Hi, Jeff, thanks for your post.
We don’t think we correctly understand your question, but we’ll give it a try. Let’s break down your post and address it in pieces, and maybe that will give you the info you’re looking for.
Your statement, “…if you play the odds in craps you should never bet less than five times odds because you will get paid more on a place bet of the same amount. For example, I was told that a Place bet of $30 on a 6 or 8 pays $35, while an odds bet of $25 pays $35 also including the flat bet.” Jeff, your second sentence contradicts your first sentence. In both cases, the total bet amount is $30 and the total win amount is $35, so the $30 Place bet doesn’t “pay more” than the $5 Pass Line with 5x Odds (your first sentence states the Place bet pays more, while your second sentence states they both pay the same). So, we’re confused about what you’re stating. Let’s look at the 6 and 8. For a $5 Pass Line bet plus $25 Odds (5x odds), you win $5 for the $5 flat bet and you win $30 for the Odds bet (total win = $35); and a $30 Place bet wins $35 (total win = $35). Therefore, in this case when both total bet amounts are $30 and both net win amounts are $35, your statement, “…you will get paid more on a Place bet of the same amount,” is false.
Assuming your Odds bets and Place bets are made according to their payoff odds (i.e., for the 6 and 8, the Odds bet should be a multiple of 5, and the Place bet should be a multiple of 6), the comparison is as follows:
Based strictly on what you wrote, you’re not comparing apples to apples. First of all, the amounts risked and won for the two bets aren’t the “same amount.” For example, for a Pass with 2x Odds bet, you risk $15 to win $17; whereas, for a Place bet, you risk $12 to win $14. None of those numbers are the “same amount.” Secondly, it seems that you’re ignoring the money you win on a Pass Line bet when naturals appear (there are 8 ways to win versus 4 ways to lose on the come-out roll). Therefore, your statement, “…never bet less than five times odds because you will get paid more on a Place bet of the same amount,” is fundamentally flawed. You can make close comparisons, but they’re not equal apples-to-apples comparisons, and you can’t ignore your winnings for the Pass Line when naturals appear on the come-out.
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Your friend’s theory is a little more convincing (but still flawed) when considering the 4 and 10. Assuming your Odds bets and Place bets are made according to their payoff odds (i.e., for the 4 and 10, the Place bet should be a multiple of 5 and let’s assume, for comparison purposes, that your Odds bet is also a multiple of 5), the comparison is as follows:
In this case, it appears from looking at the numbers above that your friend’s theory has some merit. For example, for a Pass with 2x Odds, you risk $15 to win $25; whereas, for a Place bet, you risk $15 to win $27. However, once again, the theory ignores the winnings for the Pass Line when naturals appear on the come-out. You can’t disregard those winnings when making the comparison.
NOTE: You should never make a $25 Place bet on the 4 and 10, and the 5 and 9. Instead, as you’ll learn when you study the material on our website, you should always Buy the 4 and 10 for $25, and you should always Buy the 5 and 9 for $24 instead of Placing it for $25. Most casinos don’t allow you to Buy the 4 and 10 unless you bet at least $20 or $25, but some do allow you to Buy them for as little as $10. As the casino permits, you should always Buy the 4 and 10 when betting $10 or more instead of Placing them. For example, Buying the 4 for $10 is a net win of $19 ($20 win minus the $1 vig); whereas, Placing the 4 for $10 is a net win of only $18. For the same $10 risk, you can win $19 with a Buy instead of only $18 with a Place. Another example, why would you Place the 4 for $25 to win $45 when you can Buy the 4 for $25 to win a net $49 ($50 win minus the $1 vig)? For the same $25 at risk, wouldn’t you rather win $49 instead of only $45? This is all explained in detail on our website. So, forget Place bets on the 4, 10, 5, and 9 when you get to the $25 level or more. Instead, make Buy bets.
Your statement, “I do like the added benefit of hitting a seven or eleven while going up but is it really a benefit when the 7 wipes you out.” We assume you’re talking about a come-out roll and Odds bets that are made with a Pass Line bet. On the come-out roll, the Pass Line doesn’t have any Odds yet because a point has not yet been established (you take Odds on the point after the come-out roll when a point has been established). Remember, there are 8 ways to win the flat Pass Line versus only 4 ways to lose, so the flat Pass Line bet on the come-out roll is a good thing. On the come-out, the 7 and 11 are winners, so a 7 can’t “wipe you out” on the Pass Line because you haven’t taken Odds yet. In terms of the Place bet, if you have Place bets on the table and the shooter makes the point, the Place bets are then generally off on the subsequent come-out roll (i.e., most casinos automatically call Place bets off on the come-out roll unless you specifically tell them your Place bets are on and working on the come-out). So, with Place bets, a 7 on the come-out roll doesn’t “wipe you out” either unless you’ve told the casino to turn your Place bets on and working on the come-out roll. So, in both cases on a come-out roll, a 7 doesn’t “wipe you out.” Then, after the come-out roll when a point has been established, a 7 will, indeed, “wipe you out” for both the Pass Line with Odds bet and the Place bet. But your statement seems to focus on the come-out roll, so we’re confused. Then, we get confused even more with your sentence, “I understand that you get the added benefit of winning on the come bet while making the bet through the come this way…,” which sounds like you’ve switched gears in mid-stream to talk about Come bets and their odds.
