Playing the Field

Play It Smart- Craps Strategies

By Nelson Paul

One of the easiest bets to make on the craps table is to play a Field bet. The Field is a single roll bet in play on every toss of the dice. The table shows the dice numbers that win, or lose by listing them on the Field bet area. It’s not a bad place to play while watching the table and learning the game. The Field bettor does not have to play every roll.

Field Bets

A Field bet wins on rolls of 2-3-4 and 9-10-11-12. It pays two for one on a roll of 2, and typically three for one a roll of 12, all the other Field numbers pay one to one. Mathematically a Field bet will hit on 16 out of 36 rolls and will pay 19 units through the 36 possible combinations of the dice. The Field is not the worst odds on the table but will fool a lot of players into thinking they can get a long term advantage over the house. Always remember there is not bet on the table where the player has an edge over the house and even though the Field pays on 16 rolls with some double or triple payouts, it loses on 20 rolls and the house edge is still 20-19 units over the player.

Playing Against Other bets

Some players will use the Field as a hedge against other bets on the table. One popular strategy is know as the Iron Cross where the player combines a Field bet with place bets on the numbers 5-6-8 after the come out roll. Another hedging strategy is to bet the Field on the come out roll while betting the pass line. The idea is to cover a pass line loss with a Field bet win. We will explain these strategies in greater detail in the future.


The Field is also the one bet on the table where players use a Martingale Progression. The MP is a strategy where a player doubles their bet after every loss. Loose 1 unit bet 2, loose 2 units bet 4, lose 4 bet 8 and so on until hitting a win. The Martingale Progression may work for a while when betting the Field, but what happens is the MP bettor will soon find themselves placing a pretty big bet on one roll to cover a series of losses. Unfortunately the dice don’t have a brain or a memory, and even though a Field number missed on 9 straight rolls the next roll is still less than 50/50 to hit. A 16 for 36 success rate will get you into the baseball hall of fame, but will eventually bankrupt a Field bettor using the Martingale Progression.

Play It Smart on the Field for fun and watch the other action as an opportunity to learn the game. Keep your bets level or double them up after a win to increase your action on the Field. Don’t be tempted to bet a Martingale Progression.