# What Is A Craps Lay Bet: Joining The Dark Side

A lay bet in craps is a bet AGAINST the shooter, made by “laying” bets on the box numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. This is the opposite of “place” bets, which can also be made on the box numbers.

It is a bet that the “lay number” will NOT hit before Any-7 is rolled. The “lay bet” wins if the shooter rolls Any-7 BEFORE rolling the number on which you placed the “lay” bet. This bet is also known as “laying the dark side,” or “the wrong way lay.”

## How Does A Craps Lay Bet Work?

The lay bet in craps is made on the box numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. You can “lay” any one, or two, or three, or all these numbers at the same time if you want – although this would be a very bad play.

The purpose of a “lay bet” is to wager that the number will NOT be rolled before Any-7 appears. Therefore this is the OPPOSITE of “place bets” which win if they are rolled before Any-7.

## Why Use A Lay Bet In Craps?

A ley bet is part of a “dark side” wagering strategy, whereby you are betting AGAINST the shooter – meaning that your bets win if the shooter and pass line players lose.

There are some advantages for this wager. First, the house edge is a bit lower on these bets, by a small differential. The “don’t pass” line wager has a house edge of about 1.35% which is just a tad lower than the pass line of about 1.4%.

But the house edge and odds on lay bets are a bit different, and that depends on whether or not the casino where you are playing charges their lay bet commission on all lay bets, or only on winning lay bets.

Here is a breakdown of the potential house edge and odds:

## If The Casino Charges A Commission On ALL Lay Bets

• The house edge on the 6 and 8 lay bet is about 4% and your odds are 6:5
• The house edge on the 5 and 9 lay bet is about 3.3% and your odds are 3:2
• The house edge on the 4 and 10 lay bet is about 2.5% and your odds are 2:1

## If The Casino Charges A Commission ONLY On WINNING Lay Bets

• The house edge on the 6 and 8 lay bet is about 2.3% and your odds are 6:5
• The house edge on the 5 and 9 lay bet is about 2% and your odds are 3:2
• The house edge on the 4 and 10 lay bet is about 1.7% and your odds are 2:1

So, as you can see, playing in a casino where they charge a commission only on winning lay bets is the better choice for the dark side play strategy. So, it’s always worth asking before you start playing – and this applies to both real-world casinos as well as online casinos. This information is always available, but you will have to ask for it, or look for it if you’re playing online.

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## How To Make A Lay Bet In Craps Step-by-Step

Because in lay bets you are “laying true odds” this means that you are getting the better payoff. However, you must pay the commission, as we just explained above. And this means that the amounts you are wagering have to account for this, as well as the commission. So, here’s how this works:

• If you want to lay-the-6 or 8, then you toss your chips to the dealer nearest your position at the table, and call out: “lay the 6!” or “lay the 8!” or “lay the 6 and 8!”
• And if you want to lay-the-5 or 9, then you toss your chips to the dealer nearest your position at the table, and call out: “lay the 5!” or “lay the 9!” or “lay the 5 and 9!”
• If you want to lay-the-4 or 10, then you toss your chips to the dealer nearest your position at the table, and call out: “lay the 4!” or “lay the 10!” or “lay the 4 and 10!”

But you must do this in the correct amounts, and also including the commission, which is, usually, charged at 5%.

So, since you are “laying true odds” this means that the odds on the 6 and 8 are 6:5, and that means you must wager \$6 to win \$5. However, you must also include the commission, which will be a minimum of \$1.

And if you are laying the 5 and/or 9 this means that the true odds are at 3:2, and that means you have to wager \$3 to to get a craps lay bet payout of \$2 – plus, of course, the commission. If you are laying the 4 and/or 10 then this means that the true odds are at 2:1, and so you must bet \$2 to win \$1 – plus the commission.

## How This Plays Out In A Real Game

The best way to show what that means is like this:

If you want to lay the 6 and/or 8 for, say, \$20, then at 6:5 you must bet \$24 to win \$20 – plus the commission, which means you will toss \$25 to the dealer nearest you, and call out “lay the 6” or “lay the 8” or toss out \$50 and call out “lay the 6 and 8.” This would work as the correct wager for the lay bet on the 6 and/or 8, along with the commission.

