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The Pass Line Bet
The first bet you should learn about at the craps table is the pass line bet. The pass line bet is most often made (almost nothing can be done only one way in craps, it's smart to learn the common things first) before the come-out roll, which you'll remember, marks the opening of a new session.
To place a pass line bet put your chips in the big band around the outer edge of the craps table that has the word PASS written on it. This bet wins if the shooter rolls a 7 or an 11 on the come-out roll, and loses if the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12 on the come-out roll. So logically, if none of those numbers are rolled something else must happen, and it does. If any other number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10) is rolled, it becomes the 'point number' that we introduced earlier .
If a point number is rolled, the session is now on, and the puck will move out on the table, flip from 'OFF' to 'ON'. It will then be placed on the big number in the row along the back of the board that corresponds to the point number for the session. So if you walk up to a table and see the puck set to 'ON' resting on the 6, you know the point is set to six.
What happens to your pass line bet? Nothing yet, it stays where it was and it's outcome depends on the next roll, or perhaps the one after. The pass line bet now wins if the point number is rolled before a seven is rolled, and loses if a seven is rolled before the point number.
So if you roll the point, your pass line bet wins. If you roll a seven (called sevening out), the pass line bet loses. In both cases, the session is over, the puck is removed from the playing area and set to off, and the next roll is the come out roll for a new shooter.
The pass line bet is an example of a bet that is 'with the dice'. A bet on the craps table can either be 'with the dice' or 'against the dice'. A bet that is 'with the dice' wins when the shooters pass line bet wins. A bet that is 'against the dice' wins when the shooters pass line bet looses. These bets include don't pass, and don't come. Bets 'against' the dice are also reffered to as 'wrong bets', and their placers as 'wrong bettors'. There's nothing wrong with betting against the dice however, it even lowers the house edge in some cases. At the table in a casino though, many people feel the flow of a good table can be interrupted by the arrival of a wrong bettor.
To see the session cycle in graphical form, take a look at the craps session flow graphic. This can be very helpful in gaining a solid understanding of the game.