Craps Strategies: Playing the Field vs. Betting the Pass Line

Unearth the secrets of Craps with our guide. Dive deep into two popular strategies: Playing the Field and Betting the Pass Line.

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A Casino isn’t complete without the exhilarating crowd surrounding the Craps table. If you are drawn to the electrifying energy of this fast-paced game, knowing your strategies can spell the difference between a thrilling win or a deflated loss. Among the myriad of betting options, ‘Playing the Field’ and ‘Betting the Pass Line’ are two prevalent strategies. This article will delve into these strategies, comparing their advantages, drawbacks, and ideal situations to deploy them.

Understanding the Pass Line Bet

A foundational bet of Craps is the Pass Line Bet. This bet is placed before the Come Out Roll (the first roll of the dice). If the roll results in a 7 or 11, the bet wins. However, if it’s a 2, 3, or 12 (collectively known as craps), the bet loses. Any other number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) establishes the ‘Point,’ and the shooter aims to roll this number again before rolling a 7 for the Pass Line Bet to win.

The Pass Line Bet is loved for its simplicity and the low house edge. At just 1.41%, it offers one of the best value bets in the casino. Furthermore, when a point is established, you can place an additional ‘Odds’ bet, which has no house edge.

Unpacking the Field Bet

The Field Bet is another popular betting option in Craps. It’s a one-roll bet that wins if the next roll is a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12. A winning Field Bet usually pays even money when 3, 4, 9, 10, or 11 are rolled, and 2:1 when a 2 or 12 is rolled.

The appeal of the Field Bet lies in its simplicity and the fact that it covers a large number of outcomes. However, it carries a larger house edge, typically around 5.56%, which is considerably higher than the Pass Line Bet.

Playing the Field vs. Betting the Pass Line

At face value, it may seem that the Field Bet, covering more numbers, would be the superior strategy. However, on closer inspection, the Pass Line Bet offers better long-term value.

  1. House Edge: The house edge is a critical factor in any gambling strategy. The lower the house edge, the better the expected return to the player. With a house edge of 1.41%, the Pass Line Bet offers significantly better value compared to the 5.56% of the Field Bet.
  2. Simplicity and Excitement: While both bets are straightforward, the Field Bet may offer more excitement to some players, as it wins or loses on every roll. Conversely, the Pass Line Bet can carry over multiple rolls, which can build suspense but might be less appealing to those craving immediate results.
  3. Strategic Depth: The Pass Line Bet opens the door for additional strategic depth. After establishing the Point, players can take or lay odds with no house edge, improving the overall potential return. This option is not available with the Field Bet.

Striking a Balance

A smart approach is to combine these strategies based on the situation. The Pass Line Bet with odds should form the core of your strategy due to its low house edge. However, sprinkling in some Field Bets can add variety and excitement to your gameplay, especially in the short term where the higher house edge is less noticeable.

Remember, every bet in the casino is designed to favor the house in the long run. While strategic betting can improve your odds, it’s crucial to approach gambling as a form of entertainment, not a way to make money.


Understanding the dynamics of the Pass Line and Field Bet strategies in Craps can significantly enhance your gaming experience. While the lower house edge makes the Pass Line Bet the superior long-term strategy, incorporating the Field Bet can add excitement to your gameplay. As always, the most important strategy is to manage your bankroll effectively, set limits, and remember to have fun.

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