Video Keno Analysis
• Improve your video gaming experience
• Identify the best payout machines
• FREE Download of Dr Keno analysis software
• Features interactive play for some of today's hottest video games
like IGT's Caveman Keno and Cleopatra Keno *
Percentage Return: What does it mean?
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We have all seen the claims, like "Our Machines Return 97% !", or something similar. What does that mean exactly, in a practical sense. It means that on average, a player (let's call him "Joe") putting $100 in a machine can expect to get $97 in return. Playing the remaining $97, Joe will on average be left with 0.97 × $97 or $94.09. If Joe were to continue in this fashion, he could expect to eventually lose virtually all of his starting bankroll of $100. And if we keep track of the total amount Joe has wagered in this process, we would expect to find that he has put a total of $3,333 into the machines. This is simply computed as $100 / ( 1 - 0.97). You can see a proof of this result here.
Joe Plays Video Keno
Joe is a smart guy. If this exact same losing result occurred every time he played, it wouldn't be too long before he decided that casino gambling wasn't much fun. But this is not Joe's actual experience. Occasionally--perhaps even frequently--he comes home a winner. How is that possible with odds clearly in favor of the casino? The operative words are "on average." Casinos bank (literally) on those two words. A few thousand players who put a combined $1 million into the machines at our fictional casino will usually net the casino about $30,000 gross profit from the gaming. Most of the players will be net losers, but a few will go home with more than they started. It is Joe's hope that he will be among the winners!
Playing Smart !
Most casino video keno games return between 85% and 95% to the player. It wouldn't be unusual to find games on two machines in the same casino, or even within a single multi-game machine, that yield that great a variance in payout. How important is the percentage difference? Considering our "average" play, we find that with an 85% return, Joe can wager a total of $667, or 667 plays of $1 each, before losing $100. If he had chosen a 95% machine, Joe could expect to make 2,000 plays before losing his bankroll. That is three times as many plays as before; or three times as long and three times as many chances to maybe win a jackpot and go home a winner.
Which Video Keno Game Should I Play?
There are a lot of choices: standard video keno, Power Keno, Cleopatra Keno, Caveman Keno (including the Caveman Keno Plus version) and many more.
It would be great if casinos were in the habit of displaying the theoretical percentage payout for each video game before you place your first bet. Unfortunately, they do not. What you generally can find is a payout table. For video keno, there is a "pick" vs. "catch" table that will tell you what you win if, for example, you "pick" seven numbers and "catch" 5 of them in a game. Because we can assume that a particular number ball that is drawn is no more or less likely than any other, the payout table plus description of bonus provisions, if any, provide all the information needed to compute the game's percentage return. The math is not too complicated, except for some of the bonus games such as IGT's Cleopatra Keno and Caveman Keno. You can find explanations of the math as well as some keno pay calculators on the internet by entering "keno payout" in your favorite search engine.
What About 3-Reel Slots?
Can you use the same approach to calculate the percentage return for any common 3-reel or 5-reel slot machine? In a word, NO. You will find a payout table that will show how many credits you win with, for example, three "bars" or two "cherries". And because, typically, each reel has 22 possible positions with half of them displaying a symbol and the other half blank, it would seem that one could compute the probability of hitting any combination of symbols fairly readily. But you cannot. While one might believe that each of the 22 positions on each reel is equally likely to appear, it is simply not the case. The interested reader can find an excellent description of how 3-reel slot machines actually work here. But for our discussion, it is sufficient to state that the payout table does not provide enough information to calculate the percentage return for a 3-reel or 5-reel slot machine.
Dr Keno's Rx
Dr Keno is an in-depth assessment tool designed to help both the casual and serious keno player improve his or her video keno playing experience. Why is this important? Simply because there is great variation in the expected payout among different games and different machines. Most players understand that a basic video keno game will have a different payout than one of the newer bonus games, such as IGT's Caveman Keno or Cleopatra Keno, but many are unaware that payouts for the same game will vary between casinos. Finally, multi-denominational machines will have different pay tables within a single game. For example, playing with 25 cent credits will pay improved odds over playing nickels.
The Dr Keno software from Sky Scientific provides the video keno player with a sophisticated but easy-to-use tool to help identify the games that offer the best percentage returns, taking into account even the smallest variations in the payout tables that the player will invariably encounter. The basis for this tool is a mathematical analysis tool known as Monte Carlo Simulation .
