‘Lay’ bets can be your best bets!

May 13, 2003 6:10 AM

I couldn’t begin to count how many times, after I have caught a player "past posting" (trying to bet on the don’t pass when there is a point for the pass line), I hear the player ask; "Well, how can I bet the shooter won’t make his point?"

The answer is: make a "lay bet." Players can bet against the point or any of the other five numbers anytime by making a lay bet. Players make lay bets in the same manner as making place bets, set cash or checks in the come area and say something like; "Give me a hundred dollars against the ten" or "Seventy-five dollar no five."

The dealer will then position the bet in the rectangle behind the point number box for the number the player is betting against and put a lammer marked "lay" on it. If the lay bet is against the current point for the pass line the dealer may put it on the don’t pass. When he does this for a player that has a don’t pass bet with a full lay, this is sometimes referred to as an "overlay."

Of course since the odds are in the lay bettors favor, he has to risk more than he can win.

If the number he wants to bet against is four or ten, he wins one dollar for every two dollars he bets. If he wants to bet against the five or nine, he wins two dollars for every three he bets. And if wants to bet against the six or eight, he wins five dollars for every six he bets.

At this point you might be wondering why anyone would risk more than they hope to win. Remember I said that the odds favor the lay bettor to win and some players find it refreshing to make a bet that, if the dice behave the way they are supposed to, the odds are in their favor.

And remember the player is getting paid true odds for his bet, except for the fact that he pays five percent commission on the amount he can win. Yes, unlike buy bets where the bettor must pay five percent of the amount he bets, the casino only charges the five percent on the amount the lay bettor stands to win. So if a player bets a "two hundred dollar no ten" he pays five percent of the one hundred dollars he hopes to win, or five dollars.

In casinos that charge the juice when the bet is made the buy bettors always suffer a house percentage of 4.762%. But the lay bettor only gives up a PC of 2.439% when betting against the four or ten, 3.266% when betting against the five or nine and 4% when betting against the six or eight.

Many casinos only charge the juice on winning lay bets against the four or ten. In this case the PC drops to 1.667% (the same as a buy bet on the four or ten when the juice is only collected on winning bets). A few casinos only charge the juice for winning bets against the five or nine (don’t ask me where).

Players that are fortunate to find this bet will give up only 2% (again the same as the buy bet when the juice is only collected on winning bets). Whereas a player that wanted to make a buy bet on the six and eight would be foolish to do so even if they did not have to pay the juice unless the bet won, if one could find a casino that only charged for winning lay bets against the six and eight, he would only suffer a PC of 2.273%.

A few things you prospective buy bettors need to know are:

Lay bets may be bet or taken down anytime. If you take one down before it wins or loses, the dealer will refund the juice.

Most dealers will automatically assume a lay bettor wants his bet down if it wins. You will need to tell him you want to leave it up and re-pay the juice.

Lay bets work (have action) all the time (yes, even on the come-out roll).

Unlike a place or buy bet that can be called "off" for a roll or two, lay bets can only be taken down and re-bet.

So don’t worry about your fellow players thinking of you as being a cynic for betting against the numbers. You don’t have to suffer the perils of the don’t pass on the come-out roll. Learning to make lay bets is a way of cashing in on those cold tables.


Dale S. Yeazel is the author of "Precision Crap Dealing" and "Dealing Mini-Baccarat." They are E-books on CD-Rom available for only $20 each (plus tax) at Gamblers Book Shop and Gamblers General Store in Las Vegas. www.geocities.com/lump450