School Fundraiser - Keno Lounge

A WebQuest for High School Students

Secondary Mathematics

Designed by:

Peggy Smith Moyer

Introduction | Task | Process |

Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits

Introduction

Funds are tight but the graduating seniors want to have a special senior trip.  In this WebQuest, students will design their own Keno Lounge.  Students will learn the rules for Keno, design payout cards for the game, calculate the return, and prepare props for the lounge.  Students will use probability calculations to determine the return and payout for each game which supports the following NCTM standard:

NCTM Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, Standard 5, Data Analysis and Probability, grades 9-12:  Instructional programs should enable all students to understand and apply basic concepts of probability -

• use simulations to construct empirical probability distributions;
• compute and interpret the expected value of random variables in simple cases;
• understand the concepts of conditional probability and independent events.

The purpose of this project is for high school students to be able to calculate probability for a Keno game.  Students will learn a practical application of a mathematics concept and learn why casinos are so profitable.  Keno is a good choice for this exercise since it is a fairly easy game to understand and model.  Also, it is similar to the games used by many state lotteries.

Students will have completed the probability unit in the textbook before this project is assigned.   When this unit is complete, they will be able to apply probability calculations to other forms of gambling and learn why gambling is such a profitable enterprise.  Students will be able to apply this information to most state lottery games.

This project will make calculating probabilities of numbers more exciting.  Students have heard of several casino games and will enjoy learning how they are played and the chances of being able to win while playing these games.

After this project, students with skills in C++ programming can write modeling simulations of Keno games.  The computer can simulate 1,000 cards of Keno and indicate the profitability of the house or customer.  "The Wizard of Odds" is willing to write this software simulation for a fee for people who are convinced that they have the perfect system for selecting numbers.  The Wizard has promised he will pay \$20,000 to anyone that can find a profitable betting system but he has not paid anyone yet.

The Process

1.  Students will form teams of four for this project for steps 2 and 3.  Steps 4 and 5 will involve the entire class.  Students are NOT to play any internet gambling games during this learning experience - even free games.

2.  Students will learn the rules and history of Keno by accessing these websites:

Keno History  http://www.keno-info.com/keno_history.html

Keno terms  http://www.123keno.com/www/terms.htm

3.  Students will learn how to calculate probabilities of a catch.  Payout rates will be selected and returns calculated.  These websites may be accessed for leaning how to calculate probabilities and returns.  A chart on this Keno Appendix 3 are the probabilities and returns for basic keno at the Atlantic City Tropicana.   Students may want to decrease the return to increase lounge profits for the fundraiser.  Each team will have their own payout sheet and can operate as a separate casino.

Wizard of Odds Keno Where to Play   http://www.thewizardofodds.com/game/keno.html

Wizards of Odds Appendix 3 Payout tables Atlanta Tropicana  http://www.thewizardofodds.com/game/kenoapx3.html

4.  Students need to construct a Keno form and make copies.  Students need to make number balls or blocks labeled 1-80.

5.  Students may want to serve "mocktails" and snacks during the Keno game as an additional fundraiser.

6.  Parents and friends are invited for an evening of fun at the "Keno Lounge."

Evaluation

Students will conduct the "Keno Lounge" on a Friday evening.  Monopoly style money will be used in place of real money to start each customer with \$200.  Each team or casino will operate a ticket window for each round and will use their own payout charts they constructed as a team.  To reduce confusion, a single ball machine will be used and numbers will be generated at regular intervals.  At the end of the evening, customers and casinos will calculate their wins and losses.  Casinos with the lower returns should generate more revenue.

In class the following Monday, the teacher and students will discuss the profits and losses of the casinos and customers.  Students will write a one-page essay comparing actual results with their hypothesis.

Conclusion

In this project, students learned how to calculate probabilities and returns for Keno cards.  Students should have learned why casinos are profitable and why there is risk in simple gambling games.  Students can read the following site for warnings about the realities of gambling:

Ten commandments of gambling  http://www.thewizardofodds.com/game/tencom.html

Credits & References

Hallyburton, J. (1998). Frequently asked questions about Keno.  Retrieved March 24, 2003, from http://www.conjelco.com/faq/keno.html

Keno Info.com. (2003). Keno history. Retrieved March 24, 2003, from http://www.keno-info.com/keno_history.html

1 2 3 Keno. (n. d.). Terms.  Retrieved March 24, 2003, from http://www.123keno.com/www/terms.htm

Wizard of Odds. (2002).  Keno appendix 3. Retrieved March 24, 2003, from http://www.thewizardofodds.com/game/kenoapx3.html

Wizard of Odds. (2002).  The ten commandments of gambling. Retrieved March 24, 2003, from http://www.thewizardofodds.com/game/tencom.html

Wizard of Odds. (2002).  Keno where to play. Retrieved March 24, 2003, from  http://www.thewizardofodds.com/game/keno.html