Learn to Play Casino Craps – The Buy Bet

Most casinos don’t charge the vig until after you win the bet. However, some casinos require you to pay the vig up front at the time you make the bet. For example, for a $10 Buy bet on the 4 with an up-front vig, you must put down $11 when you make the bet (i.e., $10 for your bet and $1 for the vig). If the shooter rolls a 7, you lose $11. However, to attract customers, most casinos require the vig after you win the bet. For example, for a $10 Buy bet on the 4 with an after-win vig, you put down only the $10. Then, if you win, the dealer pays you $19 (i.e., $20 for the win minus $1 for the vig). Paying the vig after a win lowers the house advantage, which makes the Buy bet even better.

My experience is that, if a player has a choice of casinos to play, then vigs are generally paid after a win. If a casino is the only game in town, then vigs are generally paid up front. The reason is simple–competition. If you have a choice of casinos, you can walk out and go to the casino next door. However, if the casino is the only game in town, they have you by the balls, so they can get away with charging the vig up front. Their philosophy is, “If you don’t like it, don’t play–but we know you’ll play even if you don’t like it.”

To make a Buy bet, drop your chips in the Come box and tell the dealer the number you want to buy. The dealer then moves your chips to the point box in a position that corresponds to your table position (in a manner similar to Place bets) and puts a BUY button on top. The button tells the boxman and camera that you’re Buying the number instead of Placing it.

To help the inexperienced player, some dealers automatically Buy the bet instead of Placing it when it’s to the player’s advantage. For example, suppose the guy next to you makes a $25 Place bet on the 10. Being the observant player that you are, you notice the dealer move the $25 chip into the 10 point box and put a BUY button on it. The guy next to you doesn’t have a clue that the dealer potentially made him an extra $4 if the bet wins (i.e., a winning $25 Buy bet nets $49; whereas, a winning $25 Place bet nets only $45).

The Buy bet is best made on the 4 or 10. However, it can also be advantageous for the 5 and 9 if the casino allows paying the vig after a win instead of up front. For example, suppose you make a $50 Place bet on the 5 where the Place odds are 7:5, which means you win $70 for your $50 bet ($50 divided by 5 = $10, multiplied by 7 = $70). Now, instead of a Place bet, suppose you make a $50 Buy bet and pay a $2 vig for the privilege of getting true odds, which are 3:2. For a $50 Buy bet on the 5, you win $75 ($50 divided by 2 = $25, multiplied by 3 = $75), but you have to pay the $2 vig, which results in a net payoff of $73. Comparing results of the two bets, the winning $50 Place bet nets you $70; whereas, the winning $50 Buy bet nets you $73. If the casino requires an up-front vig, Placing the 5 or 9 is better than Buying them because the house advantage is lower (i.e., 4.00% for Placing the 5 or 9 versus 4.76% for Buying them with an up-front vig). pussy888

The Buy bet isn’t smart for the 6 and 8. You should always Place the 6 and 8 instead of Buying them. Let’s do the math. As we know, Place bets on the 6 or 8 must be in multiples of $6 to get the full Place odds of 7:6; and Buy bets on the 6 or 8 must be in multiples of $5 to get the full true odds. Therefore, suppose you make a $96 Place bet on the 6 and win, which means you win $112 ($96 divided by 6 = $16, multiplied by 7 = $112). Now, instead of a Place bet, suppose you make a $95 Buy bet and, when you win, pay a $5 vig for the privilege of getting true odds. For a $95 Buy bet on the 6, you win $114 ($95 divided by 5 = $19, multiplied by 6 = $114), but you have to pay the $5 vig, which results in a net payoff of $109. Comparing results of the two bets, the winning $96 Place bet nets you $112; whereas, the winning $95 Buy bet nets you $109. So, for the 6 and 8, a Place bet is better than a Buy bet. The house advantage for Place bets on the 6 and 8 is lower than Buy bets on the 6 and 8, regardless of whether you pay the vig up front or after a win.

 

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