“Buy” Bets in Craps

 “Buy” Bets in Craps

Making a place bet on 4 — betting a craps shooter will roll a 4 before the next 7 — is a weak bet, with a house edge of 6.67 percent. Same deal if you place 10. The house edge is still 6.67 percent, and there are several bets at the craps table that are much better percentage plays.

There’s an option that will cut the house edge a bit. You can “buy” the 4 or “buy” the 10. You  pay the house a 5 percent commission, and in exchange, your winners are paid at true odds. With a $20 bet, you buy the number with an extra buck. Instead of being paid 9-5 on your 4 or 10, you’re paid at the true odds of 2-1. That cuts the house edge 4.76 percent — still a little high for my taste when I consider the 1.52 percent house edge on place bets on 6 or 8, or the 1.41 percent on the pass line.

But some casinos charge the commission only if you win, and that’s worth asking about. When you don’t have to pay the commission when your 4 or 10 are losers, it the house edge sinks all the way to 1.67 percent. That’s not bad at all, a reasonable addition to your collection of low-edge craps bets.

Ask the dealer if the commission is charged on losing bets when you buy 4 or 10. If it’s charged only on winners, you have a reasonable bet. If it’s charged on losers, let the bettor beware.

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