Rules Craps Betting: Lay Bet
The craps Lay bet is for the 7 to appear against your chosen number (i.e., the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) and the payoff is according
to true odds. It's the opposite of the Buy bet, much like the Don't Pass craps bet is the opposite of the Pass line bet. For
example, if you Lay the 4, you hope a 7 shows before the 4; whereas, if you Buy the 4, you hope a 4 shows before the 7.
The craps Lay bet pays off according to true odds, which are: 1:2 for the 4 and 10, 2:3 for the 5 and 9, and 5:6 for the 6 and
8. For example, the payoff odds for Laying the 4 are 1:2, which means you have to bet more money than you win. For
every two dollars you bet, you win one dollar. It's like the Don't Pass bet where you have an advantage over the casino
because there are six ways to make a 7 and only three ways to make a 4. Therefore, you have to put up your fair share,
which is twice the amount you hope to win. So, if your $20 Lay bet on the 4 wins, you win $10, which is half your bet
The Lay bet has the same vig as the Buy bet, but it's based on the win amount, not the bet amount. For example, suppose
you Lay the 4 for $100. The true payoff odds are 1:2, which means your winning $100 Lay bet pays $50. The vig is based
on the $50 winnings, not the $100 bet. So, the vig is $2 ($50 x 5% = $2.50, which is rounded down to $2), instead of $5
($100 x 5% = $5).
Lay bets are often called "No" bets. For example, suppose you play for two hours and a 5 just won't appear. You decide
you're in an anomalous blip of the distribution where the number 5 isn't going to appear no matter what the craps gods do.
You want to take advantage of that anomaly so you drop $75 in the Come box and tell the dealer, "Give me a No five,
please." The dealer then moves your chips to the 5 point box and puts a LAY button on top of the chips. Lay bets are
positioned in the same locations as Don't Come with Odds bets. Sure enough as you had hoped, the 5 doesn't appear and
the shooter rolls a 7-out. Your $75 Lay bet wins $50 (i.e., the true odds are 2:3, so $75 divided by 3 = $25, multiplied by 2
= $50). You must also pay the 5% vig on your winnings. To make it easier for himself, the dealer will likely give you two $25
chips for your winnings and say, "Drop me two dollars, please," rather than count out $48 in chips. In this case, you simply
drop two $1 chips in the Come box and then pick up your two $25 chips.
Unlike Buy bets, Lay craps bets are normally kept "on" and working on the come-out roll of a new game. However, you can
always turn them "off" and "on" whenever you want. Typically, players leave their Lay bets "on" and working for the
come-out roll because they have the advantage over the casino (i.e., there are always more ways to make a 7 than any of
the point numbers). Another reason (which is a silly reason, but a reason nonetheless) is because everyone typically roots
for a 7 on the come-out (most people play the Pass Line bet, so a 7 on the come-out is a winner for them). With all that
positive mojo at the table, a 7 is bound to show, so leave your Lay bets working for the come-out roll of a new game. In
reality, you should leave your Lay bets working on the come-out not because of positive table mojo, but because you have
the advantage over the casino.
Like Buy bets, you can make, remove, increase, or decrease Lay bets at any time you want.