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Tables on ‘Fire’

Oct 26, 2004 2:33 AM


Craps has always been one of the casino’s most high-octane games, judging by the players whooping and hollering around the tables. That action has been intensified in some casinos with the addition of a new side bet, a proposition called Fire Bet.

The object of Fire Bet is to hit as many individual points as possible before the shooter "sevens out." The bet is paid on a minimum of four points made at a payoff of 25-for-1, up to a maximum of six points made at a payoff of 1000-for-1. Players win 250-for-1 when the shooter makes five individual points.

Individual points include the numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10, and the bet is unaffected by winning or losing on the come-out roll.

The bet must be placed prior to the come-out and is taken down when the shooter sevens out. The minimum Fire Bet is $1; maximum is $5.

"It’s obviously a hard bet to make, but that’s why it pays off at such high odds," said Perry Stasi, a Las Vegas casino supervisor who invented the game last year. "Based on average play, the four-play Fire Bet will hit several times a day; the five-play bet will hit perhaps once a day and the six-play bet will statistically hit once a week."

Stasi said the new bet has found its way into several Las Vegas casinos, including Harrah’s, the Rio and soon the Cannery. It has also been approved in other jurisdictions including Connecticut, Michigan and Mississippi.

"So far, casino operators report that players love the bet," Stasi said. "It adds the lottery-like payoff many casino players now look for in a game."

The bet is also popular because 95 percent of craps players bet the pass line, so they would be rooting for the shooter to make his points anyway, Stasi said.

In practice, when a player wants to place a Fire Bet, he puts his chips on one of the flaming Fire Bet circles located around the perimeter of the craps layout.

The dealer then collects the bets and moves them to corresponding circles in the prop bet box in the center of the layout.

Once the bet is placed, it cannot be taken down by the player. It remains until it is paid or the shooter sevens out.

To get a closer look at Fire Bet or to find out more about it check on the Internet. The site also includes a calculator that will determine what kind of return a casino can expect, based on the hours of craps play.