What are Commissions in Craps?

 What are Commissions in Craps?

At any game, players come in all levels of experience and knowledge. Some are more familiar than others with game rules, strategies or even the mechanics of how to make a bet.

That’s especially true in craps, which has dozens of possible wagering opportunities. Even those who have played a few times sometimes encounter new situations.

A craps player wrote recently that he found himself in unfamiliar territory recently.

“Craps table, another guy asked, ‘Do you charge commission on all buys, or just the winners?’”  he wrote in an email. “I don’t know about commissions. What was he talking about?”

Commissions come up on what are called “buy” bets. When you want to bet that one of the box numbers – 4. 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 – will come up before the next 7, the most common way to do it is with a place bet. Winners are paid at 7-6 odds if you bet on 6 or 8, 7-5 on 5 or 9, or 9-5 on 4 or 10.

There’s another option. You can buy the number instead by paying the house a commission equal to 5 percent of your wager. In return, your bet is paid at true odds of 6-5 on 6 or 8, 3-2 on 5 or 9 or 2-1 on 4 or 10.

The majority of casinos collect that commission on all buy bets, win or lose. If your numbers are 4 or 10, the house edge of 6.67 percent decreases to 4.76 percent if you buy.

That’s still on the high side, but it gets even better when the house charges the commission only on winning bets. That drops the house edge to 1.67 percent and makes it one of the better bets on the table.

 Never buy 6 or 8 – the house edge goes up, not down, when you pay the commission. On 5 or 9, buy only if the commission is charged for winners only.

But buy bets are best used on 4 or 10, especially if the commission is charged only on winners. The smart play is to ask before you bet. 

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