagers based on these patterns are rigorously derived herein.  These new additions should greatly enhance the game for both gamblers and enterprising gaming operators alike.

Article Details

Author Biography

Christopher Michael Ingrassia, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science Kingsborough Community College of the City of New York

Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Mathematics and Computer ScienceKingsborough Community College of the City of New York


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