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The Pass Line Bet

So much of what happens at the craps table revolves around the pass line bet. It is undoubtedly the most popular bet that is made in craps and we discuss it in some detail below.

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Understanding the Pass Line Bet

The person rolling the dice must make a pass line bet before they can roll on the come-out roll. Because of this, other players betting a pass line bet along with the shooter are said to be betting 'with the dice'. Betting 'against the dice' means that you're betting that the shooter will lose. Those who bet against the dice are sometimes called 'wrong bettors'. It's not a very popular thing to do at the table, although many have made this their own style of play.

To place a pass line bet, first check to ensure that the shooter isn't throwing the dice at that moment. Often a novice player will go to place their bet just as someone is rolling, and the dice may end up hitting their hands. You'll probably want to avoid embarrassing situations such as that. On the felt, you can't miss the immensely large text of the words PASS LINE written on it. Just place your bet in front of where you're standing directly on that pass line.

The pass line 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. If any other number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10) is rolled, that number becomes the 'point'. Just in case you forgot, when you play craps, the game can be in one of two states - either the 'point' has or hasn't been set already. When the point hasn't been set yet, the roll of the dice is called the 'come-out roll'. But what is the point number, and how do we know if it's set or not? There is an indicator called the 'puck' that's always visible on the table. It looks a lot like a hockey puck, round and flat and slides around. One side of the puck has the word 'on' written in big letters; the other side has the word 'off' in big letters. When the point is set, you will see the ON side of the puck face-up and actually sitting on top of the number that the point is set to (there are numbers all over the felt, but the large ones lining the back with 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 are used for a number of different bets, and as the point number indicator). When the point is not set (and so the next roll must be the come-out roll), the puck will be off the table layout, with the 'off' side up.

After the point has been set, always back up your pass line bet with odds. Read more about the logic behind that in our Odds section. With the point set as well, the pass line bet can win if the shooter rolls that point number before a seven is rolled. Logically therefore, the pass line bet loses if a seven is rolled before the point number is rolled.

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