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Recently, Stuart S. emailed me with this question:

My wife and I are Keno players almost exclusively. We play mostly on the Game King machines. I like most of the games … Keno, 4card, 3-6-9, Caveman, wild ball  etc but my wife plays mostly Caveman. We were told years ago that the machine will pick 20 numbers at random and then compare the hits to your numbers for the payout. (like live keno) There seems to have been a change in the software in the past year where they tend to act more like a slot machine…i.e.: the RNG picks a number which corresponds to a result and the machine goes through the show and pays accordingly… We say this because of the drastic difference in the payouts lately. We have not changed our style or denominations or number of coins played; we always play 1 quarter per game and generally play 7 numbers on one vertical line. We play almost every day for a couple of hours so there are a lot of spins per session, it seems we would notice changes as apparent as the ones we have noticed lately. We used to see 6 out of 7 X 4 a few times a week for the first year or two which kept us playing and quite often resulted in a profit but lately there have been no hits like this(for us or anyone in the row of 6 machines)… Even the newbies have noted a difference. I know the theory of randomness dictates hot and cold streaks but this is more than a streak; it is a normal occurrence now.  I hope they are still a ping pong ball like draw of 20 but we are very unsure that this is still happening. Any comments….. Thanks… Stu and Helen

PS… I do keep records of win- loss daily and have done so for a few years. There is a monatary difference without any change in play style. Still love the game though!!!!

Thanks for writing in with your question, Stu.

What you were told years ago about how the video Keno games work is fairly accurate and is still true today. The video game is an electronic version of the live game. Here’s a more technical breakdown of how video Keno works:

First, the RNG doesn’t ‘pick’ numbers as you suggested. The RNG’s sole function is to generate a constant stream of random numbers, hence it’s name: Random Number Generator. That’s all it does, constantly. Think of it as the glass ball in a live Keno game with little white balls swirling around inside. It doesn’t even know its generating numbers for Keno!

Next, the game program requests 20 numbers (ranging from 1 – 80) from the RNG. It does some checking to ensure there are no duplications and displays these numbers on screen. While displaying the outcome, the program notes any “hits” on your selected numbers. If you have enough hits, the program determines how much to pay you. Game over. Next game please.

The RNG and game program do not determine whether you will win on the next game or not. They simply perform the functions listed above and display the outcome of each game. If you win, it pays the appropriate amount and waits to start the next game. If you don’t win, it waits to start the next game.

Hope this answers your question. Have fun.


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