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Craps Rules

The pass line bet

The game of craps is more than simply an assembly of can's and cannot's, but it's best to describe craps rules as clearly as we can from the starting gates, as not to confuse things in the future.

This craps rules page will begin by discussing the pass line bet, and the cycle of a session that accompanies it. This session flow is central to many aspects of the game, but as you'll come to learn, you can also play completely independent of it, if you choose.

The pass line bet is placed in the large band that runs around the outer edge of the playing surface. Easily identifiable, it has the word PASS written on it in large letters. Many people will be betting on the pass line for each round, and it's the best way to get into the craps fray.

The shooter must place a pass line bet before throwing the dice. The first roll of the session is the 'come out roll'. If the come out roll totals 7 or 11, the shooter wins their pass line bet (and so does anyone else who bet on the pass line). If the come-out roll totals 2, 3, or 12 (collectively known as 'craps'), the shooter, and everyone playing with the dice, loses their pass line bet. In either case the round is over and the shooter gets to throw another come-out roll.

What happens when you have a total of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 on the come-out roll? The total is set to the 'point' number for the session, and pass line bets wont be won or lost until a later roll. For the pass line bets to win, the shooter must roll that same point number again a second time before they roll a 7. If they fail and hit a 7 first, all of the pass line bets lose.

This process of play is illustrated in the following graphic:

Craps rules and game-play are based around this cycle of play; once you are comfortable with it, you can step up to any craps table in the world.