Craps Place Betting
Once the Point has been established on the come out roll, bets may be made straight up on the “box numbers” (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10), so-named because of the squares they reside in at the top of the table layout. If the shooter rolls the selected number before throwing a 7, the place bet wins; otherwise, it loses. Rolls other than the Point or 7, such as crap numbers (2, 3, or 12) or Yo (11), have no effect on the Place Bet.
The payout on a winning 4 or 10 is 9-to-5. For the 5 or 9, it is 7-to-5. Any of these wagers should be made in multiples of five units so that the payout is a whole number of units Winning Place Bets on the 6 or 8 pay 7-to-6. Any wager here should be in multiples of six units. Just remember, “Six on the 6 or 8; five otherwise.”
Winning with Place Bets
Place Bets are not just for one roll. They may be taken down any time before the shooter throws again. Some players like to pull the Place Bet as soon as it hits. Others just leave it “working” until the Point is resolved. And many prefer to “press” the Place bet on a win, increasing the wager and looking for even bigger profits on a repeat.
A common Place Bet strategy is to buy the number “opposite” the Point. For example, if the Point is 8, they would make a Place Bet on the 6, the number on the opposite side of 7. Assuming the player has wagered on the Pass Line and is Taking Odds, there are now ten ways to win: five ways to roll a 6 (1+5, 2+4, 3+3, 4+2 and 5+1) and 5 ways to roll an 8 (2+6, 3+5, 4+4, 5+3 and 6+2). There are only six ways to lose to a 7 (1+6, 2+5, 3+4, 4+3, 5+2, and 6+1).
When the Point is made, the Place Bets will be turned “Off” until after the next come out roll. Throws of 7, 11, or craps will not affect the Place Bet. If the new Point is anything other than 6, the player has the option to activate the Place Bet again (“On”) or take it down. If the new Point is 6, the usual response is to have the dealer move the Place Bet to the 8, again taking the opposite box number to the Point.
To parlay a $6 Place Bet on 6 the first time the selected box number comes up, the player can call “Press the 6.” The dealer will double the original $6 bet and pay out $1 in profit. When the 6 hits again, the return will be $14 plus the $6 that was pressed and the $1 profit, for a total of $21 in winnings. That is more than enough to cover a $5 Pass Line Bet and 2X Odds on the Point 8 if it loses.
When the point is 5, a Place Bet can be made on the 9 opposite; when the Point is 4, place the 10; and so on. The odds on these bets are greater and the risk is higher, but the strategy is the same. Or a strategy that many players prefer when the Point is 4, 5, 9, or 10 is to make lace Bets on both the 6 and the 8, creating 13~14 ways to win and still just 6 ways to lose.
Buy Bets vs. Place Bets
A variation of the Place Bet is called the Buy Bet. The difference is that “true odds” are paid for a win, so the House Edge is eliminated. The payouts are 2-to-1 for a win on the 4 or 10, 3-to-2 for the 5 or 9, and 6-to-5 on the 6 or 8. Obviously, these are much better than the payouts for Place Bets, but there is a catch. The casino charges a 5% commission on the winnings.
Because of the 5% requirement, Buy Bets should be made in increments of $20 so that the commission can be a whole number of dollars. If the wager is not divisible by 20, the commission is typically rounded up to the nearest dollar.
An obvious question arises: “Do Buy Bets have any advantage over Place Bets?” The answer is yes and no. On the box numbers 6 and 8, the Place Bet has a lower House edge. For box numbers 4 and 10, the Buy Bet has a lower House edge. And for box numbers 5 and 9, if the commission is paid up front, which is most often the case, the Place Bets are advantageous.
To make a Buy Bet, the player must clearly instruct the dealer to “Buy the 8” or “Buy the 6.” Simply calling out the 6 or 8 will be taken as a request for a Place Bet, which is the much more common of the two.