I have some good news, but it doesn't come from the poker table; it comes from the craps table. I personally find craps to be the most confusing casino game and I've always thought if it was introduced for the first time today it would fail miserably because no one would take the time to learn how to play. But, if things are going well it's probably the most exciting game in the casino. Everyone's fates are tied together and if one person is winning chances are, just about everyone is winning. To fully understand my story you'll need to know how a few of the bets at a craps table work, but if you get confused or don't care don't worry about it. I'm sure you'll still appreciate the bottom line. If you already know how to play or want to skip the craps lesson you can go to the next paragraph (or the third paragraph if you know about the fire bet also). The most basic bet in craps is called the pass line bet. If you bet the pass line you win on 7 or 11 and lose on 2, 3, or 12. If you roll a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 your goal then becomes to roll that number (which is called the point) again before you roll a 7. Accomplishing this goal is referred to as hitting the point or making a pass. If you hit a point, you have a new come out roll to establish a new point and try again. If you roll a 7 before you hit the point you lose. So what happens if I roll an 8 and then roll a bunch of other non 7 or 8 numbers? Nothing! Your bet just sits there until you roll a 7 or a point, but there's another kind of bet called the come bet which allows you to continue betting in a similar fashion while you're trying to hit the point. The come bet works just like the pass line bet. You win on 7 or 11 and lose on 2, 3, or 12. If you roll a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 you goal then becomes to roll that number again before you roll a 7. You can make a come bet on any roll accept for the come out roll. We like to bet the come every roll and what can happen is eventually we have bets on all the numbers so we win anytime a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 is rolled and we're just sitting there crossing out fingers hoping we don't see a 7 (which would wash away all of our bets).
A new bet that has recently come onto the scene at all of the hotels owned by the Harrah's corporation is called The Fire Bet (ooooooooohh, aaaaaaaaahh). The way the fire bet works is every time there is a new person rolling the dice (a new shooter if you will) you can place a fire bet. If that person hits four DIFFERENT points (not just four points) then the fire bet pays 25 to 1. So if a new shooter rolls a 5 on the come out roll and then rolls another 5, before a 7 they've hit one point. If they then roll a 6 on the next come out roll and then roll another 6 they've hit two points. If they then roll another 5 on the next come out roll and hit it that does not count towards the fire bet; it has to be 4 different numbers not just 4 points. Also if they have repeating numbers when those numbers aren't the point they do not out towards the fire bet. If I'm a new shooter and I roll a 4 and then I roll two 8's and then two 10's I've won some money if I was betting the come, but I haven't hit the point and I'm no closer to hitting the fire bet than when I started.
Now that we've got all of that confusing nonsense out of the way I can tell you about what happened with Jen and I. After another early exit in my tournament we went out to a nice Italian Restaurant here at the Rio (I had the scallops and she had some kind of Australian sea bass). Afterwards we wanted to do some gambling but the table minimums here at the Rio have been sky high during the world series (they make you bet more when it's crowded). We decided to head to the Bellagio, arguably the nicest hotel on the strip. Every time I've ever been there (at least 25 times) they've had $25 minimum Pai Gow tables (which is our usual game of choice), but for some reason all they had was $100 tables. We said "let's blow this pop stand" (not really)and headed across the street to the Paris. After playing Pai Gow for a few hours we decided to mix it up and head to the craps table. The night before we'd played a little craps with Jen's Dad and sister, but we all got smoked. This time, however, it was a different story. After about an hour of breaking even Jen had a really nice shoot and by the time she rolled a 7 I was up about $300 and she was ahead about $200. Then it was my turn to shoot. I bet $5 on the fire bet and Jen bet $1. I had some hot dice and I was knocking out points left and right. When I made my fourth different point we high fived and cheered. Then I made my FIFTH point! Making five points pays 250 to 1! We cheered and I danced around like an idiot. I'd been drinking champagne all night for no particular reason, but now we had something to celebrate. I wasn't able to hit the magical 6th point which would have paid 1000 to 1, but on top of the fire bet we also collected on a TON of pass line and come bets. When we counted up our chips we discovered we were ahead $2,850! That's an awful lot of money to take off a $10 craps table. It was extremely sweet. So now I find myself ahead $3,200 for stupid casino games for the trip and behind $6,700 in poker (actually my share of the loss is only $3,471 so I'm almost even for the trip). What's wrong with this picture?
Almost 1,000 posts since 2006 about poker including, tournaments, cash games, anecdotes, the overuse of exclamation points, and run on sentences from a retired poker pro who lives and plays in the Bay Area and is currently preparing for the 2023 WSOP.
Monday, July 03, 2006
Some good news (It's about time!)
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That's fantastic! I wish we could have done a little better when we were all playing! Maybe me you and Kenny could try our luck this weekend during some offtime. Goodluck tomorrow, can't wait to hear updates, during the breaks of course! nuetral thoughts...
Five different points in one shoot is a fantastically wonderful, beautiful, profitable, and rare experience without a fire bet in play. For those of you reading at home, Dave did not mention that $5 is the MAXIMUM fire bet allowed, which makes it extra sweet to hit when you've got "the big bet" out there.
So we know you're not categorically unlucky... So let's hope we see some lightning strike on a different table tomorrow!
P.S. Perhaps it might be time to try some size-able Pai Gow bonus bets!
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