Apr

26

2012

# The “Fire Bet” at Craps

A craps player emailed to ask about a bet he hadn’t seen before. “Some of the others were playing something called the ‘Fire Bet,’”  he wrote. “When the shooter made a point, they’d put a fire disk on that point. Once the shooter made a couple of points, the guys started to get excited, but I think I only saw it pay off once. I didn’t know anything about it, so I stayed away, figured I’d learn something about it before I got involved. Is this a good bet, or something to ignore?”

The Fire Bet is a side bet that the shooter will make four or more different points. They have to be different numbers — the shooter could make four 6s in a row, and that would count as only one number.

There are several different pay tables for the bet, but the one I’ve seen pays 25-for-1 if the shooter makes four different points, 250-for-1 for five different points, and 1,000-for-1 for all six point numbers.

Note that it’s “for-1.” If you have a \$1 Fire Bet and the shooter makes four different points, you’ll wind up with a total of \$25 that represents your \$1 bet plus \$24 in winnings. A 1,000-for-1 payoff is the same as 999-to-1, but that 1,000 looks nice on the layout.

The shooter will make four or more different points before sevening out only a little more than 1 percent of the time, and with the pay table above, the house has about a 21 percent edge. It’s not a bet for a serious player; it’s for a jackpot hunter who doesn’t mind spotting the house something extra for a chance at a big payday.

I’d never fire up for this bet. The house edge is just too big.