Buy Bets in Craps Guide: Is the 5% Vig Worth It?

Table of Contents

You have reached the ultimate guide to the buy bet in craps! 

If you want to add excitement to your game, you’ve come to the right place. 

I’ll take you through everything you need to know about buy bets, including how to make them, how they work, and whether or not they’re worth it. 

So let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways: Buy Bet in Craps

  1. Definition and Mechanics: Buy bets in craps allow players to “buy” the chance to hit specific numbers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) before a 7 is rolled, offering payouts at true odds minus a commission.
  2. Commission (Vig): A 5% commission on winnings affects the overall profitability but is compensated by receiving true odds on winning bets.
  3. Best Odds: The 4 and 10 offer the most favorable conditions for buy bets due to their 2:1 payout ratio, making them attractive options despite the vig.
  4. Strategic Considerations: Placing buy bets on the 4 and 10 can be a lucrative strategy, especially if the casino collects the vig only on winning bets. It’s advisable to avoid these bets on the come-out roll and to use them as part of a broader craps betting strategy.
buy bets in craps

What are Buy Bets in Craps?

Buy bets are a type of bet that you can make in craps. They allow you to “buy” a specific number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) and bet it will be rolled before a 7 is rolled.

If you win, you’ll get paid out at true odds, minus a vig (commission) which is 5% at most casinos.

How to Make a Buy Bet: Step-by-Step

Players can make a buy bet by placing their chips in the designated area on the craps table and telling the dealer which number they wish to buy. If the number bought is rolled before a 7, the player wins and is paid out at true odds, minus a vig (a.k.a “commission”). 

The vig is typically 5% of the player’s winnings and is used to offset the slightly higher odds offered on buy than on other types of craps bets.

The buy bets fit in 3 different categories, based on their odds and payouts:

Buying the 4 and the 10

Making a buy bet on the 4 and 10 is a good option for craps players because it offers the highest odds and payouts of all the buy bets. If you win, you’ll be paid out at 2:1 odds, higher than the 9:5 odds offered on place bets for the same numbers.

Buying the 5 and the 9

The buy bet for the 5 and 9 is a solid middle-of-the-road option with 3:2 odds and payouts. Whether or not this bet is worth it may depend on how the casino charges its commission – if it is only set on winning bets, then it can be a good choice.

The buy bet for the 6 and 8 is the weakest of the three options, with 6:5 odds and payouts. This bet is not as great as its place bet equivalent in terms of odds and payouts.

How Does a Buy Bet Work?

When you make a buy bet, you’re betting that a specific number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) will be rolled before a 7 is rolled

If the number you’ve bought is rolled before a 7, you win and are paid out at true odds, minus a commission. 

For example, if you buy the 4 or the 10, you’ll be paid out at 2:1 odds minus the vig. If you buy the 5 or the 9, you’ll be paid out at 3:2 odds minus the vig. 

Also, if you buy the 6 or the 8, you’ll be paid out at 6:5 odds, minus the commission.

Vig (Commission) Considerations

The commission on buy bets, typically set at 5%, significantly impacts the attractiveness of these wagers. It’s deducted from the winnings, meaning the net payout is less than the true odds would suggest.

This commission, or “vig,” is crucial in the calculation of the house edge and the overall expected value of the bet.

Commission Policies:

  • Winning Bets Only: Many casinos charge the commission only on winning bets. This policy can make buy bets particularly appealing, as the cost of the bet is only realized when it yields a profit.
  • Varied Policies: It’s important to note that commission policies can vary by casino. Some might charge the commission upfront, while others apply it only to wins. Knowing the specific casino’s policy is essential for accurate bankroll management.

Understanding how the commission affects payouts is vital for players considering buy bets as part of their craps strategy.

