Table And Layout

Place Bets. Place bets are by far the most popular number bet, and resemble come bets in that you are betting on a particulars number to be thrown before the7. The difference is that your money goes right to the number instead of to the come line. Thus, if you put a bet on the table and announce to the dealer, "Place the 5," your chips are put on your designated spot in the place-5 box on the layout. If a p is thrown before 7, you win and are paid off at 7-to-5 odds. The dealer will place your winnings in front of you and ask, "Same bet?" You can say, "Yes," and let the bet stay up on the placed number; "Take it down," and your bet will be returned; or "Press it," and enough of your winnings will be taken to double your bet.

Your odds on placing the 5 are not very good-the house advantage is 4 percent. If you place the 9, the house advantage is the same 4 percent. Placing the numbers 4 and 10 are even worse, yielding the casino 6.67 percent. A place bet on the 6 or 8 is a completely different matter; the casino advantage of 1.52 percent is just slights more than the 1.41 percent for come bets.
Aggressive come bettors, eager for action, sometimes place the 6 and 8 right after the come-out roll, replacing the wager with a come bet if the number comes up. You must make place bets in increments of \$6 to take full advantage of the odds when you place the 6 or 8. If you place the 4, 5, 9, or 10, you must bet in increments of \$5 at the \$5 minimum tables. If you' bet less than \$5, you will be paid even money. If you bet more, you will be paid the odds on the next lower amount.

Many craps players believe that place betting gives them a better deal, and the house less of an advantage, than come betting. This is not true. Come betting gives the house a small advantage of 1.41 percent, as compared to place-betting advantages ranging from 1.52 percent to 6.67 percent. Why the large difference? Because when you make a come bet, you have a chance for an immediate winner when a natural 7 or 11 is thrown. It's true that you also lose immediately when craps 2, 3, or 12 is rolled, but this occurs only half as often.

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The Tight-Aggressive Player

If you're going to bet on the river, you should usually either have a very good hand or nothing. If you bet with a mediocre hand and everyone folds, you can safely assume that your mediocre hand would have won a showdown anyway. With a mediocre hand, you're much better off checking and calling; you'll pick off some bluffs from players who never would have called if you'd bet out. Betting with nothing (bluffing) is okay because you have a chance to win with your bet, especially (and here is where most amateurs struggle) if your betting pattern throughout the hand showed strength.

For the reasons you've read here and the weaknesses you're about to read about in the next two sections, the tight-aggressive style is definitely the best approach to money poker and usually the best to tournament poker.