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More Info on Place Bets

12 May 2006

Last week, we discussed another craps bet, the place bet, which is a wager that a specific number will appear before the shooter rolls a 7. You learned that because some numbers are harder to roll than others, payoffs on place bets differ for different numbers.

Casinos make their profit on place bets by paying winning bets at less than true odds. However, the house edge for placing a 6 or an 8 is only 1.5 percent, as opposed to the 4 percent for a 5 or a 9 and a whopping 6.67 percent for a 4 or a 10.

See how playing smarter makes a difference in how "lucky" you are?

One advantage that place bets have over pass and come bets is that you can control place bets at your every whim. You can take down the odds portion of your pass and come bets, but once the comeout roll has established a point number, you cannot change your mind and get the initial pass or come bet back. But you can "take down," "press" and "work" your place bets in any manner you want.

When a number that you have placed is rolled, the dealer will give you just your winnings, but if you ask him to take that number down, that means that you're also asking him to give you back the original bet. Last week, I suggested that you do that. Make a place bet on only a 6 or an 8 or both, and when you win on either one, take that bet down. That's the conservative approach; it means your money is exposed to a lesser risk and you're able to pocket some of your wins.

A lot of times, though, a player will tell the dealer to "press" his bet. That means that the dealer will use part of the winnings to double the place bet and return what's left as profit. For example, if a 6 or an 8 has been placed and wins, it wins $7 for every $6 bet. Six dollars will be added to the original bet and $1 returned to the player. The bettor now has $12 riding on a 6 or 8. If he wins again, he can tell the dealer to press again, meaning that $24 will now be wagered. Or the player can compromise and increase his bet by just another $6 instead of $12.

If you have placed a 5 or 9 and won and want to press your bet, you'll leave an additional $5 on the bet and pocket $2 profit. With a 4 or a 10, you'll be taking a $4 profit on either one and leaving $5 of your win on the number.

You also have the option to "work" your numbers on the comeout roll. Normally, all such bets are considered "off" on the comeout, which means that if your number is rolled, you won't win. But if you had told the dealer to work your place bet, you would have won. Of course, if the 7 rolls instead, then you lose. That's why they call it gambling.

Personally, I usually work all my bets because whether it's the comeout roll or not, over the long term your money is still exposed to the same house edge. The dice don't know if it's the comeout or not.

So, let's see. You have a lot of options with place bets. They can be removed from the table at any time; they can be reduced or increased. They can also be taken "off" for a number of rolls. This means that even though the chips remain on the layout, the bets do not win or lose until you tell the dealer that you want the bets "on" again. Just try not to drive the dealer crazy with a bunch of off-again/on-agains.

So go out and practice making patient, conservative bets and may the dice be kind to you.

Linda Mabry

Low Roller Linda Mabry lives and gambles on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She writes a weekly, general gambling advice column for the Biloxi Sun Herald, and may be contacted through her e-mail address, lnmabry@cableone.net or her web site www.thelowroller.com
Linda Mabry
Low Roller Linda Mabry lives and gambles on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She writes a weekly, general gambling advice column for the Biloxi Sun Herald, and may be contacted through her e-mail address, lnmabry@cableone.net or her web site www.thelowroller.com