Learn How
to Play Craps
Lay
Bet Payoffs
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 laid
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 paid.
Point 
True Odds 
6/8 
Lay 6:5 
5/9 
Lay 3:2 
4/10 
Lay 2:1 
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 laid.
Look at the chart:
Point 6/8 
Point 5/9 
Point 4/10 
Lay Bet
Amount 
Payoff on
Lay Amount 
Lay Bet
Amount 
Payoff on
Lay Amount 
Lay Bet
Amount 
Payoff on
Lay Amount 
$24* 
$20 
$30* 
$20 
$40* 
$20 
$30* 
$25 
$33* 
$22 
$42* 
$21 
$36* 
$30 
$36* 
$24 
$44* 
$22 
$42* 
$35 
$39* 
$26 
$50* 
$25 
$48* 
$40 
$42* 
$28 
$60* 
$30 
$54* 
$45 
$45* 
$30 
$70* 
$35 
$60* 
$50 
$48* 
$32 
$80* 
$40 
$66* 
$55 
$51* 
$34 
$90* 
$45 
$72* 
$60 
$54* 
$36 
$100* 
$50 
*(plus
vig) 
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 laid, you will be paid $5.
So
if you lay 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 discretion 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.
