What Is a Lay Bet: Lay Bets in Craps Explained

by Sonja  ·  April 29, 2021

Lay bet is a type of bet you can place in craps. It is the opposite of the buy bet, and because it offers true odds, it is often played by craps players. To show you what a lay bet is and how it works, we will cover everything you need to know about this type of bet.

Apart from covering the basics, we will also cover the odds regarding lay bets. Moreover, we will include a strategy that revolves around the lay bet so that you can test it in action and perhaps even make a profit.

What Is a Lay Bet? 6 Quick Facts

  • Lay bet is a type of bet .
  • With the lay bet, you bet against the shooter.
  • Lay bet pays true odds.
  • There is no house edge with lay bet, but casinos generally charge a 5% commission.
  • You can place the lay bet even before the come-out roll and cancel it at any time.
  • Lay bet is also known as the no bet.

What Is a Lay Bet

Lay bet is the opposite of the buy bet. However, in this case, you are betting against the shooter. You can place a lay bet at any time, even before a come-out roll or before a point is rolled.

There are six different lay bets you can place, and you can lay 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, which are the same numbers that can become points if the shooter rolls them on the come-out. Lay in betting terms means that you are betting against an outcome. In this case, you are betting that a shooter will roll a 7 before rolling a point. To win the lay bet, a shooter has to roll a 7 before rolling the number on which you placed a lay bet.

For example, if you lay a 4 and the shooter rolls a 7, you win the bet. However, in case the shooter rolls the number you are laying against before a 7, you lose your bet.

To anyone wondering “how does lay betting work,” that’s basically it. If it sounds simple enough, that’s because it is simple indeed. One of the things that make the lay bet fun is that the bet continues to be active for as long as it is not resolved. If you placed a lay bet on a 4 and the shooter rolls a 5, 6, 8, 9, or a 10, nothing happens as far as your bet is concerned.

Short Guide to Lay Betting in Land-Based Casinos

Before we tell you more about lay bets and how they work, you need to know several things if you are playing in a land-based casino. For starters, you may sometimes hear players in a land-based casino placing a “No” bet. Don’t let the term confuse you since the no bet is just another lay betting term used by players and it refers to the lay bet.

As we mentioned before, you can place a lay bet at any time. However, if you are playing in a land-based casino, you will have to tell the dealer which number you want to lay, at which point they will move your chips to the corresponding field and place a “LAY” button on top of your chips.

Now that you know nearly everything about what a lay bet is, there’s only one thing to remember. Namely, your lay bet is generally active from the moment you place it. Be mindful of that, especially if you are playing in a casino where you are charged a commission for placing a lay bet. Also, you can always tell the croupier to turn off your lay bet or turn it back on at any point.

Lay Bet Odds

Craps is played with two six-sided dice, which means there are 36 possible combinations you can roll in total. Out of those 36, there are six ways to roll a 7, five ways to roll a 6 or an 8, four ways to roll a 5 or a 9, and three combinations to roll a 4 or a 10.

When it comes to lay bet odds, lay betting pays true odds. This means that there is no house edge on lay bets and the odds are an indication of an actual probability of a shooter rolling a number. For example, because we know there are three different ways to make a 4 or a 10, and we also know there are six ways to make a 7, the odds offered on laying a four or a ten are 3:6 or 1:2, which is sometimes displayed as 2-1.

By looking at these lay bet odds, we can conclude that we will win two times every time you lose if we lay a four or a ten. If we follow the same formula, we can easily calculate the odds for laying other numbers.

Therefore, the odds for lay bets look something like this:

  • 2-1 for laying a 4
  • 2-1 for laying a 10
  • 3-2 for laying a 5
  • 3-2 for laying a 9
  • 6-5 for laying a 6
  • 6-5 for laying an 8

In other words, you have to lay more than you will win. For example, if you were to lay £300 on a 10, you would make a profit of £200. Of course, the casino will also return your initial stake to you, so the total payout would be £500.

