Craps Buy Bet: Understanding the Rules and Odds

In this post, we will focus on the craps buy bet, which is a bet that is rarely made, and typically only made on the 4 and 10. Although it can be made on the 5, 6, 8, or 9 as well. Craps is a popular dice game at casinos, and there are many different types of bets that can be placed on the craps table.

We will cover how the buy bet works, whether it is a good bet to place, the odds of winning, and other important information about the buy bet in craps.

Craps table layout with buy bets and place bets area highlighted

How the buy Bet works

The Buy Bet is a wager that a particular number will be rolled before the seven appears. This bet is similar to the Place Bet, but with a different payout structure.

A buy bet can be placed on the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, although the vast majority of casinos will not allow them on the 6 or 8. It is also somewhat common to see them not allowed on the 5 or 9 as well. To place a buy bet, simply place your money on the craps table layout and tell the dealer which number you’d like to buy. For example, “buy the 4 for $25”.

Buy bets are paid at true odds, minus a 5% commission, or vig. Some casinos collect the vig up front, others collect if the bet wins. The house edge is significantly reduced when the casino collects after a bet wins.

Why? If you bet $25 and you pay the commission upfront, you’ll put $26 on the table. If the bet loses, you are out $26. On the other hand, if the casino only collects after a win and you put the same $25 bet on the craps table and lose, you are out $25. $1 is small, I know, but it adds up and contributes to the overall house edge.

If you are new to craps, learn more about how craps works here.

When to Use a Buy Bet

Place bets are almost always better on the 6 or 8. Because there is a 5% commission, it does not make sense to buy the 6 or 8 until you have a bet amount greater than $126. Although you could buy it at this point, this is not something dealers do often and it may slow the pace of play significantly. This also assumes the commission is after the bet wins. And it is unlikely the casino actually lets you buy these numbers. Some limit you to only the 4 and 10, while some will limit you from buying more than one number.

When betting on the 5 or 9, it is better to place until you reach a bet amount of $50 or more. Compared to a place bet, you will make $1 more on the payout with a buy bet at $50. Also note – a lot of casinos do not allow buy bets on the 5 and 9.

When betting on the 4 or 10, it is better to place until you reach a bet amount of $20 or more.

Odds of Winning & Craps Buy Bet Payout

Buy bets payouts

  • 4 or 10 pays 2:1

  • 5 or 9 pays 3:2

  • 6 or 8 pays 6:5

You will pay a 5% commission, usually rounded to the nearest dollar unless your casino has $.50 cent chips. Although buy bets pay true odds, the house still has to get paid.

Payouts are determined by local gaming commission regulations, most states follow the same payouts and commissions as listed above, but these could vary from one jurisdiction to another. The above are from NV.

House Edge on buy Bets

The house edge on buy bets fluctuates based on the amount bet and whether the commission is taken upfront or after a win. Here is the breakdown of the house edge for the 4 and 10.

Bet AmountHouse Edge – Vig Up FrontHouse Edge – Vig After Win

Craps buy Bets FAQs:

Final Thoughts

When it comes to bets in craps, the buy bet is one you should definitely implement if your strategy already includes place bets on the 4 or 10. Especially if the vig is taken after a winning bet.

Every casino has unique rules, so be sure to understand what they will and will not allow. For example, the 5% commission is not static since the craps game (most of them) only has chips in $1 increments. Because of this, the commission is rounded off and some casinos will round down. This means you could get a $39 buy bet for only a $1 commission, instead of the $1.95.

It’s pretty rare to come across that, however. A lot of casinos will not allow you to buy anything other than a 4 or 10 as well.

Good luck on the tables!

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