The Basics of Lay Bets
A lay bet is an interesting and usually profitable bet to make, especially when the tables are cold or choppy. This bet is so advantageous to the player that casinos charge a 5% commission or "vig" so that they will always make a profit. For example, if you lay $40 on the four (or ten), you'll have to pay an extra dollar (5% of the $20 winnings). But most of the time, you can make a much bigger profit than the casinos by properly using this bet.
A lay bet is a "dark side" bet. That is, it pays off when the seven rolls before the point does. You can lay any number you want to, and you can also lay a number after it has rolled once, thus increasing your chances of winning. If the ten, for example, has just rolled, you can lay the ten and chances are, Big Red will come along before a second ten is rolled. Lay bets are also especially useful on the come out roll, because they will win on a seven, which can protect your don't pass bet.
Once, years ago, I was playing at the Tropicana and an older gent was making the same lay bets over and over again. After an hour or so, he left the table with over $200 (which was quite a lot in those days). I couldn't figure out what he was doing so, after he colored out, I asked if I could buy him a drink. He agreed and after the first drink he told me that his name was Joe, from Chicago. After a second drink, he told me all about his system.
"First, I make a $40 don't pass bet, and then I lay both the 4 and 10 for $40 each, and, I put $2 on the yo. If the seven rolls, it's basically a wash. If a point rolls, I remove the lay bets and place maximum odds on the don't pass. If a four or ten is the point, I lose one lay bet, take down the other, and lay maximum odds, so chances are that I'll get my money back later when a seven rolls, which usually happens before a second four or ten. I'll win on the 2 or 3, and a 12 is a push. The worst thing that can happen is the yo. I'll lose $40 and win only $30, but it's not a big loss ($10) and fortunately it doesn't happen very often."
I was very impressed and later returned to the tables to try his system. It seemed to work, but I didn't make as much money as he did. There were several come out fours and tens on my table, and I kept losing my lay bets.
Eventually I got an idea. I would bet don't pass, lay the four and ten on the come out, and put $5 each on the hard four and ten. This way, if a hard four or ten rolled, I would lose my $40 don't pass but win $35 on the hard way. This way, I would cut my losses in half (losing only on the soft four or ten), and increase my profits.
This seemed to work great, and inside of an hour, I had over $200 in my pocket.
The next day I saw Joe again, and told him about my hard way hedging system. Soon we both were using it and raking in the chips. Afterwards, he bought me dinner.
That's what I like about playing craps. You get to have fun, meet people and make new friends. And once you develop a good dependable system (like Chicago Joe's) you'll be making money as well! Next time you visit your favorite casino give this lay bet system a try!
And, as always, good luck at the tables!