And similarly so for the other box numbers, like this:

If you want to “lay the 5 and/or 9” for, say, \$20, then at 3:2 you must bet \$30 to win \$20 – plus the commission, which means you will toss \$31 to the dealer nearest you, and call out “lay the 5” or “lay the 9” or toss out \$62 and call out “lay the 5 and 9.” This would be the correct wager for the lay bet on the 5 and/or 9, along with the commission.

If you want to “lay the 4 and/or 10” for, say, \$20, then at 2:1 you must bet \$40 to win \$20 – plus the commission, which means you will toss \$41 to the dealer nearest you, and call out “lay the 4” or “Lay the 10” or toss out \$82 and call out “lay the 4 and 10.” And that will be the correct wager for the Lay Bet on the 4 and/or 10, along with the commission.

## More Strategy For Craps Lay Bets

A primary advantage of the lay bet is it’s situational nature. And that depends on how the dice are rolling, and how the game is going. This applies more to real-world casinos, because there you can experience the ebb-and-flow of the game, which is difference from online play.

When you play online you are usually only playing against the algorithm that runs the game, while in the real-world casino you are actually playing with other humans, and with real dice.

### Playing The Shooter

A lay bet allows you to not only exploit situational changes in the game, but also in the dice, and the shooters. Some shooters will crap out often, and so then it’s a good time to lay your bets against them.

On other occasions the shooters may be “hot rollers,” and so in those cases you’re better off with place bets. So these are some of the advantages of lay bets and place bets, because you can adapt how you play depending on the flow of the game, and the skill of the shooters – or, perhaps, the LACK of skill in the shooters.

Another tidbit to consider is time – specifically, when, to play a dark side betting strategy for craps. You see, in the real-world casinos, the craps tables usually change the dice at about 3 AM, which is, traditionally, the slowest time in the casino pit. And so that’s when they usually change the cards in the card games, and dice in crap games. But why does this matter to the lay bets?

Well, you see, that’s because new dice have perfect corners and sides. They haven’t yet been bounced around the table for 24 hours, as the old dice have by then, and so this means that they are all perfect, and new. This means that they produce the most perfectly random rolls possible, and this, then, in turn means that – according to the math of the game – the dark side is statistically favored, as are the don’t and lay bets.

If you wondering why use a lay bet in your craps strategy, it’s because you can actually play the shooter and you have the statistical advantage.

## Is A Lay Bet A Good Bet In Craps?

It depends – well, in gambling that’s the case with many decisions, especially in the real-world casinos where you are playing with other humans, and not computer algorithms like in online casinos. Humans aren’t perfect, and no real dice are perfect either, even if they are manufactured to exacting standards. So, there are slight variances, such as wear-and-tear, and so on.

So, for lay bets, and dark side play, just after 3 AM is the best time, because that’s when most real-world casinos change their dice, and since these are brand new dice, and perfect, that’s an advantage for the lay bet and dark side player.

Similarly so, being able to gauge the human element, such as recognizing when a player is a good shooter, or a lucky shooter, or not. Bad shooters, unlucky shooters, or people showing off for social media, like Tim Naki, are good for lay bets and the dark side players, so if you are good at spotting them, you can adapt your play accordingly. So that’s also an advantage.

But the disadvantages of lay bets outweigh them all. First – other players will not like you. That’s because you are betting that they will lose – and that’s a fact. If they are with the shooter players, then when you win, they lose.

They won’t like you collecting their money when you win, and they crap out. So, playing this way is not very popular – although playing the lay bets isn’t as bad, or as noticeable. Often casual players won’t really notice, so at least that way you can take advantage of a shooter whom you think is about to crap out.

But what’s really the killer is that lay bets are pretty costly. Not only because you have to lay a lot to win little – such as, for example, having to lay \$40 to win \$20 on the 4 and 10 – but you also must pay the commission. And since most casinos will charge you that commission whether you win or not, the costs of these lay bets far outweigh their overall viability.

It’s a lot better to buy the 4 and 10 instead, and shave the house edge to it’s minimum by pushing \$39 on a \$40 bet, and forcing the casino to only a \$1 vig, instead of \$2. So that will be far better for you overall in craps than any lay bet ever will.

## Next Steps: Where to Go After Mastering Lay Bets

Now that you’ve mastered the art of lay betting, why not check out some of the article below to really take you craps skills to the next level!

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