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Place, buy and lay bets in craps

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Craps layout Standard layout for craps (without Big 6/8)

Players can place or buy individual numbers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10) by placing their wager in the come area and telling the dealer, “place the 6” or “buy the 8”. Both are bets that the number will be rolled before a 7. Place bets are paid at odds slightly worse than true odds for the 6 or 8, but significantly worse for the 4, 5, 9 or 10.

Buying the number results in a payoff at the true odds, but requires a 5% commission to be paid to the casino. Traditionally, the buy bet commission is paid no matter what, but in recent years a number of casinos have changed their policy to charge the commission only when the buy bet wins. This change significantly reduces the house advantage, especially on the 4 and 10, where the effective advantage is reduced by two-thirds because the bet wins one third of the time; this reduces the house advantage to 1.67%, making the buy-4 or buy-10 one of the game’s better bets. This policy is in effect at most casinos in Mississippi, and an increasing number in Las Vegas.

The commission is paid at the rate of a $1 chip for every $20 wagered, but casinos usually charge only $1 for a $25 green-chip bet, or $2 for $50 (two green chips), reducing the house advantage a bit more. Where commission is charged only on wins, the commission is sometimes deducted from the winning payoff — a winning $25 buy bet on the 10 would pay $49, for instance.

A lay bet is the opposite of a buy bet, where a player bets on a 7 to roll before the number that is “laid.” Bets are made in increments of $24 when laying the 6 or 8, $30 when laying the 5 or 9, and $40 when laying the 4 or 10; a $1 commission is charged for each of these increments. Again, the tradition is to charge this commission win or lose, but casinos may opt to charge it only when the bet wins; this is less of an advantage for the player, since the bet wins more often than it loses. Most lay bets are on the 4 or 10.

Number Place Payoff Buy Payoff Lay Payoff
6 or 8 7-6 6-5 5-6
5 or 9 7-5 3-2 2-3
4 or 10 9-5 2-1 1-2

Examples of basic play

  • Example 1:

Let’s say you put $10 on the pass line. On your come-out roll you get an 11, so you win $10. The game now starts over, with a new come-out roll. You roll a 9, which becomes the point. You decide to bet $10 on the come line before your next roll. On your next roll you get a 6, which is now the point you need to hit in order to win your $10 come bet. Your next roll is a 9, which is the point you needed to hit to win your pass line bet, meaning you just won another $10. You bet $10 on the pass line again, and your new come-out roll is a 7. You win $10 for your pass line bet, but lost the $10 you had previously bet on the come line.

  • Example 2:

This time you decide to bet on the don’t pass line. You roll a 4, which becomes the point. You bet $10 on the don’t come line, and your next roll is a 7. You lose your don’t come bet, and win your don’t pass bet, so you just broke even. Since you just sevened-out, the player to your left becomes the new shooter.

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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