28 Aug

The Crappiest Bet in the Casino: The Craps Fire Bet

Why the Craps Fire Bet is the fastest way to burn your bankroll.

The craps table is one of the most exciting areas on the gaming floor of any land-based casino. Players are often hooting and hollering and jumping with joy. Whenever a shooter is on a roll, the rest of the casino knows it, based solely on the raucous nature of the crowd. There are good bets, and there are bad bets. But the crappiest bet of all is one known as the Fire Bet.

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Craps Fire BetThe Craps Fire Bet is an optional side bet with a payout that grows progressively larger as the shooter rolls numbers from the Field. These include the numbers 4-5-6-8-9-10. The more of them that roll before a 7 appears, the higher the better can expect to win.

The pay table on this bet is quite generous, scaling from 25 to 1 up to 1000 to 1 for all six Field numbers. That apparent generosity is often enough to entice players into making the Craps Fire Bet. But doing so is a terrible mistake, and the casinos know it.

Craps Fire Bet Rules, Odds & Pays

Table with Craps Fire BetThe Fire Bet is not available at every casino, but it does make an appearance on the craps tables of many large-scale venues. To win on the Fire Bet, the shooter – before rolling a 7 – must roll at least four of the six number shown on the Field area of the table’s betting diagram: 4-5-6-8-9-10.

Simply rolling any of these numbers four times won’t cut it. There must be at least four different numbers rolled. For example, if a shooter rolls 6, 9, 4, 6, it only counts as three of the necessary numbers rolled, not four. The second 6 will not count. They must be unique numbers.

As for other general rules… Players may only wager on the Fire Bet before or when a point is established. Once the point is established, the Fire Bet goes into effect. Players are generally restricted to wagers between $1 and $5 on the Craps Fire Bet.

The progressive payout schedule for this side bet is as follows:

  • 1, 2 or 3 Field Numbers Rolled – Pays -1 (Loss)

  • 4 Unique Field Numbers Rolled – Pays 25 to 1

  • 5 Unique Field Numbers Rolled – Pays 250 to 1

  • 6 Unique Field Numbers Rolled – Pays 1,000 to 1

Why it’s the Crappiest Bet of All

Gambling expert Mark Bollman touched on the subject of the Craps Fire Bet in his book, “Basic Gambling Mathematics: The Numbers Behind the Neon”. According to his calculations, the probabilities of winning this side bet are as follows:

  • 4-number Fire Bet will win 1 in 113 established points, or 0.88% of the time.

  • 5-number Fire Bet will win 1 in 610 established points, or 0.16% of the time.

  • 6-number Fire Bet will win 1 in 6,156 established points, or 0.0162% of the time.

The overall house edge for the Craps Fire Bet is a staggering 21.27%. With odds like that, it’s hard to find a worse sucker bet in any casino, on land or online. Play it smart. Stick to the Pass Line, Come Bets, and drop chips on the Field if you wish. But if you value your bankroll, stay away from this one!

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