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## Learn to Play Casino Craps – The Place Bet

Be smart, play smart, learn how to play casino dice the right way!

A place bet is a ‘standing’ bet, meaning the bet continues to run, or stand, until it wins or loses, or until you remove it. It can be made on any of the spot numbers: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10. Like the pass line bet, it works against the number 7. After placing a place bet, the only numbers that matter are the Place number and 7; all other numbers are meaningless. After the bet is placed, each subsequent roll can produce one of three outcomes: 1) a 7 is shown and your place bet loses, 2) the place number is shown and your place bet wins, or 3) any other number is displayed and nothing happens to it. bet (ie all other numbers have no effect on your place bet).

Bets placed are not paid according to actual odds. Instead, the house gets its edge by paying them at a lower than true probability (ie they stick the player for not paying their fair share when the player wins).

Site odds are not as good as real odds. The house sticks the player to win money by paying less than the actual odds. For a winning bet of $5 on 4 or 10, the odds on the site only pay $9, but the real odds say we should be paid $10. For a winning bet of $10 on the 5 or 9, the site’s odds only pay $14, but the real odds say we should be paying $15. And for a winning bet of $30 on the 6 or 8, the odds on the site only pay $35, but the real odds say we should be paying $36.

You might be thinking, “How much do I put down for a place bet?” As always, the bet amount depends on the odds. The place odds for 4 and 10 are 9:5, and the place odds for 5 and 9 are 7:5. Therefore, bets of 4, 5, 9, and 10 should be multiples of $5. For example, a winning bet of $10 on the 4 will net you $18. A winning bet of $15 on the 9 will net you $21. Don’t let math scare you! Since these bets are multiples of $5, you simply divide your bet by 5 and then multiply it by the winning odds to determine your winning amount. So for your $10 bet on the 4 spot (which has odds of 9:5), $10 divided by 5 = $2 and $2 x 9 = $18. For your $15 bet on the 9 (which has odds of 7:5), $15 divided by 5 = $3, and $3 x 7 = $21.

The place odds for the 6 and 8 are 7:6, meaning the bet should be in multiples of $6. For example, a winning $12 Place bet on the 6 nets you $14. A winning $30 Place bet on the 8 will net you $35. Do the math. For your $30 bet on the 8 (which has odds of 7:6), $30 divided by 6 = $5, and $5 x 7 = $35.

Learn the difference between site odds and real odds. Learn the difference so you don’t have to think about it. You don’t want to look like a newbie fumbling with how much to put in for each place number. (James Bond never asked the dealer, “Um, excuse me, how much is six?”) However, if you have trouble remembering the odds of the place the first time you play, don’t be afraid to ask the dealer how much to roll. It will be as easy as pie after 15 minutes at the table.

If you’re like me, you’ll find and play a table with a minimum bet of $3 instead of the usual minimum of $5 or $10. Let’s say you find a $3 table (there are still a few left in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip). Since the minimum bet is only $3, you can place bets of $3 on the site, but you don’t get the full site odds. The payout odds for a $3 bet on 6 or 8 are 1:1, or even money. For the 5 or 9, it’s 4:3 (meaning your $3 bet wins $4). For the 4 or 10, it’s 5:3 (meaning your $3 bet wins $5).

For a $3 Places bet, you get a little less than the full Places odds because the lowest chip denomination on the dice table that casinos allow is generally $1, so they can’t pay you a fraction of a dollar (ie cents). For example, let’s say you place a $3 bet on 5. The full site odds are 7:5, but the reduced payout odds for a $3 bet are only 4:3. Because? Because it gives the casino another excuse to stick it to the player! The roulette table has chips of 25 cents or 50 cents, so why can’t the dice table have chip denominations under $1? That is correct. They screw you up again! The full site odds are 7:5, which means that for a $3 to 5 bet, we divide $3 by 5 = 60 cents, then multiply 60 cents by 7 = $4.20. So for a $3 bet on the 5th or 9th place with full place odds of 7:5, we expect to be paid $4.20 when we win. The craps table has no 20 cent chips, so the casino rounds up to $4.

