
What
Are the Odds of That? Recently on the
message board there was a discussion about how important "overall craps
knowledge" The only bets on the table that pay true odds are the "free odds" bets related to Pass/Don't Pass and Come/Don't Come bets. Why is it important to know about odds payoffs? This may be unbelievable, but table crews have been known to make incorrect payoffs! So, when you have odds on your bets, you need to know in advance what you should be payed. The following will help. When I first started playing, I tried to memorize what the payoffs on all the odds bets were. For some of you whose brain synapses fire a little faster than mine, that method will work just fine, but I just couldn't memorize them all. For those of you who like shortcuts, look at the following: (by the way, a dealer taught me this)
I know, I know...I'm making you do math of all things! Trust me, it will serve you well in the long run, especially as your session stakes, and wagers grow. I trust that you already know by rote memory the first few payoffs of all the point numbers, but if you remember these simple formulas, you can calculate your payoffs for ANY odds amount
You'll notice that the for 5/9 I used only increments of ten dollar odds amounts. The reason for this of course is generally, on a $5 table, you can not put $5 in odds behind it as it will come out to a $7.50 payoff. Instead, you must of course put $6 in odds behind your $5 pass line bet. For the 5/9, this sometimes works to your benefit. For instance, even in a house that only has say 2 X odds, frequently the dealers will let you put $12 or even $14 dollars in odds behind a $5 pass line bet on the 5/9. For the 5 and 9, you must place odds for the most part, in amounts that can be divided in half that come out in whole dollars. (there are some houses that will pay half dollars) So what's the point of all this? Knowing the formulas allows you to calculate any payoff. Off the top of your head, can you tell me what the TOTAL payoff is for a $5 pass line bet on a point of 6 with $75 in odds? Well, maybe you've memorized it. I'm saving my brain cells for other things. Using the formula: 75 x 20% = 15 + 75 = $90 + $5 flat portion of the bet. So the answer is $95. This method also makes it easier to calculate large odds amounts. Again, what is the total payoff for a $5 pass line bet on a point of 9 with $130 in odds? In this case, you could use the formula alone, (130 x 20% = $65 + 130 = $195 + $5 flat portion for a total $200) or you could break the odds amount up into smaller numbers and calculate the amount. (100 in odds = $150 payoff plus $30 in odds = $45 payoff plus the flat portion for a total of $200) Like I said, it's up to you, but it's easier for me to remember three formulas instead of an entire chart of numbers. If you're choosing to memorize, you not only have to memorize one chart, but several! These formulas work whether it's a $5 table or a $3 table or a $25 table. Finally, on a side note. Heavy reminded me that many strip casinos now offer 3x odds on the 4/10, 4x odds on the 5/9 and 5x odds on the 6/8. The probable reason for this is simplicity. Pass line bets with full (maximum) odds all pay a total of $35. ($30 payoff on the odds amount plus the $5 flat wager). This makes payoffs easy for players and dealers alike. Part II  Dark Side Odds Did you know that less than 15% of all craps players are dark side bettors? In part I of the series, I covered odds payoffs on Pass Line/Come Line bets, otherwise called Placing Odds. Now it's time for the dark side. Initially, it's easy to be confused and intimidated by dark side odds, (called Laying Odds). Some of you in fact may say, "I don't need to learn dark side odds, I'll NEVER play the don't!" Let me tell you something. The longer you play craps, the more likely it will be that you will develop some dark side methods to your overall playing strategy. If you are the type of player, who even after five seven outs in a row are bucking the trend and STILL making pass line bets, there is little help for you and your bankroll. (If your idea of a dark side strategy is placing bets on the "Any 7", then there is NO hope for you.) With the dark side, there are generally two things that people get confused by. The first being, "How much do I have to lay in odds?" and, "How much will I be payed?" Basically, if you know your odds payoffs as a Right Bettor, then you will be able to lay odds easily as well. For instance, look at a don't pass/don't come bet on the 6 or 8. If you had been a Right Bettor, you would place $5 in odds to get a $6 payoff on the odds. (Odds amount x 20% plus odds amount). The inverse is true for laying odds on the 6/8. You would lay $6 in odds to get a $5 payoff on the odds. Frankly, I'm not sure whether this will simplify the process for you or confuse you more. Perhaps you will need to memorize the chart. For me, I take what I know about right side odds, and merely flip them around.
Look at the lay odds payoff chart below and you'll see what I mean.
