Odds of Winning the Fire Bet
31 August 2013
By Jerry Stickman
What are the odds of making a fire bet? I made the four points and have yet to see a five point hit. The Mohegan Sun plays the fire bet, and most of the time the majority of players do place a dollar or more. Thanks for your info.
The fire bet has been available in different venues for a few years now. To bet the fire bet the player must bet $1 to $5 before the first roll of a new shooter. This is true even if the new shooters first roll is not a point number. To win a fire bet in most casinos the shooter must set and make at least four different point numbers. Setting and making the same point (for example an 8) only counts as one point for the fire bet.
The most common pay table – and the pay table at the Mohegan Sun, I believe – pays 25-for-1 for four different points, 250-for-1 for five different points and 1,000-for-1 for making all six different point numbers. This may sound like a lot of money, but it is rare to collect on the fire bet. The fire bet has a large (make that enormous) house edge. Depending on the pay schedule it ranges from 20 to 25 percent.
So what are the actual odds of winning the fire bet? Let’s take a look.
- About 59 percent of the time zero points will be made.
- About 26 percent of the time only one point will be made.
- About 10 percent of the time two points will be made.
In order to collect anything with the fire bet the shooter needs to make twice this number of points and already 95.6 percent of the total results are accounted for. Let’s continue.
- About three and one-third percent of the time three points will be made – taking us to 98.94 percent of all results.
- Only about 0.88 percent of the time will a shooter make four different points. Looking at it another way, only once in about 113 attempts will a shooter make four different points and for this accomplishment fire bet participants are paid a whopping 25-for-1.
- Continuing, about 0.16 percent of the time will a shooter complete five different points. This works out to once in every about 610 attempts that fire bet players will win 250-for-1.
- And finally, only about 0.016 percent of the time will a shooter complete all six different points. An event that happens about once every 6,156 times is paid by the casino at a rate of 1,000-for-1. No wonder the casinos love this bet.
Many gamblers and even some advantage players think it is a fun and okay (maybe even good) bet to make – and they could possibly be right. No other bet at the craps table pays such a large return and if the amount allocated to the fire bet is a very small fraction of the total bet spread the 20 percent house edge may not even be noticed. Heck, I have even been tempted and tossed a dollar or two on the fire bet along the way. Just keep in mind the incredible odds against completing this six-number sequence.
May all your wins be swift and large and all your losses slow and tiny.
Jerry “Stickman's” new book is "Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker." In addition, Jerry “Stickman” gives private lessons in dice control with his partner, #1 best-selling gaming author, Frank Scoblete. You can contact Jerry “Stickman” at firstname.lastname@example.org
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