Once the shooter has established a point for the pass line, don’t pass bettors are not allowed to increase the amount of their don’t pass bets. The only way for them to get more money against the shooter’s point is by laying (betting) odds on their don’t pass bets. Don’t pass bettors may lay odds, increase them, decrease them or pick them up any time there is a point for the pass line.
Dealers often try to explain the concept of laying odds by telling the player that laying odds on a don’t pass bet is the opposite of taking odds on a pass line bet. However true this is, dealers should not be surprised when the player needs more of an explanation in order to make it clear. When the point is four or ten, players that take odds on their pass line bet are paid 2 to 1, since the chances against them winning are 2 to 1. So, when the point is four or ten, the don’t pass bettor must lay (bet) two dollars to win one dollar since the odds of him winning are 2 to 1 in his favor.
So, when the point is four or ten, don’t pass bettors need to lay an even amount for their odds, so they can win one dollar for every two they lay. When the point is five or nine the pass line bettors are paid three dollars for every two dollars they take for odds. The don’t pass bettor then needs to lay his odds in units of three (3, 6, 30 etc.) so he can win two dollars for every three dollars he lays. When the point is six or eight the pass line bettors are paid 6 to 5 for their odds. Since the don’t pass bettor will have to lay six dollars to win five dollars, he should make sure his lay is always in units of six dollars (6, 12, 18, 30 etc.).
Even experienced player seem to have trouble keeping their lays in correct units and positioning their lay in the correct manner. To position the lay correctly involves the use of one of two methods: heeling or bridging. Heeling a lay is when the player takes the checks for his lay and sets the bottom check on the don’t pass, next to his flat bet (original don’t pass bet) then sets the remainder of the stack on the outer edge of the bottom check so they lean away from the flat bet.
Dealers will often "bridge" a lay when the payoff for the lay is the same amount as the flat bet. If you are unsure whether to heel or bridge, then just heel your lay. If the dealer changes it to a bridge and you later decide to decrease or increase the amount of your lay, then just convert it to a heel. Dealers bridge lays so they can make the payoff for the lay and the flat by sizing into one of the bottom stacks twice.
Here the player has bridged his lay since his flat bet is $20 and the payoff for his $40 lay against the point of four is also $20.
A "full lay" is the most odds a casino will allow you to lay on a don’t pass or don’t come bet. When casinos advertise "Double Odds", "3X 4X 5X", "5X", "10X" or "100X" odds they are stating the most odds they will allow a player to take on his pass line or come bet. The one underlying principle that escapes most players and even dealers is: whatever amount that full odds on a pass line bet would pay, that amount is the same as a full lay on a don’t pass bet of equal size. For instance, say two players are playing in a casino that offers double odds. The first player is betting $5 on the pass line and the second player is betting $5 on the don’t pass. If the point was four, the pass line bettor could take a maximum of $10 odds to win $20. This means the don’t pass bettor could lay a maximum of $20 to win $10.
One of the benefits of casinos choosing to offer 3X 4X 5X odds is that it simplifies computing a full lay. The pass line bettor can take three times is flat bet for odds when the point is four or ten, four times his flat bet when the point is five or nine and five times his flat bet when the point is six or eight. When the pass line bettor takes full odds, the payoff for his lay will always be six times his flat bet. Subsequently, a full lay on a don’t pass or don’t come bet is always six times the flat bet.
For those of you that are interested in how laying full odds affects the overall house percentage of the flat bet and the lay, I offer you the following formula: the price the bettor is paying for house percentage on his don’t pass bet divided by his flat bet and the average amount of his lay.
Example: $100 on the don’t pass in a casino that offer 3X 4X 5X odds. Multiply $100 times the house percentage of the don’t pass (1.403%) and the gambler gives up $1.403. Since a full lay will always be $600, we multiply that times 2/3, since we can only be expected to come-out on a point 24/36 or 2/3 of the time and we get $400. The combined average of the don’t pass bet and the full lay is $500 so we now divide $1.403 by $500 and we get 0.002806 or .2806%.
When the amount of a full lay depends on the point we must use a slightly more complicated method to determine the average amount of a full lay. Example: $100 on the don’t pass in a casino that offers 10X odds. We compute the average amount of a full lay thusly: (6/36 * $2000) + (8/36 * $1500) + (10/36 * $1200) = $36,000/36 = $1,000. This is the probability of coming-out on a point of four or ten multiplied by the amount of a full lay added to the probability of coming-out on a point of five or nine multiplied by the amount of a full lay added to the probability of coming-out on a point of six or eight multiplied by the amount of a full lay. If this amount seems low, don’t forget that the shooter will only be coming out on a point 2/3 of the time. $1.403/$1,100 = 0.0012754 = .12754%.
(Dale S. Yeazel is the author of "Precision Crap Dealing" and "Dealing Mini-Baccarat." Full color 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).