Exclusive Content   Join Now

Buying your bet

Dec 6, 2004 11:54 PM

We frequently receive notes asking about odds on come bets and how they relate to the odds on pass line bets. That’s relatively simply, and I’ll offer some explanations below, but first I’d like to mention something called "buy" bets.

Buy bets are very controversial in the craps circles. They involve paying an extra fee, called "vig" (or vigorish) just to make the bet. However, in return for the fee, you get true odds instead of house odds for your bet. But are buy bets really worth this extra fee? If so, why doesn’t everyone buy all of the numbers instead of placing them? Let’s find out!

You can only buy six numbers — the four (or 10), the five (or nine), and the six (or eight). The odds you get for placing and buying these numbers are shown on page 10.

If you would place the four (or 10) for $30 you would win $54. If you buy the four (or 10) for $30 you would win $60. Most casinos charge 5 percent of the bet for vig, so even after paying an extra $2 (actual vig is $1.50) it is easy to see that buying the four (or 10) is better than placing it.

If you would place the five (or nine) for $30 you would win $42. If you buy the five (or nine) for $30 you would win $45. If you paid $2 for vig you would make $1, and if you paid $1 (the actual vig is 5 percent of $30 or $1.50) you would break even.

Since most casinos round the vig up, you will end up paying $2 vig instead of $1 in most cases. However, it costs nothing to ask the dealer if you can only pay $1. For example, you could ask, "If I buy the four (or 10) for $30, can I pay $1 vig?" More often than not, the dealer will accept your bet. Give it a try — the extra dollar is certainly better off in your pocket than the casino’s!

With the extra dollar on your side, you will profit or break even with all six buy bets. Without the extra dollar, the five and nine is marginal, and the six and eight is a money loser. But the four or 10 should ALWAYS be bought, and not placed.

Buy bets are a good deal if you know which of the six numbers are the most profitable ”” and now you know!

Number Place Odds Buy Odds

4 (or 10) 9:5 2:1

5 (or 9) 7:5 3:2

6 (or 8) 7:6 6:5


Now, back to the come bets.

You probably know that they key to profits is the ability to add "free odds" to your flat bet, and give the casino a zero advantage on those added odds.

But do you know how craps pros increase their odds on come bets?

Let’s find out.

When you bet, the dealers can sometimes allow you to bet more on the odds than the posted amount.

So, when you make a come bet, you should always ask the friendly dealer if you can add more odds than you’re allowed. You have nothing to lose by asking, whether your flat bet is $5 or $50.

If you are at a 2X odds casino and you have $10 in the come box and the point is five (or nine), you are allowed to add $20 odds. If the number hits, you win $30 for the odds (at 3-2) plus $10 for the flat bet or a total of $40.

If, however, you ask the dealer if you can add $30 odds (instead of $20) and he lets you, you’ll win $45 for the odds plus $10 for the flat bet; that’s a total of $55. So, you have won $15 more, all for just asking for a small favor.

You can do the same thing on the don’t come line. If you’re at the same casino and have a $10 don’t come bet and the point is four or 10, you can lay $40 to win $20 in odds, so your total win would be $30 ($10 plus $20). Ask the friendly dealer if you can lay $50 (to win $25). So, instead of $30 you’ll win a total now of $35 ($10 plus $25). So, you’ve won an extra $5 for doing very little work.

Remember, all you have to do is ask the dealer if you can make a certain bet for a certain amount. The worst that can happen is that he’ll say no.

This method has been used by many experienced crapshooters to maximize their winnings and minimize the house’s edge.

You will be increasing your odds bets to the absolute maximum the casino will allow. By doing this, you are squeezing every last drop of profit you can from the casino, and all you have to do is ask the friendly dealers.