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Place Bets

Buying the 4 and 10
Instead of placing the 4 and 10 at a disadvantage of 6.67 percent, you may buy these numbers. To do so, you give the house an immediate commission of 5 percent, and then you are paid off at the correct odds of 2-1. In this way you reduce the house edge to 4.76 percent on the 4 and 10.

To buy the numbers, you merely say to the dealer, "Buy the 4 and/or 10" and give him the proper chips plus a 5 percent commission. If you buy either for $20, you must give the dealer an additional $I as the vig, or 5 percent commission.

A buy button is then placed on these chips to differentiate them from ordinary place bets on the 4 and 10. Buy bets, like place bets, may be removed, added to, or reduced at any time and are not working on the come-out roll.

Laying Bets
Numbers not only can be placed, but also can be wagered against by wrong bettors. For example, if you feel that the next shoot will be cold and a 7 will come up before numbers repeat, you may lay bets against the numbers immediately instead of making don't come bets.

To accomplish this, you pay a 5 percent commission based on the payoff. For instance, if you bet against the 4 and lay $40, you give the house only $1 as its commission. This represents 5 percent of the $20 payoff, should your lay bet win. When making these wagers, you give the casino the following edge: on the 4 and 10, 2.44 percent; on the 5 and 9, 3.23 percent; and on the 6 and 8, 4 percent. After this bet is made, a buy button is placed on the chips and they're moved to the same area as don't come bets. Lay wagers, like place bets, can be removed, reduced; or added to at any time.

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Low Hands
Variants of lowball rank hands differently. Rankings in Deuce-to-seven (often just called Deuce) are almost the exact opposite of high poker. The best hand is 7-5-4-3-2. Can you guess why? A six-low hand must either be a straight, or contain an ace. In Deuce, the ace is a high card. A five-low is a straight, leaving 7-5-4-3-2 (with at least two different suits represented, so it isn't a flush) as best, with 7-6-4-3-2 next, and so on.

Good drawing hands are quite different in Deuce. In most low or high-low games, a draw to 3-4-5-6 is extremely strong. In Deuce, the aces, deuces, and sevens that would be great catches in the other games are ruinous.

The one exception to deuce-to-seven hands being the exact opposite of high poker is the hand 5-4-3-2-A of mixed suits. Because the ace is high only, that hand is not considered a straight. It is the best-possible ace-high hand, and beats A-6-4-3-2, but is worse than K-Q J-10-8.

There are a few localized versions of lowball that use aces low, but straights and flushes counting as high hands. In this game, the best hand is 6-4-3-2-A of mixed suits. The worst six is 6-5 -4-3-A. The hand 6-5-4-3-2 is not a low hand, so the next best hand is 7-4-3-2-A. Various forms of London lowball use this ranking. Otherwise, this ranking is seen only in private games, where, as you have seen in this book, far stranger rules than this are sometimes employed.
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