Recently on the message board, there was a discussion about how important “overall craps knowledge” is to the precision shooter. I couldn’t agree more! So, this article isn’t going to be a tale about the wonders of precision shooting. Instead, it’s a dry-as-dirt but important topic. Payoffs on your free odds amount. For those of you who are long-time players, this may or may not be a useful subject. I’d hope that even if you have years of experience, you will continue to read this if for nothing else, to check my numbers.

The only bets on the table that pay true odds are the “free odds” bets related to Pass/Don’t Pass and Come/Don’t Come bets. Why is it important to know about odds payoffs? This may be unbelievable, but table crews have been known to make incorrect payoffs! So, when you have odds on your bets, you need to know **in advance** what you should be paid. The following will help.

When I first started playing, I tried to memorize what the payoffs on all the odds bets were. For some of you whose brain synapses fire a little faster than mine, that method will work just fine. But I just couldn’t memorize them all. For those of you who like shortcuts, look at the following: (by the way, a dealer taught me this)

Point | True Odds | Calculation |

6/8 | 6:5 | Odds amount plus 20% |

5/9 | 3:2 | Odds amount plus 50% |

4/10 | 2:1 | Odds amount times 2 |

I know, I know…I’m making you do the math of all things! Trust me, it will serve you well in the long run, especially as your session stakes, and wagers grow. I trust that you already know by rote memory the first few payoffs of all the point numbers. If you remember these simple formulas, you can calculate your payoffs for ANY odds amount.

Point 6/8 | Point 5/9 | Point 4/10 | |||

Free Odds Amount | Payoff on Odds Amount | Free Odds Amount | Payoff on Odds Amount | Free Odds Amount | Payoff on Odds Amount |

$5 | $6 | $5 | $10 (5 x 2) | ||

$10 | $12 | $10 | $15 (10 x 50% + $10) | $10 | $20 (10 x 2) |

$15 | $18 | $15 | $30 (15 x 2) | ||

$20 | $24 | $20 | $30 (20 x 50% + $20) | $20 | $40 (20 x 2) |

$25 | $30 (25 x 20% + $25) | $25 | $50 (25 x 2) | ||

$30 | $36 (30 x 20% + $30) | $30 | $45 (30 x 50% + $30) | $30 | $60 (30 x 2) |

$35 | $42 (35 x 20% + $35) | $35 | $70 (35 x 2) | ||

$40 | $48 (40 x 20% + $40) | $40 | $60 (40 x 50% + $40) | $40 | $80 (40 x 2) |

$45 | $54 (45 x 20% + $45) | $45 | $90 (45 x 2) |

You’ll notice that the for 5/9 I used only increments of ten-dollar odds amounts. The reason for this of course is generally, on a $5 table, you can not put $5 in odds behind it as it will come out to a $7.50 payoff. Instead, you must of course put $6 in odds behind your $5 pass-line bet. For the 5/9, this sometimes works to your benefit. For instance, even in a house that only has say 2 X odds, frequently the dealers will let you put $12 or even $14 dollars in odds behind a $5 pass line bet on the 5/9. And for the 5 and 9, you must place odds for the most part, in amounts that can be divided in half that come out in whole dollars. (there are some houses that will pay half a dollar)

So what’s the point of all this? Knowing the formulas allows you to calculate any payoff. Off the top of your head, can you tell me what the TOTAL payoff is for a $5 pass-line bet on a point of 6 with $75 in odds? Well, maybe you’ve memorized it. I’m saving my brain cells for other things. Using the formula: 75 x 20% = 15 + 75 = $90 + $5 flat portion of the bet. So the answer is $95. This method also makes it easier to calculate large odds amounts. Again, what is the total payoff for a $5 pass line bet on a point of 9 with $130 in odds? In this case, you could use the formula alone, (130 x 50% = $65 + 130 = $195 + $5 flat portion for a total $200) or you could break the odds amount up into smaller numbers and calculate the amount. (100 in odds = $150 payoff plus $30 in odds = $45 payoff plus the flat portion for a total of $200)

Like I said, it’s up to you, but it’s easier for me to remember three formulas instead of an entire chart of numbers. If you’re choosing to memorize, you not only have to memorize one chart but several! These formulas work whether it’s a $5 table or a $3 table or a $25 table.

Finally, on a side note. Heavy reminded me that many strip casinos now offer 3x odds on the 4/10, 4x odds on the 5/9 and 5x odds on the 6/8. The probable reason for this is simplicity. Pass line bets with full (maximum) odds all pay a total of $35. ($30 payoff on the odds amount plus the $5 flat wager). This makes payoffs easy for players and dealers alike.