Smart craps players never make place bets on the 4 and 10, and rarely place the 5 and 9. They make buy bets instead. Why? A buy bet gives you more bang for your buck. Here’s how.
When you place a bet, your winnings are not paid true odds. If you place the four or ten you are paid 9 to 5 odds instead of 2 to 1. On the five or nine, you get 7 to 5 instead of 3 to 2. However, if you “buy” the number instead of placing it you are paid true odds in exchange for a 5% commission or “vig”.
Here’s an example of how it works to your advantage. If you place bet $50 on the four or ten and it rolls, you win $90 at 9 to5 odds. But if you Buy the four or ten for $50, you win $100 at 2 to 1 odds, less the $2 commission. After netting out the “vig” you win eight dollars more by buying the number instead of placing it.
I know, you are doing the math and thinking 5% of $50 is a $2.50, not $2.00. However, virtually every casino allows green chip bettors to buy the four and ten for $25 and pay only $1 commission. In fact, some casinos will allow you to buy a number for as much as $39 and pay only $1 commission, and that is a great value. It pays to ask the box person what the maximum buy is for a dollar.
Sometimes the “rules” get a little strange on the five and nine. Very few players buy these numbers, which means the dealers may occasionally argue with your request to buy them. And since the true odds are paid at 3 to 2, your buy increments will vary somewhat from the four and ten. Additionally, buy bets on the five and nine only become a value when your wager is in excess of $40.
Here’s an example. A $24 Buy bet on the five or nine costs the player $25 including the vig. It pays $35 after the vig is netted out. That same $25, if place bet, would also win $35. There’s no difference in payout. But a $40 Buy bet will pay $58 after the $2 Vig is netted out. A $40 place bet pays $56.
One last tip – some casinos only collect the vig if the bet wins. This “first buy free” policy is not the “norm,” but take advantage of it when you find it. It puts Buy betting on a par with placing the six and eight.
Speaking of the six and eight – you don’t want to Buy them. They’re already among the best bets on the table.
Next time you consider placing the outside numbers, consider Buying them instead. If you don’t know how much to bet, just ask the dealer, and he’ll be glad to help. Play it right and you’ll win more, and every single dollar counts. Especially if it ends up in your pocket and not the drop box.