Because you are winning more than you are losing, at least statistically speaking, there is no house edge on either of the lay bets. However, before you get too excited thinking that you can use a lay betting system to take advantage of great odds and make millions, you should know that virtually every casino charges a commission for placing a lay bet.

After all, casinos are there to make money, so charging the vig for lay bets is one way to balance things out. Generally speaking, the commission is 5%, but the exact details may vary from one casino to another.

We have shown you what a lay bet in craps is, but if you wish to take it a step further, you can easily calculate the house edge based on the vig with a little bit of math. Suppose you’re laying a 4 for £100. Since the odds for laying a 4 are 2-1, you would divide 100 with a 2, then multiply the result by 1. In other words: 100 / 2 = 50, and 50 x 1 = 50.

Then, you would multiply that amount with the casino’s commission. If the commission on a lay bet is 5%, that would be 50 x 5%, which translates to 50 x 0.05 = 2.5. In other words, the house edge on laying a 4 in a casino that charges 5% commission for lay bets is 2.5%.

Lastly, make sure to remember that some casinos charge a commission for every lay bet you place, while others charge the vig only on winning bets.

Craps Lay Bet Strategy

Now that you’ve learned nearly everything you need to know about a lay bet in craps, it’s time to put your knowledge to good use and hopefully make a profit. To show you how to make use of lay betting, we will cover an aggressive lay betting system where you will lay against a 4 or a 10.

The strategy begins by placing £100 on the Don’t Pass bet. You will then wait for the come-out and for the point. In case the point is a 5, 6, 8, or a 9, you will just roll it out until a point is a 4 or a 10.

To show you how this craps lay bet strategy works, let’s say that the shooter rolled 4 as a point. In this case, you would lay £500 on a 4, and you would also hedge a hard 4 for an additional £75. Additionally, you would place £50 on 5 and 9, which would pay £70, and another £50 on a buy bet on 10, which would pay £100 minus the vig. For simplicity’s sake, you could place £52 on 6 and 8.

Even though it is an improper bet and wouldn’t pay correctly, it would still pay £60, which just rounds it up and makes your life a little bit easier. Of course, nothing’s preventing you from slightly modifying this lay betting system and betting even £50 on 6 and 8.

After you’ve placed your bets, it’s only a matter of rolling it out and hoping for 7s to hit. If the shooter rolls a 7, you will lose £329, but you would also win £350 and make a small profit. If the shooter rolls a 4, you will lose £600, but since you hedged a hard 4, you could win £525 and potentially make most of it back.

The biggest advantage of this craps lay bet strategy is that you’re letting the 7 do the work for you while avoiding an easy 4 or the soft 4. However, there’s always a potential to lose, and the biggest pitfall of this strategy is if a shooter is on a roll and they keep rolling the point before a 7.

If 4 is a point, an important thing to remember is to let the dealer know that your lay bet is off if 7 is rolled until a new point is established. Additionally, you can also use this craps lay bet strategy if 10 is a point, since the odds on laying against a 10 are the same as laying against a 4. To do so, you would place the exact same values on each bet, with the only difference being that you would lay £500 against a 10 and place a £50 buy bet on 4.

To use this strategy effectively and to have a chance to recover from an unlucky streak, we recommend a bankroll of £1,000. Of course, before you master what a lay bet is and how it works, it may take a while to effectively use strategies such as this one, so we recommend starting with a smaller bankroll. Rather than betting big, simply adjust the values. For example, you can reduce the values to one-fifth of what we mentioned for each bet.

So, What Is a Lay Bet in Craps?

Being on the dark side and betting against the shooter can be plenty of fun. Not only that, but it can be profitable as well if luck is not on the shooter’s side.

Now that you know what a lay bet is and how it works, you shouldn’t have any difficulties placing a lay bet in craps. Whether you are playing online or in a land-based casino, make sure to check the specifics of the lay bet, especially when it comes to the commission.