Everything You Need To Know About The Craps Field Bet

Everything You Need To Know About The Craps Field Bet

A Field bet in craps is a one-roll bet on the 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 and 12. The 2 and the 12 usually pay 2:1, while the other numbers pay 1:1 (also known as “even money). In some casinos, either the 2 or the 12 may pay 3:1, and that lowers the house edge on the Field bet from around 5.6% to around 2.8%. If a 5, 6, 7, or 8 is rolled, the Field bet loses.

Read on for a more in-depth walk-through. Skip to:

Where Is The Field Bet On The Table?

First, take a look at the photo below – this is a typical layout of a casino craps table. You will notice that the Field is a betting area just under the large Box marked “Come,” and above the smaller box marked “Don’t Pass.”

In between these two is the area marked as “Field.” And that’s where you make the Field bet in craps.

The craps table layout with field bet area shown
Image credit: Betzaar.com/Wikipedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

You can also see this in the below photo, which shows an electronic craps table in a real casino.

Electronic craps table with field bet shown
Image credit: Victor Royer

What Is A Field Bet In Craps?

The Field is the part of the game where you can place one-roll wagers on the numbers 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 and 12. The numbers 2 and 12 are usually highlighted on either side of the marked Field wagering area. This is because they usually pay a bonus. For example, paying 2:1 instead of just even-money, as with the other numbers in the Field.

But is some land-based and online casinos, they can pay more – depending on that casino’s bonus structure for craps bets.

But beware, because any time there’s a bonus being offered somewhere on the game, this usually means that there are lower, or lesser, odds on other bets elsewhere. This is to compensate for such “bonus” offerings, and to pay for their “costs” to the casino.

Craps Field Bets Odds And Payouts

Basically, the easier it is to roll a number, the less it will pay, and the harder it is to roll that number, the more it will pay.

For Field Bets, we are only interested in the numbers: 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 and 12. These numbers are highlighted in the craps pyramid below, which shows how many ways each number can be rolled. For example, there is just one way to roll a 2 (1+1), but two ways to roll a 3 (2+1 and 1+2). As you can see, there are a total of 16 ways to win a Field bet in craps.

  • 2:  1:1
  • 3:  2:1; 1:2
  • 4:  2:2, 3:1, 1:3
  • 5:  3:2, 2:3, 4:1, 1:4
  • 6:  3:3, 4:2, 2:4; 5:1, 1:5
  • 7:  4:3, 3:4, 5:2, 2:5, 6:1, 1:6
  • 8:  4:4, 5:3, 3:5,6:2, 2:6
  • 9:  5:4, 4:5, 6:3, 3:6
  • 10: 5:5, 6:4, 4:6
  • 11: 6:5, 5:6
  • 12: 6:6

The Field bet has a house edge of around 5.6% for craps games where the 2 and the 12 both pay 2:1. It has a house edge of around 2.8% on craps games where the Field bets on either the 2 OR the 12 pay 3:1. This is often the case in casinos offering extra “bonuses” on The Field. The rest of the Field numbers usually pay 1:1 (“even money”).

Is The Field Bet A Good Bet In Craps?

The Field bet is a “Proposition” or “Prop” bet. These are usually one-roll wagers on events which are generally either difficult to make, or can be made more profitably in another way.

The Field bet is not the best bet in craps. With a house edge of around 5.6% on games where the 2 and the 12 pay 2:1 each, or a house edge of around 2.8% on games where either the 2 OR the 12 pay 3:1, these one-roll Prop bets can take a big bite out of your bankroll.

In comparison, the base-wager on the Pass Line, and the original base wager on the Come, both carry a lower house edge of around 1.4%. And so, at least statistically, these are far better bets to make.

Also, when betting the Pass Line – and after the point has been established – you can place Free Odds behind your Pass Line wagers. These Free Odds are now paid at True Odds, without any house edge.

This means that if you place just Single Odds behind your Pass Like wager, then the house edge on your bets is now only 0.85%. And if you place Double Odds behind your Pass Line wager, then the house edge against you is only 0.65%.

These are big differences when compared with the Field bets.

In most casinos, you can make even higher Free Odds than that, and this can significantly alter your craps betting strategy.

What Is The Best Craps Field Bet Strategy?

The generally-accepted advice – especially to novice craps players – is to stay away from all Prop bets, which includes betting the Field.

But just because the Field is not among the most statistically-friendly wagers, does not mean that it should always be avoided.

There are, after all, 16 ways to win on The Field – and this wager was originally intended to give the gambler a last one-roll chance to hit something – even if it was just enough for the bus ticket home.

So, what is the best craps field bet strategy?

It kind of depends on the game. If you’re in a game where the shooter – which is the person rolling the dice – is hitting a lot of numbers, and NOT a 7, then it’s a good strategy to back your other wagers with the occasional Field bet.

And that’s because even if the shooter rolls Craps – meaning a 2, or a 3 or a 12 – then the Field still wins, while the other bets, like the Come bet, will lose.

So, players sometime use the Field as a kind of back-up plan if they are already loaded up on all the box numbers, and are pushing their bets with riding Come bets at the same time. And perhaps also blocking some of the other Prop bets or any On The Hop bets on the table.  

The Iron Cross Craps Strategy

This is a kind of shoot-and-go-home one-roll Prop bet – like taking the Field as a last hurrah before going home.

You bet the Field in multiples of $5, then place the same multiples of $5 on the number 5, and then place multiples of $6 each on the 6 and the 8 (and NOT on the Big 6 or Big 8, which you DO NOT want to use, ever).

Because every number wins, except for any 7, this is a reasonable last-ditch effort to walk away with something. The house edge on the Iron Cross bet is about 1.15%. But that also depends on the various other odds and house payouts on the other bets, and that means that the actual percentages can, and do, vary. We’ll have more on the Iron Cross bet in craps on another occasion.

So for now, best of luck to all!

Lead image credit: Nic Neufeld/Shutterstock