Here’s an important lesson: Just because it’s bigger doesn’t mean it’s better. That lesson applies to craps, too!
When you approach a craps table in a Las Vegas-style casino, two big numbers jump out at you, the Big 6 and Big 8.
Craps is all about the odds, and the 6 and 8 are decent bets, because only the 7 is rolled more frequently. A bet on that giant 6 and 8 pays even money (bet $5, and if a 6 or 8 is rolled, you win $5), and your bet stays up until a shooter “sevens out.” (That never happens! Actual results may vary.)
Here’s the thing. Don’t bet on the Big 6 and 8. Yes, they’re big. We’ve established that. And red, too. It’s not a horrible bet, we know that. But betting on the 6 and 8, on another part of the table, makes a lot more sense.
Up near the dealer are a row of numbers, including the 6 and 8, and when you “place” your bet there, it pays 7-to-6, rather than even money. For betting on the same numbers.
Doesn’t sound like a big difference? A bet on the Big 6 and 8 has a 9 percent house advantage (hint: that’s a lot). A place bet of $6 (since it pays 7-to-6, you place a multiple of $6) has a house advantage of just 1.5 percent. You do what you want with your hard-earned clams, but this blog kind of has a crush on that 1.5 percent.
Oh, and before we forget, while it’s called a “place” bet, players don’t physically “place” a “place” bet, the dealer has to do it. Just lay your chips on the table and tell the dealer “place the 6 and 8.”
Remember, just like with the Big 6 and 8, you can take your place bets down at any time.
One subtle difference between placing the 6 and 8 and betting the Big 6 and 8 is that the Big 6 and 8 is always “working,” while place bets are, by default, “off” (or not working) during the “come out” roll. So, if a 7 comes up on the first roll, your place bets are safe (they don’t pay if a 6 or 8 is rolled, but you don’t lose them with a 7), while you can say so-long to your Big 6 and 8 bets.
So, now you know! The next time you’re playing craps, and you see someone betting the Big 6 and 8, you get to be the one to ask, “What were you thinking?” People love that.