Buy bets to the max!

October 22, 2007 3:42 AM


As you know, when you place a bet you do not get the true odds of the number. For example, if you place the four (or ten) for $10 and win, you’ll receive $18 at 9-5 instead of $20 at the true odds of 2-1.

But let’s see how the pros maximize their buy and lay bets.

Experienced players get true odds on place bet numbers, but they have to pay the casino a small commission to get it. This is called a "buy" bet and you have to pay a 5% commission (or "vig") to get it.

For example, to get 2-1 odds on your $20 bet on the four (or ten), you have to pay $1. This means that you win $19 ($20 minus $1) at 2-1 instead of $18 at 9-5.

Not worth the trouble, you say? Well, what if your bet was $25. Then, you would receive $49 ($50 minus $3) instead of $45, $4 more, which looks a lot better in your chip tray than the casino’s. A buy bet presents a definite advantage if you would normally place a bet on the four or ten.

Not so, unfortunately, with the other place numbers. If you were to place a bet on the five (or nine) for $20 you would receive 7-5 odds or $28. If you bought the same bet you would receive 3-2 odds and $29 ($30 minus $1). And if you placed the six or eight for $18 you would receive $21, but if you bought the same bet you would receive $20, $1 less than the place bet itself.

The casino vig on buy bets is lower on the four and ten than place bets, but it is actually higher on the six and eight, as the following chart illustrates for $20 bets.

Number Place vig Buy vig
6 or 8 1.5 4.7
5 or 9 4.0 4.7
4 or 10 6.7 4.7

As you can see, it is to your advantage to place the 5, 6, 8 or 9, but you should always buy the 4 or 10 if your bet is $20 or more.

If your 4 or 10 bet is lower than $20, the casino will still charge the minimum 5% vig, or $1, which makes this an unprofitable bet.

If you bet more than $20 on the five or nine, you may have a slight advantage by buying these numbers. A $30 place bet on the five or nine will pay $42 at 7-5 odds. If you buy the five or nine for $30 you’ll win $44 ($45 minus $1) at 3-2 odds.

The opposite of a buy bet is a lay bet. If you are primarily a "don’t" bettor, you can use lay odds to choose a number to bet against without going through the don’t come box. However, you have to pay the 5% vig on the amount of the payoff.

The odds for lay bets (and don’t bets in general) are the opposite from the buy or right side bets. For example, if you bought the four or ten for $20 you would get 2-1 odds, or $40. If you laid the four or ten you would get 1-2 odds, or $10.

The good thing about this is that your 5% vig is calculated on your winnings, not your bet. So, if you laid the four (or ten) for $40, it would have a payoff of $20. The 5% is figured on the $20, resulting in only a $1 vig.

So, next time you want to bet on the four or ten, give the buy or lay bet a try.