Obviously, laying odds on the 4 or 10 is easiest to calculate, the 5 and 9 being the most difficult. If you play the dark side for even the shortest period of time, you will quickly become adept at knowing how much to lay and what to expect to be paid. Similar to placing odds, if you become familiar with the basic lay odds amounts and payoffs, you'll be able to calculate larger amounts. For instance: How much would you be paid if the point was 9 and you layed $48 in odds behind your don't pass bet? You know the payoff on $24 in odds is $16, so the answer would be $32 on your lay odds amount, plus $5 for the flat portion of your bet. Not too tough, is it? On a final note regarding laying odds. Don't hesitate to ask the dealer. That is why they are there, to assist you.
Part
III  Place Bets Place bet amounts are the easiest to wrap your brain around. Unless you are very new to the game, you know the basics about place betting. There are two keys to Place Bets: Payoff Odds and the dollar increments which you must wager. Below are examples based on a $5 table.
Since place bets can be made and taken down at any time, the casino has seen fit to make you pay for that option by not paying true odds.
So what does the chart show us? Place bets on the 6 or 8 are made in increments of $6 (1 unit) and payed $7 per unit wagered. So an $18 place bet on the 6 or 8 (3 units) is payed $21 ($7 x 3 units). Place bets on the 5 or 9 are made in increments of $5 (1 unit) and also payed $7 per unit wagered. Therefore a $15 place bet on the 5 or 9 (3 units) is also payed $21 ($7 x 3 units). The 4 and 10 are slightly different. Wagers here are also made in increments of $5 (1 unit). They are payed $9 per unit for the first 3 units. When you get to the 4th unit ($20) on the 4 or 10, instead of a placing it, you will be "buying" it. In doing so, you will get true odds on your wager. In return, you will have to pay a 5% commission known as the vig or vigorish. If you place a $20 bet a good dealer SHOULD automatically ask you if you'd like to "buy" it. If he/she doesn't, you are being shortchanged. A place bet of $20 on the 4 would pay $36 ($9 x 4 units) whereas a buy bet of $20 pays $39 ( True odds of 2 to 1  5% vig or 20 x 2  $1). The house advantage on the 4 or 10 is a hefty 6.67%. Buying them instead of placing them, reduces the house advantage significantly. Buying the inside numbers is not as common, although you will sometimes see someone buying the 5 and/or 9. The calculation is the same for all buy bets: True odds  5% vig. There are other opportunities regarding buy bets. If you look above in my example. If you buy the 4 for $35*, the vig calculates to be $1.75*. Most casinos would round this to $2. But, frequently in cases such as this, whether you pay $1 or a $2 vig is solely at the discretion of the dealer. So it never hurts to ask the dealer something like, "What's the most you'll let me buy the 4 for a $1 vig?" The other opportunity lies in whether the vig is payed when the wager is made or if it is payed only if the wager wins. In the case of buying the 4. If the vig is only paid if the wager wins, the house advantage for this bet is reduced to 1.64%. Part IV  Lay Bets As wagers go, Lay Bets are one of the most misunderstood on the table. One reason for this is that the majority of craps players have NEVER layed against a number. (If you're of the mindset that "dark side" bettors somehow are a jinx at the table, get over it) There's a cause and effect of players' inexperience with lay bets. If players rarely lay against the numbers, then dealers are also less experienced paying these bets off. In casinos where you'd almost never see an incorrect payoff on place bets, it's much more common to have confusion with lay bet payoffs. Especially with the proliferation of Indian Casinos and the addition of craps tables in Canadian casinos, it is in your best interest for YOU to know how much to lay and how much you should be payed.