Buy Bets Odds and House Edge

Odds Breakdown:

  • For 4 and 10: True odds of 2:1. After accounting for the commission, these bets still offer compelling returns, making them the most favorable buy bets.
  • For 5 and 9: The odds are 3:2. While the payouts are attractive, the value is slightly less compelling than the 4 and 10 due to the frequency these numbers can be rolled.
  • For 6 and 8: Offering the lowest value among buy bets with odds of 6:5. The proximity of these numbers to 7 makes them more commonly rolled, reducing their payout advantage.

The key to maximizing buy bets is understanding these odds and selecting bets with the highest potential return after accounting for the commission.

Understanding the Buy Bet Odds

Buy bets in craps offer some of the best odds compared to other betting options, as they pay out at true odds or the probability of winning the bet. 

However, it’s important to note that a commission is typically charged on buy bets, which can affect the overall odds and payout. 

The vig is usually 5% of the initial bet and is, in most cases, only applied to winning bets.

The odds and house edge for each of the three possible buy bets vary, depending on the specific bet and payout. 

For example, a buy bet on the 4 and 10 offers a 2:1 payout and a house edge of 1.67% after the commission is applied. 

In comparison, the place bet equivalent for the 4 and 10 offers a payout of 9:5 and a house edge of 6.67%.

 As you can see, the buy bet offers better odds and a lower house edge in this case.

Buy vs Place Bet in Craps

Buy and place bets are similar because they allow you to bet on a specific number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) being rolled before a 7. However, there are a few key differences between the two types of bets:

  • Payouts: With a place bet, you’ll be paid out at slightly lower odds than a buy bet. For example, if you place the 4 or the 10, you’ll be paid out at 9:5 odds rather than 2:1 odds like with a buy bet.
  • Commission: As mentioned above, buy bets come with a commission, which means that the house edge is slightly higher than place bets. Place bets do not come with a commission.
  • Betting options: With a place bet, you have the option to “place” the number either “inside” (meaning that you’re betting that it will be rolled before a 7) or “outside” (meaning that you’re betting it will be rolled before a 6 or an 8). With a buy bet, you can only bet that the number will be rolled before a 7.

My Best Buy Bet Strategy Tips

There are a few different strategies that you can use when making buy bets in craps.

 Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Only Make Buy bets On the Numbers that Offer the Best Odds 

The 4 and the 10 offer the best odds for buy bets, with 2:1 payouts. 

The 5 and the 9 offer slightly lower payouts at 3:2 odds, and the 6 and the 8 offer even lower payouts at 6:5 odds. As such, it’s generally a good idea to stick with the 4 and the 10 when making buy bets.

Don’t Make Buy Bets on the Come-out Roll 

The come-out roll is the first roll of the dice in a craps game, and it’s generally a good idea to avoid making buy bets on this roll. This is because the odds of rolling a 7 on the come-out roll are higher than any other number.

Consider Making Buy Bets in Conjunction with Place Bets

One strategy that some craps players use is to make both a buy bet and a place bet on the same number. This can offset the commission on the buy bet and potentially increase your chances of winning.

Are Buy Bets in Craps Worth It?

Whether or not buy bets are worth it depends on your preferences.

On the one hand, buy bets offer the potential for higher payouts than place bets, with 2:1 odds for the 4 and the 10 and 3:2 odds for the 5 and the 9. 

However, they also come with a commission, which means that the house edge is slightly higher than with place bets.

If you’re a conservative player more interested in minimizing risk, you may want to stick with place bets. 

However, if you’re willing to take on a little more risk in exchange for the potential for higher payouts, buy bets can be an exciting option to consider.

Final Thoughts

We hope this guide has helped you understand the buy bet in craps and how it works. With a bit of practice and some careful strategy, you’ll be well on your way to mastering this exciting betting option. 

Happy rolling!

Buy Bets in Craps Frequently Asked Question

Want to Play Craps for Real Money? Check Out This Offer:

Jake Wilfred

Try Craps for Free

Before you start playing for real money, it’s a great idea to play the game in demo mode:

Want to take full advantage of the craps simulator? Check out our dedicated page and train your skills for free with no risk involved! 

Recent Posts