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Craps Rules

Learning the rules of craps is partially learning how the sessions work, part learning the good bets from the bad bets, and simply knowing how to place them. Combine this with a smart bankrolling strategy, and you'll be ahead of the pack.

When people think about craps rules, they are wondering one of a number of things. What bets can I make and how do I make them, and when can I make them. What bets are good and how should I combine them with other bets to make them better. And of course, are there any strategies or techniques that can be used to better increase my chances.

Fat Tony helps out the craps rules seekers wanting to learn about each bet on the best bets and worst bets pages. This will show you how and when to make those bets, and if it's really a good idea or not.

The combination of bets is where craps gets tricky. Often people try to bet one bet, and then 'hedge' that bet, with another one. Say I were to bet 5 bucks on a coin flip ending up heads, but get nervous just before the big flip and put 2 bucks down on the coin coming up tails. So if it's heads I win five and lose two, gaining 3 overall. If it's tails I lose five but gain two, so I've only lost one three dollars, not all 5. I've hedged my bet. The concept of hedging in craps is discussed further with examples on the understanding hedging page.

So craps rules allow you to place bets against one another if you choose. Altering bets partway through play though is usually a no-no, though many can be 'taken down' and out of play completely part way through a session. Fortunately the dealers at the casino will likely be more helpful than hurtful if you learn from your mistakes. Playing online of course you can't make a mistake, the software ensures that you don't misplace your bets. Basically the rules of craps come down to each individual bet and how and when you are allowed to place it.

The best thing to do first is look at the rules governing the 'come-out roll'. If the come-out roll is a 7 or 11 (which craps rules call a natural) the pass line wins and the don't pass loses. The round is over. If the come-out roll is a 2, 3, or 12 (called 'craps') the pass line loses and the don't pass line wins, or ties. The don't pass bet is a tie when the come-out roll is a 12.

If the come-out roll is a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 then that number becomes known as the 'point'. At this point (HA!) the dealers will place a little puck with the word 'ON' written on it and put it on top of the number that is the 'point' on the layout. This is just to remind players that the session is on, and what the point number is. Before the dealer did this, the puck was just off the table with the 'OFF' side up. Any pass line or don't pass line bets at this point are in a state of limbo, waiting for more action to determine their outcome.

The shooter will keep rolling until one of two things happen: if they roll the number that they had set to the point (success! it's called making the point) the pass line bettors win and the don't pass bettors lose. If a seven is rolled before the point number is rolled (doh! it's called sevening out), the winners are opposite: pass line bettors lose, don't pass bettors win. In either case, the round is over. The craps rules governing the come-out roll set the pace and state of the game for all other bets.