Buying the luck in Craps

Another way of getting the true odds is to “”buy”” the numbers. When you buy the numbers, the house charges a five per cent commission. But since most casinos only deal with £1 chips as the lowest denomination, and the house will charge you a minimum of £1 no matter how small your bet is, you should be betting at least £20 on each number, since £1 is five per cent of £20. So if you want to buy the five, for example, you’d give the dealer £21. The dealer will place £20 on the number, and put £1 into the bank.

The rationale for buying numbers is that you get the true payout, which lowers the house advantage, but not  sufficiently to make it a good bet. The true odds payouts are as follows:

•    For the four and ten, 2-1;
•    For the five and nine, 3-2;
•    For the six and eight, 6-5.

Because you pay the one per cent commission, or “”vig”” and get paid at the true odds, the house has the same advantage for all the numbers, 4.76 per cent.

So you can see, it’s more advantageous to place the six and eight, and the five and nine, because the house advantage for those bets when they are placed is less than the buy option. Only the four and ten is a better “”buy””, if you’ll excuse the expression.

The dealer places a small plastic “”buy”” disc on top of any buy bet to indicate how the bet should be paid.