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Craps Rules

Did you ever want to learn to play Craps? Most likely, you found the game too intimidating or just too complicated to bother learning how to play. The truth is, learning to play Craps is not only quite simple, it is commonly referred to as the most exciting game in a casino - by those who conquered their fears and learned hot to play it, that is.

This article will teach the fundamentals of Craps, including the Shooter Rule, Pass Rule and Rolled Rule. These fundamental Craps rules will give new players a great start in learning how to play craps.

The first step is to understand who the Shooter is, why he is the Shooter, and when his Shooting days are over. This is referred to as the Shooter Rule. Players take turns being the 'Shooter' - the person who rolls the dice - in clockwise fashion. The same Shooter continues rolling the dice until he 'Craps Out' by rolling a 2, 3 or 12.

In a land-based casino, as opposed to online casinos, the Shooter Rules state you must only use one hand to roll the dice, and they must bounce off the opposite wall of the Craps Table before coming to a stop.

Moving on, we'll discuss what is known as the Craps 'Rolled Rule'. This defines what action is taken depending on the roll of the dice. A Shooter's first roll is called the 'Come Out Roll'. The Come Out Roll establishes the 'Point'. Unless the first roll is a 7, 11 or Craps (2, 3 or 12), the Point is the sum of the dice on the Come Out Roll. If a 7 or 11 is rolled, the Shooter rolls a new Come Out Roll, essentially starting over. If Craps is rolled, the dice are passed to the next Shooter and play begins anew.

Once a Point has been established, the Shooter will continue rolling the dice until the Point hits again. For example, a roll of 4+6 is a 10, making the Point 10. The shooters job is to roll another 10 or 7 without rolling Craps (2, 3 or 12). If the Shooter makes his Point or a 7, he is returned the dice to begin a new Come Out Roll. If the Shooter rolls Craps (2, 3 or 12), the dice are handed to the player directly on his left - the new Shooter.

Now to explain the Pass Rule, the most simplistic bet in Craps, which most players place before the Come Out Roll. According to the Pass Rule, a Pass Line bet is a bet on the Shooter, betting that he will accomplish his goal of rolling a 7 or 11 on the Come Out Roll, or establishing a Point and rolling it (or 7) before rolling Craps (2, 3 or 12).

A Pass Line bet can only be placed on the Come Out Roll. If 7 or 11 is rolled, the Pass Line Bet wins. If Craps is rolled (2, 3 or 12), the bet loses. If a Point is established, the Pass Line bet becomes a standing wager that the Point will come again before the player Craps Out or rolls a 7.

The Pass Rule works in reverse for a Don't Pass bet, where the player is betting against the Shooter. Again, this bet can only be made on the Come Out Roll. The Pass Rule states that a Don't Pass bet wins if the Come Out Roll is a 2, 3 or 12. If a 7 or 11 is rolled, the Don't Pass bet loses. If a Point is established, the Don't Pass bet becomes a standing wager that the Point will NOT come again before a 7 or Craps (2, 3, or 12) is rolled.


All of the remaining wagers and odds descend directly from the Shooter Rules, Rolled Rules and Pass Rules. Therefore by obtaining a full understanding of these three fundamental rules, a new Craps player can go on to learn to play the excitingly intricate game of Craps.

Make sure to read our advanced strategy guides to better understand Craps from a statistical point of view.

Now that you've learned the basics of Craps you might want to do the same for another game and read this poker rules article as well.