An important concept in any type of gambling is money management. Many gambling theorists consider it the most important component. Broadly speaking, you can win a lot of bets and end up ‘in the red’ due to poor money management. On the other hand, you can grind out profits–or at least minimize losses–during substandard runs by managing your stakes and bets effectively.

Many components of strategy in all casino games are at their essence money management decisions. For example, most beginning slot machine and video poker players quickly learn that you should be playing max coins. If your bankroll is not sufficient to play max coins you’re better off stepping down to a lower denomination where you can play max coins than you are playing less than max stakes on a higher denomination machine.

Video keno is no different in that money management including choice of stake is extremely important. What many people don’t know, however, is that the house odds at video keno are inextricably linked with not only choice of stake but how many ‘spots’ you choose to play. Although the specific rules vary from game to game the same mantra applies: always play max stakes. That way you’ll always get the maximum return when your numbers hit.


Many inexperienced keno players think the number of spots to play is a simple function of betting style and personal preference. Depending on the game, the player can pick 2 to 10 different numbers or 1 to 15 different numbers. The more numbers you pick, the greater your potential jackpot. The fewer numbers, the more likely you are to get some type of payout. Some players like to ‘swing for the fences’ by picking a lot of numbers looking for a big score, others try to maximize their playing time by choosing their numbers more deliberately.

Here’s what many people don’t know–the ‘house edge’ and thus the potential return to player varies due to the number of spots you select. Further complicating this concept–the respective ROI and the correct strategy varies depending on the game’s specific pay table.

Making it even more difficult to provide any type of general ‘rule of thumb’–the correct number of picks for the most favorable odds varies widely from one pay table to another. For example, looking at five different pay tables found on video keno machines the correct number of spots to play is 2,2,5,7 or 12.

In future articles, we’ll look in depth at specific strategies for individual pay tables. For now, the important takeaway is to just be aware that the number of spots you play has more significance than personal preference or betting style.