The Big 8 and Big 6 Bets
T he Big 8 bet and Big 6 bet are the same as the Place bets for the 8 and 6 except that they pay off differently and are located in different spots on the layout. The Big 8 and Big 6 are such sucker bets that most people don’t bet them, so it’s become uncommon to see them on a craps table anymore.
If you encounter a table that still offers the Big 8 and Big 6, you’ll see them by the Pass Line where it makes the 90-degree curve. The boxes for these bets are stamped with “Big 8” and “Big 6” in large font so they’re easy to see. These are self-service bets that you make yourself without help from the dealer. That means you put your chip in the box yourself to make the bet. If you win, the dealer pays you by putting your winnings in the box directly next to your bet. Then it’s your responsibility to pick up your chips. If you don’t, the chips that you leave in the box are considered a new bet.
These bets pay 1:1, or even money. The Big 8 and Big 6 bet amounts must be at least the table minimum and can’t be more than the table maximum. Usually, the only people who make these sucker bets are drunks and fools who gamble their hard-earned money on a game they know nothing about.
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As you know by now from all of our other lessons, craps is a game built on mathematics. Knowing that, let’s see if you can figure out what makes these bets so bad. The key is in their payoffs, which is 1:1. Take a few moments to see if you can figure it out before reading further.
As are most other bets, the Big 8 and Big 6 are against the number 7. That is, when you make the bet, you gamble that the number will appear before a 7. If it does, you win. But if a 7 appears before the number, then you lose. Remember that the key is their 1:1 payoffs (e.g., if you make a $5 Big 6 bet and win, you win $5). Does the 1:1 payoff seem fair to you? It shouldn’t! There are six ways to roll a 7, and only five ways to roll a 6. That means there are more ways for you to lose than win. For a bet that’s even money, you should expect there to be an equal number of ways to win and lose. Where we bet against the 7 and have more ways to lose than win, what do we expect to get for accepting that greater risk? Yes, that’s right, very good! We expect the payoff odds to be better than 1:1. Let’s compare two bets with different names where we bet the 6 against the 7. Can you think of a bet, other than the Big 6, that considers the 6 against the 7? (That’s an easy question if you’ve been paying attention–it was identified in the first sentence.) Very good! The answer is the Place bet.
Let’s compare the Big 6 to the Place 6. From our other lesson on Place bets, we know the bet amount for the Place 6 bet must be in multiples of $6. So, to make this a direct comparison, suppose we first make a Big 6 bet for $6. For the Big 6 at even money, if a 6 appears before a 7, we win $6. Now, let’s make a Place 6 bet for $6. The casino payoff odds (i.e., not true odds) for a Place 6 bet is 7:6, which means for every $6 multiple that we bet, we win $7. Therefore, for the $6 Place 6 bet, if a 6 appears before a 7, we win $7. As you can see, if our bet amount for both bets is $6, the amount we win is different depending on whether we bet the Big 6 or the Place 6. If you hold $6 in your hand trying to decide which bet to make (i.e., trying to decide between making a Big 6 bet or a Place 6 bet), why would it require any thought at all on your part? If you can get $7 for a win with the Place 6, why would you even consider making a Big 6 bet that only pays $6 when you win? As noted earlier in this lesson, the only people who make the Big 8 and Big 6 bets are drunks and ignorant players. If you want to make a bet on the 8 or 6, always Place it. Don’t ever make a Big 8 or Big 6 bet.