Get a grip on ‘lay’ bets

Mar 13, 2005 11:00 PM

"Lay" bets have always held a certain amount of fascination for most crapshooters, because it is so good that the house makes you pay an extra charge just to use it! You are charged a "vig" of 5 percent of the winnings whenever you lay the 4, 5, 6 ,8, 9, 10.

But if these lay bets are so good, why isn’t everyone making them instead of betting on the don’t come or the don’t pass?

Let’s find out!

On the "don’t" side you have the advantage after the come out, so you always have to bet more to get less. The lay bet does offer true odds so if you lay the 4 or 10, you bet $40 to get $20. If you lay the 6 or 8 you bet $30 to get $25, and if you lay the 5 or 9, you bet $30 to get $20. The big advantage of the lay bet, of course, is that you can make it at any time, and remove it at any time. Your "don’t come" or "don’t pass" must stay up until it wins or loses.

The casino advantage for the lay bet is 2.4 percent (for the 4 or 10), 3.2 percent (for the 5 or 9), and 4.1 percent (for the 6 or 8). This is, of course, is higher than the vig on the don’t pass or don’t come, which is approximately 1.4 percent. But there is a rarely used method that professional crapshooters use to decrease the vig on the 4 or 10 lay bet to make it much more profitable!

If you want to lay $40 against the 4 or 10, for example, you would pay 5 percent of $25 which is $1.25. Casinos don’t deal in change, so most will just round it down so you only have to pay $1. Of course, if you lay $80, you win $40 and 5 percent of $40 is $2.

But if you lay the 4 (or 10) for $60, you win $30, so the vig is $1.50. Now, it is your job to ask the friendly dealer if you can still only pay $1 vig. And if the casino only charges that vig when you win, this bet becomes even more profitable!

If you want to take this bet one step further, let’s look at paying $2 instead of $1 for the vig. This 5 percent commission switches from $2 (5 percent of $80 bet and $40 win) to $3 (5 percent of $120 bet and $60 win). So the midpoint is a $100 bet, a $50 win, and a $2.50 vig. The best time to lay this high-powered bet is right after either the four (or ten) has rolled. You are now betting that the seven will roll before the four (or ten) will roll a second time --”” a fairly good bet! For insurance, you might try two red chips on the corresponding hard way. This way, if by some chance the 4 or 10 does roll, you’re partially protected by your hard way hedge bet. If the hard 4 (or 10) rolls, you lose your $100 but win $70, so the only way you can really lose is if the soft number rolls.

Although laying the 4 and 10 is the most advantageous lay bet, you can also lay the 5 and 9 in the same manner. Normally you would lay $30 to get $20 and pay a $1 vig (5 percent of $20). Ask the friendly dealer if you can lay the five (or nine) for $42 and only pay $1 vig. Your payoff would be $28 and 5 percent of $28 is $1.40, so if the casino rounds it down to $1, you’ve got another good deal on your hands!

Remember, you can ask the friendly dealer anytime if you can lay the 4 (or 10) for $60 and only pay $1 vig. You have nothing to lose by giving this a try!

So, if you’ve wondered whether lay bets could be profitable bets, now you know!

And, as always, good luck at the tables!