The Put Bet in Craps
O ccasionally, you’ll see a craps table layout that includes the words “Put Bets Allowed.” You might be surprised at how few people truly know what a Put bet is. Even if the layout doesn’t state anything about Put bets, the casino will probably let you make them. We’ll discuss why in a moment.
In one of our other articles, you learned that a Pass Line bet is made before the come-out roll. A Put bet is simply a Pass Line bet that you make (or “put” down) after the come-out roll and a point has been established. I’ve only seen the Put bet made wisely one or two times in all my years of playing craps. On the rare occasion that you do see a Put bet, it usually occurs when a new player walks up to the table and is way too impatient to wait until the end of game. He needs action immediately and wants to bet the point number, but he’s too ignorant of the game to understand that he increases the overall house advantage by making a Put bet instead of a Place bet on the point.
The reason the Put bet is usually a bad (and stupid) bet is because he gives up the advantage he has on the come-out roll. As we learned in the article on the Pass Line, a Flat Pass Line bet has a 2:1 advantage before the come-out roll but then has a disadvantage after the come-out. The advantage he has on the come-out reduces the overall house edge for the Pass Line bet. So, with a Put bet, by missing the advantage that he has on the come-out roll, he’s effectively increasing the overall house edge for the Pass Line bet. That’s what makes a Put bet a bad idea in most cases. And that’s why the casino will probably let you make Put bets even if the layout doesn’t declare they’re allowed. In other words, if you asked the casino if it’s okay to make a Put bet, there’s no scenario I can imagine where the casino would respond, “Oh, no sir, we don’t allow them because the Put bet gives us too big of an advantage over you and we don’t want to take all of your money.”
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The Put bet can be reasonable (in terms of keeping the house advantage low) only when the casino allows a lot of odds and you actually bet a lot of odds. This requires a fairly big bankroll, which the average player doesn’t have. For example, if the casino offers 50x odds, it would be acceptable to “put” a $5 Flat Pass Line bet after the come-out roll and then take $250 in odds. But who has that kind of money to risk all at once? In this example, the Put bet can have a lower house advantage than a Place bet or Buy bet on the point because of the enormous amount of true Odds that you’re betting. Unless you have a sizeable bankroll, stay away from Put bets. By far for most of us, the better bet is a Place bet or Buy bet on the point.
Another form of Put bet is adding to (i.e., increasing) your Flat Pass Line bet during a game. For example, suppose you make a $5 Flat Pass Line bet and then take the maximum Odds allowed, which the placard says are 4x. In this case, your Odds bet is $20 (i.e., 4 x $5 = $20). The table seems to be heating up because the shooter rolls for 15 minutes without a 7-out and other players are making a killing on their Place bets. With all the numbers the shooter is rolling, your gut tells you that she’s going to make her point. Instead of making a Place bet on the point, you prefer to increase your Pass Line Odds bet, but you can’t because you’re already at the maximum allowable odds (i.e., $20 odds for your $5 Flat bet). The only way you can increase your Odds bet is if your Flat bet were increased. So, you “put” another $5 chip on top of your original $5 Flat bet, bringing the Flat bet to $10. At 4x odds, that means you can now increase your Odds bet to $40 (i.e., 4 times your $10 Flat bet is $40). Be careful doing this because if you don’t take enough odds, you actually increase the overall house advantage. In this example, because you’re not taking enough odds, you’re better off using the $25 with which you would have made the Put bet (i.e., the $5 added to the Flat bet plus the $20 added to the Odds bet) to make a Place bet on the point. Again, unless the wad of hundreds in your pocket is the size of your fist, the better and smarter play is to avoid the Put bet and, instead, make a Place bet on the point.
You can also make a Put bet using the Come bet without going through the Come bet’s come-out roll. (lol, that was an interesting sentence.) Simply drop your chips in the Come box on the layout and tell the dealer you want to make a Put on a Come. For example, suppose your gut tells you the shooter is going to roll a 9. Drop $15 in chips in the Come box and tell the dealer, “Put me on the nine Coming with Odds.” The dealer then “puts” a $5 chip in the Come area of the 9 point box with $10 in Odds. As in the other examples, this is a stupid bet because of the increased house advantage you just gave the casino by not going through the Come’s come-out roll. The better bet is to simply Place bet the 9.
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