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Best Ways to Bet the Six

There are at least four different ways to bet on the number
6 at craps. Some of them are good and some not so good.
In fact, some are known as a “suckers bet.”

Place bet
The most common way to bet on the 6 is to make a Place
bet. You should wait until after the shooter establishes a
point number than place $6 in chips (or any multiple of $6)
on the layout, get the dealer’s attention, and tell him you
want to “place the 6.” He will pick up your chips and place
them on the number 6 at the top of the layout.
You win your place bet if the shooter throws a 6 again
before throwing a 7. If instead the latter happens, your
place bet on the 6 will lose. Just remember that you want
the shooter to throw the 6, and pray he doesn’t throw the 7
first.
The odds of winning the bet is 6 to 5. That means you
have 6 ways to lose (the six different dice combinations
that make up a 7) for every 5 ways to win (there are five
different dice combinations that total 6). The casino payoff
on a winning place bet on the 6 is 7 to 6. That means you
win $7 for every $6 wagered. A 7 to 6 payoff on a bet with
6 to 5 odds results in a casino edge of 1.52%.

Big 6
You can also bet the 6 by making a wager on the Big 6.
This bet is clearly marked on the layout in the bottom left
and right corners of the layout. Unlike the place bet where
the dealer positions your chips on the 6, if you want to
wager on the Big 6 you simply place your chips on the
area of the layout marked Big 6 (and 8).
A bet on the Big 6 wins and loses the same as the place
bet on the 6. If a 6 is rolled again before the 7 you win and
if the opposite occurs you lose. The difference is that the
payoff odds for the Big 6 are only 1 to 1. This is less than
the 7 to 6 payoff odds for the similar Place bet on the 6. In
fact, the casino’s edge on the Big 6 is 9.1%, which
classifies it as a sucker bet, especially when you can make
the similar Place bet with an 83% lower casino edge.

Hardway 6
You’ll find the Hardway 6 bet in the middle of the layout.
This bet wins if a 6 is rolled only in the dice combination 3-
3. It will lose if a 7 is rolled or if a 6 is rolled again in any
other dice combination (i.e. 1-5 or 2-4). The bet pays off at
9 to 1, which means you win $9 for every $1 wagered. The
high payoff odds are what attract players to make the bet.
However, if you do the math you’ll find that the Hardway 6
has a casino edge of 9.1%. This puts this bet in the
category of a sucker bet because the high casino edge will
slowly and surly grind down a player’s bankroll.

Buy Bet
Instead of placing the 6 at 7 to 6 payoff odds, you could
make a Buy bet on the 6 and get a 6 to 5 (or true odds)
payoff. The latter results in a casino’s edge of zero. In
order to make money on the Buy bet, the casinos charge a
5% commission at the time you make the bet. The 5% is
based on the amount of money you bet. If you make a $20
Buy bet on the 6 the casino will charge you $1 in
commission. However, since casinos don’t usually deal
with chips lower than $1 denomination at craps, you would
get charged the same $1 commission if you bet less than
$20. Therefore you should never bet less than $20 when
you make a Buy bet on the 6 unless you know for sure that
they’ll charge less than $1 for making the bet.
The 5% commission on a $20 buy bet on the 6 results in a
casino’s edge of 4.7%. Most casinos will allow you to bet
more than $20 and less than $40 and still charge only a $1
commission. Betting say $39 and being charged only $1
results in a casino edge of 2.5%.
The bottom line is that the best way to bet your lucky
number 6 is to make a Place bet on the 6 for $6 because
the casino’s edge is the lowest.

Henry Tamburin, Ph.D. is the author of the Ultimate
Blackjack Strategy Guide, editor of the Blackjack
Insider e-Newsletter (www.bjinsider.com), lead
instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack course, and
host of smartgaming.com. For a free three-month
subscription to his blackjack newsletter, go to www.
bjinsider.com/freetrial. To receive his free Casino
Gambling Catalog, call 1-888-353-3234 or visit www.
smartgaming.com.