Next, we don’t understand your statement, “Since I have to hit the 6 or 8 twice to get the same payoff as a Place bet….” We can’t address that statement because we just don’t understand it at all as it makes no mathematical sense. You’re welcome to clarify your post and then we’ll try again to address it.
In summary, either: (1) we misunderstand your question (which could very well be the case, so you’re welcome to post again to clarify your question), or (2) you misunderstood your friend, or (3) your friend doesn’t understand the game as well as he thinks. Although we don’t understand your post, we suspect that option #3 is the answer (i.e., your friend doesn’t know what he’s talking about). The Pass Line taking Odds (and Don’t Pass laying Odds) is the best bet on the craps table in terms of lowest house advantage. It has a lower house advantage than the Place bets. No amount of wacky variations in betting patterns or betting amounts is going to give you an advantage. The Pass Line with Odds is always going to be a lower house advantage than the Place bets, no matter how much you bet. The house advantage for the Pass with Odds is at least as good as 0.85% (that’s for 1x odds, and the house advantage gets a little less the more odds you take), while the house advantage for the Place 6 or 8 is always about 1.52%. Increasing your bet amounts doesn’t give you an advantage. It simply makes you lose your money faster. Read and study the material on our website. Then, after you’ve learned the game properly and correctly, test your new knowledge at your favorite online craps casino at the lowest limit allowed (e.g., a $1 table is a good place to practice using your new knowledge before trying a live table).
Thanks for the clarification. Now it makes sense and we understand your question.
With a Place bet, it’s an immediate bet on the 6. With a Come bet, you have no idea whether the Come point is going to be a 6, 8, 5, 9, 4, or 10. More on that in a second. You’re giving more advantage to the casino by making Place bets than making Come bets with Odds. You double the casino advantage by making a Place bet instead of a Come bet with Odds. At 5x odds, the house advantage for the Come bet is about 0.8%; whereas, the house advantage for a Place bet is about 1.5%. Why double the casino’s advantage? The only reason to do so is if you like the number 6 and want to bet it immediately. If you like the 6 or 8, the problem with a Come bet is that you don’t know what the Come point will be. If you like the 6 and want to bet it, you might have to wait an hour before the 6 is hit on a Come bet’s come-out roll to establish the 6 as the Come point. We don’t see how you can make a legitimate comparison between (1) a Come bet with the off chance of hitting a 6 or 8 as the Come point and (2) making an immediate Place 6 or 8 bet. For a Place 6 bet, you get the 6 immediately. For a Come bet, the 6 may not hit all night long as the Come point. How can those two bets be legitimately compared in your scenario? If your Come bet were guaranteed to have 6 or 8 as the Come point, then your question would be worth consideration. But the Come point is not guaranteed to be 6 or 8, so it’s fruitless comparison.
If you have the discipline to stick to the best bets on the table in terms of house advantage, then stick to the Pass Line, Don’t Pass, Come, and/or Don’t Come. Your bankroll and nerve (as well as the table limits) will determine the amount of odds you take or lay. If you’re an average player who buys in for $100 at a $5 table, you’ll be a solid rock at the table if you stick to $5 Pass Line with 2x odds. However, doing nothing but that all night long can get boring, especially after a few beers. We have other material on our site that describes a system we like to use that maintains your solid play but adds more excitement and fun. Take a look at it and consider it the next time you play. Better yet, before trying it at a live table, experiment at a low-limit online table (e.g., a $1 online table) to see if it gives you the added excitement that it does for us.
If you want to make Place bets on the 6 or 8, then you’re not giving up much to the casino, since the house advantage is only about 1.5%. In a game of craps, if you can stick to making Place 6 and 8 bets, then you’ll still be a solid player. After the Pass, Don’t Pass, Come, and Don’t Come, the Place 6 or 8 is the best bet on the table in terms of house advantage. If your bankroll is a concern, then make $6 Place bets on a $5 table, or $12 bets on a $10 table. If bankroll is not a concern, then bet the lowest amount that still gives you the excitement you’re looking for. For example, my blood gets pumping when my Place 6 or 8 is pressed up to $24 (I’m easily excitable).
Good luck at the craps tables!