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Keno and Lotto Compared
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Colin F
Lotto Systems Tester Creator & Analyst
Lotto Systems Tester Creator & Analyst
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Quote Colin F Replybullet Topic: Lotto and Keno Odds, Prizes & Methods Compared
    Posted: August 21 2011 at 8:36pm
Lotto and Keno Odds, Prizes and Methods Compared
by Colin Fairbrother

Keno is basically a game similar to Lotto where typically 20 integers are randomly picked from 80 per draw and you can decide which integers you would like to play. Unlike Lotto the size of the line you play for a particular game is not fixed. You can play lines that vary from 1 integer up to usually 15 but some operators allow 20.

What applies to Lotto in terms of Wheeling or being disadvantaged by playing less than the maximum number of integers your lines will allow is equally applicable to Keno. If you are playing lines of length 8 or Spot 8 then there is no better way of playing 10 lines other than the following template which of course you randomize.

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08
09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32
33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48
49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56
57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64
65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72
73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80

The above set has no duplicate integers and therefor no duplicate combinations of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. Each line has 28, 56, 70, 56 and 28 distinct combinations for respectively 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 integers. There are 700 combinations of 4 integers to pitch against the possible 1,581,580 of which 4845 are in the draw of 20 integers. The coverage of the Comb Twos, Comb Threes, Comb Fours, Comb Fives and Comb Sixes for 10 lines cannot be improved on.

You could also randomize the following 16 lines of Spot 5:

01 02 03 04 05
06 07 08 09 10
11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30
31 32 33 34 35
36 37 38 39 40
41 42 43 44 45
46 47 48 49 50
51 52 53 54 55
56 57 58 59 60
61 62 63 64 65
66 67 68 69 70
71 72 73 74 75
76 77 78 79 80

 - or 8 lines of Spot 10

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70
71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80

The easiest way to play these sets is by using cmnination bets or its equivalent as described in the How to Play Keno New South Wales Playing Guide

Basically, you use a distinct letter for each line  - so, for the numbers on the entry form for the first line instead of marking a X you use A. For the second line you use B etc.


The odds in Keno can be easily worked out by applying the following formula:

Combinations of Match in Spot x Combinations of (Drawn - Match) in (Pool - Spot) / Combinations of Drawn in Pool

For a Match 4 in a Spot 8 line applying the formula: -

8c4 x (80-8)c(20-4) / 80c20

ie 70 x 72c16 / 80c20

ie 70 x 4116305022165110 / 3535316142212180000

to give a probability of 0.081504 or odds of 1 in 12

Spot 1
Playing 80 lines each with a distinct integer for the same draw in Keno gives a totally predictable and consistent result. You pay $80.00 for 80 lines and  always get 20 correct so your return is (20x3)/80 x 100 = 75%. You can have a guaranteed prize of $3.00 by playing 61 lines each with a distinct integer and still get up to 20 correct for a respective return of as low as 5% to a high of 98%. (The notion that Lotto players were interested in getting a guaranteed prize, no matter how small, in every draw for an exorbitant number of plays was promoted by con-artists and even academics during the 90's and onwards until totally debunked by yours truly in articles on this site.)

Playing just 1 line you should average 1 win for every 4 draws but it is still possible to go as many as 52 draws without a win.

Realistically, you should not play a large number of lines for Spot 1 as there is no chance for a significant prize. By contrast playing the Spot 8 or Spot 10 sets above you have maximized your chances of a prize and also you have a remote chance of a $80,000 win for Spot 8 and a very remote chance of a million dollar prize or more for Spot 10, which is what Keno or Lotto is about.

Spot 5

Playing one 5 Spot line in Keno you have the following odds and Prizes for Australian NSW Keno at clubs and pubs: -
 Match           Probability      Odds                Prize    
     3            0.08395         1 in 11             $2.00
     4            0.012092       1 in 82           $14.00
     5            0.000645       1 in 1550      $640.00

Playing around 832 random lines or better still 52 draws with the 16 line set costing around $832 you can typically expect to get about $292.00 back or a return of 35% of that wagered. Playing Intralot your return is only around the 24% mark.

Spot 8
Playing one 8 Spot line in Keno you have the following odds and Prizes for Australian NSW Keno at clubs and pubs: -
 Match           Probability         Odds                Prize    
     4              0.081504        1 in 12              $2.00
     5              0.018303        1 in 54              $7.00
     6              0.002367        1 in 422            $60.00
     7              0.000160        1 in 6,232         $675.00
     8              0.000004        1 in 230,114      Up to $80K

Playing around 830 random lines or better still 83 draws with the 10 line set costing around $830 you can typically expect to get about $363.00 back or a return of 44% of that wagered. Playing Intralot your return is only around the 28% mark.

Spot 10
Playing one 10 Spot line in Keno you have the following odds and Prizes for Australian NSW Keno at clubs and pubs: -
 Match           Probability       Odds                             Prize    
     4              0.147319      1 in 6                             $1.00
     5              0.051428      1 in 19                            $2.00
     6              0.011479      1 in 87                            $6.00
     7              0.001611      1 in 620                        $50.00
     8              0.000135      1 in 7,384                    $580.00
     9              0.000006      1 in 163,381            $10,000.00
   10              0.0000001    1 in 8,911,711         $1m to $5m

Playing around 832 random lines or better still 104 draws with the 8 line set costing around $832 you can typically expect to get about $337.00 back or a return of 41% of that wagered. Playing Intralot your return is only around the 16% mark.

The important point is that if you play distorted sets with excessive repeats as in silly wheels based on much less than the pool of 80 you can expect to win less often.

Colin Fairbrother
Lotto Draws have no relationship to one another; the integers serve just as identifiers. Any prediction calculation on one history of draws for a same type game is just as irrelevant as another.
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