Let’s look at a $3 place bet on the 4 or 10. The full place odds are 9:5, which means we divide $3 by 5 = 60 cents, then multiply 60 cents by 9 = $5.40. So for a $3 bet on 4 or 10 with total odds of 9:5, we expect to win $5.40, but the casino rounds up to $5. (Notice how the casino rounds down instead of up.) The player doesn’t give up much by making $3 Place bets, so if you’re on a budget, these bets are fun and give you more action than Pass bets Line. The point is, keep in mind that you will get a little less than the full place odds and increase the house edge when you make $3 Place bets.

Full site odds are not as good as actual odds. This is how the house maintains its edge. Remember, the house is made to make money, not to play. Over time, the house wins because when you lose, you pay the real odds; but when you win, the house pays you less than the actual odds. So by paying less than its fair share when you win, the house can’t help but be a winner in the long run. Let’s take a closer look at how the house sticks it to the player.

Let’s look at the number 4. The actual odds of rolling a 4 compared to a 7 are 1:2 (that is, three ways to roll a 4 compared to six ways to roll a 7, which is 3:6, which is reduces to 1:2). So, since the number 7 is twice as easy to make as a 4, we expect to be paid twice as much as our bet when we win. For example, if we bet $5 on the 4 to hit before the 7, we expect to get $10 when we win (ie $5 x 2 = $10). However, for a place bet on the 4, the payout odds are only 9:5. That’s close to 2:1, but not quite. So if we make a $5 Place bet on the 4 and win, the house only pays us $9. When the house loses, they don’t pay the actual odds; they pay just $9 instead of $10 and keep that extra dollar. You might think, “For my $5 bet, I win $9, so I don’t care if they take that extra $1 out of me. It’s only a dollar.” Okay, but think of it this way. This is just a place bet made by a player during a game. Imagine keeping that extra dollar when other people at the table make the same bet, multiplied by the number of tables in action, multiplied by the number of hours in a day, multiplied by the number of days in a month, etc. It’s easy to see how the house accumulates money in the long run.

You can place or remove bets at any time during a game. You can also make them while the disc is off (before a new out roll), but usually dealers prefer that you wait until a point is settled and then place your bets. Every now and then you see a player try to make a bet while the puck is OFF by asking, “Can you put the six for me now, please, so I don’t forget after the tee?” The dealer usually obliges (as they should; after all, you are the customer), but sometimes a grumpy dealer will ask the player to wait until a point is settled.

Dealers who ask you to wait to place a bet until a point is set are doing so because they are lazy. Let’s say you roll the 6 before the trick and the dealer moves your chip to the 6 dot box. The shooter then rolls a 6 for the point. The dealer moves the ON disc to the 6-point square and then has to ask, “Sir, what do you want to do with your six?” Since your pass line bet covers the 6 (because the 6 is now the point), you probably don’t want it to cover your place bet again. The dealer must then move your 6 slot to any other number you want or give it back to you if you decide to withdraw it. You think, “Wow, wow, that’s a lot of extra work for the dealer.” You’re right, it’s a no brainer, but it’s amazing how many dealers, even the good ones, don’t like to move your Place bets because you can’t wait until the point has been set to place them.

You can place as many place bets as you like, up to a maximum of six (ie the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10), including the point. Yes, you can place the point. For example, let’s say you walk up to a table and see a puck ON the 6-point box (ie, a game is in progress and the shooter’s point is 6). Let’s say you love the number 6 and want immediate action, but you don’t want to make a Put bet so you decide to place the Shooter Point. To do this, place the checkers centered directly on the bottom line of the pass line (ie the line that separates the pass line from the apron). As long as you center your chips on that line, the dealer knows it’s a place bet on the shooter’s point rather than a lay bet on the pass line. If you don’t want to place your bet this way, simply leave your chips in the Come box and tell the dealer, “Place the spot, please.” The dealer then moves your chips into the spot box.

The dealer places all bets on the spot (except when you place the shooter point yourself), so you put your chips on the table and tell the dealer what you want. The dealer then places them in the appropriate position on the dot box for the number you want to place. To the untrained eye, the players’ chips appear to be scattered all over the point boxes. On the contrary, it is well organized. Each player position has a corresponding tile position for each point square. The same goes for Lay bets, Come bets and Don’t Come bets. For all bets in and around the point boxes, the players’ chip locations correspond to their positions on the table.

Now you know! Remember, learn how to play casino dice the right way.

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