Craps lesson 2: Establishing a point

Here's where we're at: You're at the table with a new shooter about to come out. You've put a $5 bet on the Pass Line and the shooter is just about to roll. The table setup is something like this:

Ready for the come-out roll

Craps table

The shooter rolls

As mentioned in lesson 1, one of three things can happen on the come-out roll. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, you win. A 2,3 or 12 and you lose. In either case, the process is repeated with another come-out roll. If the shooter rolls any other number, however, the game changes, as that number is now called the point. Your pass line bet now depends on the shooter repeating the point before a 7 is rolled. We'll walk through an example:

On the come-out roll the shooter rolls a 6. The puck is then flipped over to "On" and moved to the 6 spot on the table. This indicates a point has been established and that the point is 6. The table now looks like this:

6 is the point

Craps table

After removing any losing bets and paying any winners, the dice are returned to the shooter. On the next roll, one of three things can happen:

  • Win

    If the shooter repeats the point -- in this case 6 -- your pass line bet is a winner, paying 1:1. So if you've bet 1 unit and the point is rolled, you'd win 1 unit.

  • Lose

    If the shooter rolls a 7, the hated number, you lose. The dealer takes your bet and the dice go to the person to the left of the lousy shooter who just crapped out.

  • Nothing

    If the roll is anything other than the point or 7, you're not affected at all. After removing any losing bets and paying any winners, the dice are returned to the shooter and he rolls again. This is repeated until either the point is made or the roll is ended with a 7.

Those are the basics of a pass line bet. The shooter establishes a point and you're hoping the point is repeated before a 7 comes up. All that to earn a 1:1 payout on your bet, no matter what number the point is, which seems a little fishy if you think about the odds, as it's a lot harder to roll a 4 than to roll a 6, for example. And that leads us to the next lesson, where you learn about the bet that evens the odds...

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