July 13th, 2019 at 3:23:11 PM
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I’ve often wondered about the place bets in craps, why the house edge is so different between the 4/10, 5/9, and 6/8, and why the payoff is oddball compared to other craps bets (7 to 6 for example).

I recently came across an explanation I’ve seen no where else and thought I’d share. The book Craps:Dealing and Supervising by Ralph Cutolo explains how the place bet came about.

Cutolo writes that the place bet was invented in Nevada. Prior to this, if a player wanted to bet directly on a number they would say “1 and 4 on the 10”. This means betting $5 on the 10, the first dollar is paid at even money, the other four dollars are paid at true odds (2:1), so the total pay off is $9. The bet was placed on the layout just like a come bet that had traveled, with the four cheques offset from the base bet, just like a come bet with odds. This assumes a $1 minimum.

Similarly, for the 5 and 9, the player would say “1 and 4 on the 5”. The first cheque paid at even money and the remaining four paid at true odds of 3:2, or a return of $7 on a $5 bet.

For the 6 and 8, the first cheque is paid at even money, but true odds (6:5) against the remaining $4 would result in $4.80 and the payoffs had to be in even dollars, so the bet was pushed up to $6 total. The first dollar paid even money, the remainder paid at 6:5 for a total of $7 to a $6 dollar bet.

Eventually this popular bet became too unwieldy and slow and so in Nevada it was standardized and given its own placement on the craps layout, around the edges of the number box according to player position.

As an aside, the experienced among you might notice that the original placement like a come bet with odds mimics a put bet. The put bet, you’ll recall, is a pass line bet (or come bet) placed after the come out roll. In fact a place bet on the 6 or 8 is identical to a payout of put bet with 5X odds. Similarly, place bets on the 5/9 and 4/10 are like a put bet with 4X odds. It follows that a player can improve upon the overall odds of a place bet by making put bets on tables with 5X odds or more.

Anyway, it’s somewhat esoteric, but I found it interesting.

I recently came across an explanation I’ve seen no where else and thought I’d share. The book Craps:Dealing and Supervising by Ralph Cutolo explains how the place bet came about.

Cutolo writes that the place bet was invented in Nevada. Prior to this, if a player wanted to bet directly on a number they would say “1 and 4 on the 10”. This means betting $5 on the 10, the first dollar is paid at even money, the other four dollars are paid at true odds (2:1), so the total pay off is $9. The bet was placed on the layout just like a come bet that had traveled, with the four cheques offset from the base bet, just like a come bet with odds. This assumes a $1 minimum.

Similarly, for the 5 and 9, the player would say “1 and 4 on the 5”. The first cheque paid at even money and the remaining four paid at true odds of 3:2, or a return of $7 on a $5 bet.

For the 6 and 8, the first cheque is paid at even money, but true odds (6:5) against the remaining $4 would result in $4.80 and the payoffs had to be in even dollars, so the bet was pushed up to $6 total. The first dollar paid even money, the remainder paid at 6:5 for a total of $7 to a $6 dollar bet.

Eventually this popular bet became too unwieldy and slow and so in Nevada it was standardized and given its own placement on the craps layout, around the edges of the number box according to player position.

As an aside, the experienced among you might notice that the original placement like a come bet with odds mimics a put bet. The put bet, you’ll recall, is a pass line bet (or come bet) placed after the come out roll. In fact a place bet on the 6 or 8 is identical to a payout of put bet with 5X odds. Similarly, place bets on the 5/9 and 4/10 are like a put bet with 4X odds. It follows that a player can improve upon the overall odds of a place bet by making put bets on tables with 5X odds or more.

Anyway, it’s somewhat esoteric, but I found it interesting.

July 14th, 2019 at 8:15:16 AM
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I remember reading the same in an old craps instructional book by Edwiin Silberstang.

July 14th, 2019 at 8:27:33 AM
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Thanks Coastal. Your explication is plausible and thorough. Is it possible to assign dates to those innovations?

"I suppose I was mad. Every great genius is mad upon the subject in which he is greatest. The unsuccessful madman is disgraced and called a lunatic." Fitz-James O'Brien, The Diamond Lens (1858)

July 14th, 2019 at 9:44:55 AM
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Quote:pwcrabbIs it possible to assign dates to those innovations?

Cutolo just contrasts Nevada with the “old days” back east. So, 1930s or later?

July 14th, 2019 at 4:15:01 PM
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Gambling in Nevada was illegal from 1910 to 1931. Old habits would have had two decades to wither. The restoration in 1931 would seem to have been an ideal moment for an innovation such as the Place bet.

"I suppose I was mad. Every great genius is mad upon the subject in which he is greatest. The unsuccessful madman is disgraced and called a lunatic." Fitz-James O'Brien, The Diamond Lens (1858)