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Hammer

Rules to play Curling

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Hammer

Last rock or last stone advantage in an end is called the hammer. Before the game, teams typically decide who gets the hammer in the first end either by chance (such as a coin toss), by a draw to the button contest, where a representative of each team shoots a single stone to see who gets closer to the centre of the rings, or, particularly in tournament settings like the Winter Olympics, by a comparison of each teams win loss record. In all subsequent ends, the hammer belongs to the team that did not score in the preceding end. In the event that neither team scores, the hammer remains with the same team. Naturally, it is easier to score points with the hammer than without; in tournament play, the team with the hammer generally tries to score two or more points. If only one point is possible, the skip will often try to avoid scoring at all in order to retain the hammer until the next end, when two or more points may lie. This is called a blank end. Scoring without the hammer is commonly referred to as stealing, or a steal, and is much more difficult.


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Hammer
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Burning a stone
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