Although you state it is a terrific bet, I generally
do not make a pass line wager on a crap game. Instead,
I prefer betting specific individual numbers. The
crap table offers different opportunities: A buy bet,
a Place bet, and a Lay bet. Of these three bets on
a crap game, which do you recommend? Scott H.
Among the wagers you
mentioned, Buy, Place, and Lay, one is respectable
(Laying the 4 or 10), one is your checkmate play,
(Placing the 6 or 8), and all the rest are sometimes
called tired trotters. Let¹s poke about a bit,
Scott, and scrutinize them one by one. Gitty up!
Place Bet: Place betting involves just six
numbers on a crap table: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10, and
curiously enough, offers the best and some of the
worst bets there are. At any time during a roll, you
can pick one of these six numbers and bet that it
will appear before a 7. If it does, you receive a
payoff that is slightly less than the true odds.
example, the true odds are 2-to-1 that a 4 or 10 will
appear before a 7. Yet, if you win a place bet on the
4 or 10, you will only be paid off at 9-to-5. This works
out to a house edge of 6.67%.
If you were to place the 5 or 9, you would reduce the
casino advantage to 4.0%. Better, yes, but that checkmate
play, placing the 6 or 8, is the cat¹s meow. The
true odds are 6-to-5 that either the 6 or 8 will appear
before a 7. The casino will pay you off at 7-to-6, which
works out to a casino advantage of 1.52%.
As you can see, Scott,
the place bet on the 6 or 8 gives the casino its lowest
edge among all the bets you mention, making it one
of the best bets you will find on the crap table,
Top Dog, you might say. And now for the also-rans:
Buy Bet: A buy bet is essentially the same
as a place bet except you that pay a commission of
5% on the amount of your wager. If you win, the casino
will pay you at the true odds, but stare at that 5%
commission until wisdom sets in. For the best deal
on a buy bet, you would need to wager at least $20.
Why so steep when a Place bet can be had for $5? Because
the minimum commission the casino will charge you
for making a Buy wager is a buck which happens to
be 5% of $20, but a higher percentage of lesser wagers.
The casino edge on any Buy bet for $20 works out to
Lay Bet: A lay bet is the polar opposite of
a Place bet or a Buy wager. With a Lay bet you are
betting with the house and against fellow sports in
the game and hoping that a 7 appears before a point
number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10).
Lay bets are paid off at true odds like Buy bets.
But you must also shell out for that 5% commission;
it¹s figured on the amount that you will win
rather than on the amount you are betting. Again,
when making a Lay bet you should always remember the
minimum payoff of $20, because 5% of $20 is $1, and
that¹s the casino¹s minimum charge.
For the 5 and 9 you will have to Lay $30 to win $20.
Here, the casino edge is 3.23%. For the 6 and 8 you
will have to lay $24 to win $20. The casino edge on
that bet is 4.00%. And for that respectable wager
I mentioned, Laying the 4 and 10, you¹ll have
to lay $40 to win $20 to get the house edge down to
Gambling thought of
the week: "While the high roller is fawned
over in a sickening manner, the low roller must grovel
to get a few crumbs." Frank Scoblete, Guerrilla