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Craps Guidance - 3

Big 6 / Big 8 Bets
Little else in the casino is more horrific than this bet. It's the equivalent of plunking two slot machines down in front of a slots fan, one with an atrocious payout rate but fancy graphics and sound, and the other with a half decent payout rate but no bells and whistles. What do I mean? I mean the big 6 bet is the fancy looking slot machine, and the place bet for 6 is the unglamorous one. The fact of the matter is the place bet on a six or eight is exactly the same thing as the big 6 (or 8), the only difference is what you get paid. For a place bet on the 6 or 8 you get paid 7 to 6, but for the big 6 / 8 you only get paid even money. Calculating it out this difference in payouts is directly responsible for the house edge of 9.09% on this bet, compared to 1.52 on the place bet. Translation, this is a major sucker bet, the casino knows placing the 6 or 8 is better than placing any other number, so in an effort to stop it from becoming popular, they put a big fat 6 and 8 in a sexy and easy to reach part of the board, which they collect better off of. So instead of learning more about the big 6 / big 8, just get familiar with placing place bets.

The Place Bet
The place bet is a variation of betting with a number. You can make a place bet anytime by handing the dealer your bet and saying 'I want to place the 8' or whatever number you want to place bet for. You can make a place bet at any time on any of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. If the number you have 'placed' is hit before a 7, you win and you're paid as follows: 4 or 10 placed - 9:5 odds, 5 or 9 placed - 7:5 odds, 6 or 8 placed - 7:6 odds.
Notice the pass line bet offers better odds, so basically you should stick with it over the long run. Although you can technically place a place bet at any time, it is impossible for it to come into effect until the shooters point is set, therefore it is more acceptable to ask for this bet after the come out roll is over.

The Field Bet
The field bet is also among the smarter bets in craps, but doesn't have the great house edge you get with odds on the pass line. The field holds approx a 5.5% house edge. As you'll notice in our graphic, the field is an area on the craps table just beyond the don't pass bar. The other handy bit about a field bet is that it can be played on any roll, so it's a very non-threatening move.

The best aspect to the field bet has to be its simplicity. It's a one-time bet which states simply: if the shooter throws a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12 (any of the numbers in the field area) then you win. If a 5, 6, 7, or 8 are thrown then you lose. There is no trick to placing your chips on one of the numbers in the field, it's just anywhere you want and any of those numbers can be hit. If your betting on the field, most casinos also give you a bonus if a 2 or a 12 is thrown (notice the circles on those numbers). Many casinos pay 2x your bet when a 2 or "snake eyes" is thrown and some even pay 3x your bet if a 12 (commonly called a 'midnight') is thrown.
So look at that, even if you're just a beginner you already know exactly how to make a pass bet, a pass bet with odds, and a field bet. Most of the wagering at a craps table revolves around just these betting techniques.

The Lay Bet
An unusual and uncommon fellow, the lay bet resembles the don't pass and don't come bets in that you are playing against the dice. The lay bet can be made at any time. In essence it's the opposite of the buy bet, and the same as the don't come bet, but with different odds. The lay bets may be placed on 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. The bet is on the fact that a seven will be rolled before your number. 7 is more likely to come up than any other number so the casino requires you to wager more than you could win. This bet also requires a commission of 5% on average. If the bet is on 4 or 10 you get 1:2 odds, on 5 or 9 2:3 odds, on six or 8 5:6 odds. Lay bets are usually only made by people who think they understand more about what's going on that is probably possible. I would be surprised if anyone were ever in a position where a lay bet is the best option, I recommend sticking to the basic bets if you're not an expert already.

The Buy Bet
You may find some people who look like they know what they're talking about around the craps table 'buying' instead of 'placing' numbers. What's the difference, why do we care? A buy bet decreases the house edge and enables you to win more. The numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 can all be bought, but usually the 4 or 10 is picked because its pays off better. The buy bet is similar to the place bet in that the number you buy must come up before a 7 does. The odds are higher for a buy bet. 2:1 on a 4 or 10 buy, 3:2 for a 5 or 9, or 6:5 for a 6 or 8. The catch is, you have to pay a 5% commission on any bets you buy (often called a 'vig'). Depending on how much you bet, buying a bet can make you more money in the end even after accounting for the 'vig'. The odds are only in your favor on a buy bet for a 4 or 10, so stick with the place bet on any others. To learn about the hardway and proposition bets read more here.

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