There are four Points that are even: the 4, 6, 8, and 10. When the dice add up to one of those numbers and they land as a pair, it is considered rolled “hard”. When the dice add up to one of those numbers and they don’t land as a pair, it is considered rolled “easy”. I.e. a Hard 6 is the dice showing 3-3 while an Easy 6 is the dice showing either 5-1 or 4-2. Every time one of those numbers are rolled, the stickperson will say out loud whether the dice landed “easy” or “hard”. A Hardway is betting that the dice will land “hard” before they land “easy” or before a 7 is rolled. Only when your number comes “easy” or a 7 is rolled will your Hardway lose. Hardways are Off during the Comeout Roll and are not contract bets nor are they one-roll bets.
The Buffalo is when a player bets an equal amount on all the Hardways, working on the Comeout Roll and hedges them by betting the same amount on the any 7. These players don’t want to wait for a point to be established in order to bet the Hardways and they also don’t want to lose those bets if a 7 rolls. If the 7 rolls, it pays four times the amount on it. This payment will cover the four Hardways that just lost. It’s a push. They are all up to win again. If any other natural (2,3, 11,12) is rolled during the Comeout, the player must repeat their bet on the Any 7 in order to continue hedging their Hardways because the Any 7 is a one-roll bet. If the 4, 6, 8 or 10 are rolled “easy” then that Hardway will lose. Many casinos won’t acknowledge the phrase “Buffalo”. They understand what it means but instead of booking your bet as a “Buffalo” they will book it as “A dollar all the Hardways working and a dollar any 7.”
Placement of Hardways
Like all other bets in Craps, you have to be able to know whose bet belongs to whom. Hardways are very popular bets and there will be many times where almost everyone on the table are betting them. When that happens the potential for mistakes increase. A dealer may put your bet in the wrong spot or may press the wrong Hardway. The only way to know for sure if a dealer might be making a mistake with your money is to know where your bets are. There will be casinos in which the amount of space where all the players’ Hardways are placed is just not big enough to fit them all. The dealers then have to squeeze and make it work however they can. Watch where the dealer places your bets and make sure it’s consistent among all your Hardways.
What do the Hardways Pay
The Hard 6 and 8 pay more than the 4 and 10 because there are more ways for them to lose. There are 10 ways for the 6 or 8 to lose (any 7 or any “easy” way) and 8 ways for the 4 or 10 to lose (any 7 or “easy” way).
6 and 8 pay 9:1
The Hard 6 and 8 each pay 9:1 or $9 for every $1 you bet.
4 and 10 pay 7:1
The Hard 4 and 10 each pay 7:1 or $7 for every $1 you bet.
Betting Hardways for the Dealers
Dealers love the Hardways as much as players do. The odds aren’t horrible to hit one and they pay off well enough when they come. It is best when a Hardway is rolled that is also the Point because the whole table ends up winning together and it’s a great feeling for everyone.