Dr Keno allows you to choose among several popular Keno games and match the pay table to an actual casino video game that you wish to play (You can print and use this form to record the pay table from the casino Keno game). Then command your computer workstation to play and tabulate results for up to one billion random plays of the game. As the number of games in the simulation is increased, the tabulated payout percentage begins to converge to the theoretical payout percentage that the game will deliver in actual casino play. The figure below shows the screen display after running a ten million play Cleopatra Keno simulation with seven numbers picked and 25-cent credits:
Payout percentages are clearly important in any gaming situation, but in actual experience, what is important are your gaming results after one or more sessions of play. Here is where Dr Keno provides additional invaluable information to the player.
After each simulation, Dr Keno presents session results for up to 100,000 sessions of play where play for each session of 100 games is initiated with 100 credits. Typical results are shown below:
Advanced users may wish to make the most of the data available within Dr Keno and see a complete distribution of session results as shown in the figure below:
Why Session Results Are Important
Here is an example demonstrating the value of the Session Results feature of the Dr Keno software: Suppose you have a choice between two games. The first game is the Cleopatra Keno version as shown in the example above which returned 93.26%. Your second choice is a "custom" keno game which promises a 100% return. One would expect a prudent player to choose the game delivering a 100% return. But is that really the "best" choice? Maybe not.
Let's define our theoretical 100% return custom keno game as follows: The player must pick ten numbers and is paid only if all ten numbers are caught. So the paytable for Pick 10 would show zero payoff for 1 through 9 numbers caught and a very large payoff for catching 10 out of 10. How large must that payoff be to yield an overall 100% return? It is equal to the odds of catching 10 out of 10, about 8,911,700 to 1. Summarizing, the player lucky enough to catch 10 will win $8,911,700 with a $1 bet.
Let's call this custom keno game "Catch All 100%" and run a simulation of 10 million plays to compare it with the Cleopatra 25 results. In one such simulation, we found that all ten picks were caught only one time in 10 million plays. The summary statistics are shown below.
Note that for this simulation run, the percentage return was 89.12%. Why wasn't it closer to 100%, as promised? With a low number of winning games and a high payoff per win, the percent return can be expected to vary considerably from one simulation to the next. For example, if there had been one more winning game (two instead of one) the final percent return would have risen to 178.23%. One could expect a result closer to the theoretical 100% return if a greater number of games were played in the simulation. The Dr Keno software permits simulation runs of up to one billion games.
Now let's review some of the session results (each session starts with 100 credits):
● Percentage of Losing Sessions: 100.0% (actually 99.99999%)
● Most Likely End of Session Outcome: Lose 100 credits.
What conclusion can be drawn from the above? While our custom game will indeed generate a theoretical 100% return, playing such a game in a casino would prove to be frustrating indeed! A lucky winner can be expected only once in 8,911,710 plays. At ten seconds per game, it would require nearly 3 years of continuous play―twenty-four hours per day, seven days each week―before one should expect the big win.
So which of the two games would you choose to play? Although this is an extreme example, it proves the point that percent return shouldn't be the one-and-only consideration when evaluating a casino game to play. The session statistics feature included in the Dr Keno software provides you with valuable additional information to facilitate your evaluation.
Does your computer run on a version of Microsoft Windows®? If so, you can download and install the free evaluation version of Sky Scientific's Dr Keno play and analysis software and have it running in minutes:
- Click the "Download Now" button below
- Select "Run" or "Save". If you select "Save," wait until the download (3.9 MB) is complete, then run the installation file, DrKeno26.exe.
- Follow on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
- If you are unable to download the file or if you have trouble with the installation after downloading, click here.
Want more Details?
If you have already downloaded and installed the free Evaluation Version of Dr Keno . . .
We believe that after spending a short time with our free software, you will find it to be invaluable in maximizing your casino gaming experience as well as providing hours of enjoyable entertainment. We have made the Dr Keno download available to you free of charge so that you may make an intelligent, risk-free evaluation of the software.
If your experience running and evaluating the software has proved favorable, click below for information on how to transform your installed evaluation version of Dr Keno into the licensed version of our software!
If you have previously ordered an Activation Key for Dr Keno, you are already a licensed user and are eligible to order additional activation keys for friends and family or for another computer for yourself at much reduced price. Order Additional Keys Here and reorder as often as you wish!
Copyright © 2009-2016 Sky Scientific
* The Dr Keno computer program includes simulations of named video games, including "Caveman Keno", "Caveman Keno Plus", "Power Keno" and "Cleopatra Keno", that are are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Game Technology or its licensors in the US and/or other countries.