CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Why the Buy Bet Can Be One of the Best at the Craps Table

18 August 2006

Last week, you learned that buying a 4 or a 10 at the craps table was a much better bet than placing either of those numbers. If your casino of choice charges the 5 percent commission only on winning bets and will allow you to buy a $35 bet for the same $1 vig as a $20 bet, then you've whittled the house edge down to .95 percent. That's better than the pass bet alone (1.41 percent) but not as good as the pass bet with 2X odds (.61 percent), with 5X odds (.33 percent) or with 10X odds (.184 percent).

Before The Storm, most of the casinos I surveyed here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast said yes you can make a buy for $35 with a $1 price tag. Only two casinos made you stop at $30: Beau Rivage and Treasure Bay. That jumps the house edge up to 1.11 percent. Most casinos in Tunica still allow you to buy a 4 or 10 for $35 and $1 vig.

Put chips worth $35 in the area of the table marked "Come," and tell the dealer you want to buy a 4 or a 10. Of course, if you feel comfortable risking more dollars, you can always buy both numbers. The dealer will transfer your chips to the square marked with the 4 or the 10 and place a button marked "Buy" on them. If the 4 or 10 is rolled before the 7, he'll give back to you an amount twice your bet and leave your original bet.

That's when you're expected to toss him a $1 chip - after you've won. That's what's meant when you pay the vigorish, or commission, "on the back end" instead of "up front" on all bets, win or lose. And it's what knocks the house edge down from 2.8 percent to under 1 percent.

A player can remove his buy bets at any time. So, if you're a little skittish, you can ask the dealer to take down your bet after the number hits. But remember, there's no rhyme or reason to working or not working your bet. Whether the 4 or 10 has rolled ten times in a row or hasn't shown in 30 rolls, every $35 buy bet on the 4 or 10 is still exposed to that same .952 percent house edge.

But, still, to a low roller, $35 seems like a lot of money to expose to any house edge.

Buying the 5 or 9 is also better than placing either one of them, which has a house edge of 4 percent. True odds on buying a 5 or 9 are 3-to-2, so that translates to a 1.33 percent edge on a $30 buy if the commission is taken only on wins. Because the payoff is 3-to-2, it's best to buy 5s and 9s in even dollar multiples.

So, why aren't all place bets converted to buy bets? One reason is the amount of dollars involved. Because the minimum chip at most craps tables is $1, the casinos will charge at least a $1 commission on buy bets even if the 5 percent equals a lesser amount. That $1 minimum takes a much bigger chunk out of a $5 bet than it does a $20 or $35 bet. Whether you buy or place a $5 4, you're still giving the casino the same 6.67 percent edge. Don't do it.

So, there you've got it - some of the best bets at the craps table: pass line bets with maximum odds and buying a 4 or a 10. But remember, you have a lot of money at risk with these bets. If you want to stretch your time at the craps table, stick with a low dollar pass bet with double odds. You'll be around a lot longer to take advantage of the fun times.

Until next week, 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