When a player walks up to a craps game and wants to get into action, he often goes about it the wrong way. I encourage players to make a come bet when there is a point for the pass line but some players want to believe the shooter is destined to make his point and are determined to get in on it.
Unfortunately, the usual method of choice is to make a pass line and immediately take odds on it. This is called making a "put bet." Unless this is done in a casino that offers at least five times odds, it is better to make a place bet on the point.
If a player walks up to a game that has a point of five and puts $5 on the pass line with ten odds, he will be paid $15 for his odds and $5 for his flat bet for a total of $20.
This player could have just as easily made a $15 place bet on the five, which would have paid $21 dollars. How can someone be so smug to criticize a field bettor for giving up 2.56 percent when his is willing to give up 6.66 percent by making that particular put bet?
There are two methods for making a place bet on the point for the pass line. The first is to make it like you would any other place bet: set cash or checks in the come area and tell the dealer that you want to place the point and tell him how much you want to bet on it.
The dealer will then position your bet in the point number box that has the puck in it. The second is to position checks so they are intersected by the line bordering the outside of the pass line and to heel the stack of checks toward you. It is important that you tell the dealer you are placing the point since an inattentive boxman might think you moved a pass line bet to a place bet on the line. The house can’t allow you the luxury of having a bet play on the pass line for the favorable come-out roll, and then allow you to take it down or change it to a place bet.
If the point is four or ten: heel your bet in the same fashion, but tell the dealer you want to "buy" the point. He will move your bet between the lines and put a buy button on it.
On the other side of the coin, in a casino that offers ten times odds or greater, a player is foolish to make place bets if the casino will allow him to make put bets. A $55 dollar place bet on the five will pay the bettor $77 if it wins.
If the casino will allow you to make a $5 come bet on the five with $50 odds on it (put bet) it will pay a total of $80 if it wins. The only disadvantage to this method is that if five-dollar flat bet works on the come-out roll and can never be taken down unless it wins. Of course if the bettor is willing to call his odds working on the come-out roll, this ceases to be a disadvantage.
This is why many casinos that offer ten times, twenty times or one hundred times odds will not allow players to make put bets. They may allow players to make a put bet on the point by allowing them to bet the pass line and take odds when there is a point, but won’t allow players to make put bets on any of the other numbers.
Consider this: if a casino would allow a player to make a $5 bet on the pass line with $500 odds, when there is already a point of five or nine, the player would only suffer a house
advantage of .198%! That is less than one twentieth of the advantage a player suffers for a place bet on the five or nine.
So place instead of put, unless you are willing and able to take ten times odds on your flat bet and then put instead of place, if your pockets are deep enough.
(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)