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Learn to Play Casino Craps: the Craps Lay Betby William Enslen Jr

Be smart, play smart, learn how to play casino craps the right way!

The Lay bet is for the 7 against your chosen number (i.e., the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) and the payoff is according to true odds. It’s the opposite of the Buy bet, much like the Don’t Pass is the opposite of the Pass line. For example, if you Lay the 10, you hope a 7 shows before the 10; whereas, if you Buy the 10, you hope a 10 shows before the 7.

The Lay bet pays off according to true odds, which are: 1:2 for the 4 and 10, 2:3 for the 5 and 9, and 5:6 for the 6 and 8. For example, the payoff odds for Laying the 10 are 1:2, which means you have to bet more money than you win. For every two dollars you bet, you win one dollar. It’s like the Don’t Pass where you have the advantage over the house because there are six ways to make a 7 and only three ways to make a 10. Therefore, you have to put up your fair share, which is twice the amount you hope to win. So, if your $20 Lay bet on the 10 wins, you win $10.

The Lay bet has the same vig as the Buy bet, but it’s based on the win amount, not the bet amount. For example, suppose you Lay the 4 for $100. The true payoff odds are 1:2, which means your winning $100 Lay bet pays $50. The vig is based on the $50 winnings, not the $100 bet. So, the vig is $2 ($50 x 5% = $2.50, which is rounded down to $2), instead of $5 ($100 x 5% = $5).

Lay bets are often called "No" bets. For example, suppose you play for three hours and not a single 5 shows. You decide you’re in a weird, anomalous blip of the distribution where the number 5 just isn’t going to show no matter what the craps gods do. You want to take advantage of that anomaly so you drop $75 in the Come box and tell the dealer, "Give me a No five, please." The dealer moves your chips to the 5 point box and puts a LAY button on top. Lay bets are positioned in the same locations as Don’t Come with Odds bets. Sure enough, the 5 doesn’t show and the shooter rolls a 7-out. Your $75 Lay bet wins $50 (i.e., the true odds are 2:3, so $75 divided by 3 = $25, multiplied by 2 = $50). You must also pay the 5% vig on your winnings. To make it easier for himself, the dealer will likely give you two $25 chips for your winnings and say, "Drop me two dollars, please," rather than count out $48 in chips. In this case, you simply drop two $1 chips in the Come box and then pick up your two $25 chips.

Unlike Buy bets, Lay bets are kept on and working on the come-out roll of a new game. However, you can always turn them off and on whenever you want. Typically, players leave their Lay bets on and working for the come-out roll because they have the advantage over the house (i.e., there are always more ways to make a 7 than any of the point numbers). Another reason–a silly reason, but a reason nonetheless–is because everyone is typically rooting for a 7 on the come-out (most people play the Pass Line, so a 7 on the come-out is a winner for them). With all that positive mojo at the table, a 7 is bound to show, so leave your Lay bets working for the come-out roll of a new game. Seriously, you should leave your Lay bets working on the come-out not because of table mojo, but because you have the advantage over the house.

Now you know! Remember, learn how to play casino craps the right way.

About the Author:

Bill Enslen is a reliability engineer who routinely works with statistics. Having played and analyzed casino craps for more than 25 years, he has compiled his winning secrets in a new Ebook, The Secret to Craps: The Right Way to Play. He doesn’t offer false hope or prey on your blazing desire to beat the casino. Instead, he explains the reality of the game and how to optimize your fun without losing your shirt. Without fully understanding the game and the truth behind the numbers, you’re vulnerable to believing bizarre claims that you can consistently beat the casino. The plain truth is that you can’t and won’t. Don’t be a sucker. Be smart, play smart, and learn casino craps the smart way. For more information, and to read a sample chapter about the absurdity of dice control, visit his site at Learn to Play Casino Craps the Right Way.

Published in Craps Strategy @ 21 Apr 09 and last modified on June 13th, 2018

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