Lay bets are paid true odds. Again, because of this fact, the casino has seen fit to charge a vigorish (vig) of 5% on these wagers. One important fact to know up front though is that you are paying the vig on the anticipated amount of the win, not on the amount layed. Look at the chart:
To lay against numbers, there are some easy ways to calculate how much to lay and how much you'll be paid. If you think of the true odds in increments instead of dollars, payoffs are simple. Take laying the 6 or 8. True odds are 6:5 . This means that you must lay the 6 or 8 in increments of $6 and for every increment layed, you will be paid $5. So if you lay the the 6 for $24 (4 increments of 6), you'll be paid $20. (4 increments x $5). So, learn the odds! If you know the odds, you can calculate the amount to lay and the amount you'll be paid quite easily. A couple more examples. You want to lay the 5. Odds are 3:2 therefore you need to lay the 5 in an amount divisible by 3. If you lay the 5 for $30 (10 increments of 3) you would be paid $20 (10 increments x 2). For the 4 and 10, it's a cinch. You take the amount you lay, divide it in half and that's your payoff. (True odds are 2:1) If you are new to lay bets, there's something in the chart that should jump out at you. Why does the chart start with $20 payoffs? Generally, on a $5 table, the minimum amount you can win on a lay bet is 4 times the table minimum (4 x $5). Like other wagers with a vigorish, some casinos will charge the vigorish when you lay your bet, so for instance if you intended to lay the 4 for $40, you would actually drop $41 on the table. Other casinos are more generous and only charge the vig if the wager wins. In that case you would lay the 4 for $40, and if the seven shows, you'd be paid $19 instead of $20. If the vig is only charged when you win, the house advantage is significantly lowered for lay bets. Remember, there is some dealer descretion in the amount of vig you pay. For instance, you lay the 6 for $60 and win $50. 5% of $50 is $2.50. Most casinos will charge you only a $2 vig, but you should check first. On the other hand, if you lay the 6 AND 8 for $60 each and win $100. You will pay a $5 vig. So how do you place your wager? You know you want to lay the 4 for $40 but what EXACTLY do you say? Well, there's several ways, but the two most common are: "I'd like to lay the 4 for $40, please.." and " No 4 for $40 please..." If you're ever not sure what to do, ask the dealer. That's what they're there for! (DON'T ask the stranger next to you, they probably know less about the game then YOU do!) Finally, lay bets in general are pretty good wagers. If you are not required to pay the vig up front, then they're even better! The real hang up with lay bets is that they require the player to have a pretty decent bankroll, and on bets like the 4 and 10, wagering $40 to win $20 is an issue to wrestle with. Part V  Proposition
Bets Now for the worst and MOST FUN wagers on the table. Proposition bets. You can memorize this page if you wish, but when it comes to the proposition bets; "Know the payoffs on bets you're making, and make only bets that you know the payoffs!" For no other reason, by the time you're finished with this page, you will have a higher appreciation for dealers, because keeping track of proposition bets for eight hours would be a bear. With some prop bets, I'll be able to provide some shortcuts, on others only memorization will do. So, in no particular order: C & E If
you're going to place a C & E bet, make it easy on yourself AND the dealers, by
placing equal amounts on both the C and E. Given equal amounts for each bet, the
formula for payoff is three times the TOTAL C & E bet if craps (2,3,12) is rolled, or
seven times the TOTAL C & E bet if 11 is rolled.
So how do most players figure out the payoff? They do it rather stupidly. If a craps rolled with a $2 C & E bet, they would say craps pays 7 to 1, minus the $1 lost on the eleven portion of the wager, for a total of $6. If the 11 had rolled, they would calculate $1 times 15 to 1, minus the $1 lost for the craps portion of the wager for a total of $14. The stupid way seems simple enough, right? How about if you parlayed that $2 C & E win on the eleven? You're payed $14 and up with the original $2, for a total of a $16 C & E bet. NOW, what's the payoff if the 11 hits again? Using the shortcut: $16 x 7 = (10 x 7) + (6 * 7) = $112 or the stupid way: $8 x 15 = (8 x 10) + (8 x 5) = 120  $8 = $112 How to figure out payoff is up to you, I prefer the shortcut.
2
or 12 / 3 or 11 Individually, these prop bets pay either 15 to 1 or 30 to 1. The fact is, you're gonna have to do some math or some serious memorization:
2 and 12 are easy, whereas many people get confused with 3 and 11 when the wagers get larger. Horn Bets Horn bet calculations are not too bad. Since there are two different payoff structures (15:1 and 30:1), there are two formulas. Though some casinos will allow you to make horn bets in increments OTHER than $4, I'd recommend keeping to the norm, sticking to increments of $4.
You could also remember horn bets this way. If you think of every increment of $4 as a unit on the horn, you could then multiply $27 times the number of units if the 2 or 12 hits or $12 times the number of units if the 3 or 11 hit.
Horn
High Bets Since there are four possibilities of Horn High Bets, you get four tables:
Beginning to have an appreciation for dealers????
Horn High Aces
Whirl Bets Whirl bet calculations are a breeze. If the 7 is rolled, it's a push. Otherwise:
Three
Way Craps
That covers the basic proposition bets. There are many, MANY, variations of these bets with catchy names. Again, I must emphasize that if you don't understand the payoff, don't make the wager. Good luck! 
