Understanding the Field Bet in Craps
The Field Bet is one of the many wagers that you can make when playing craps, either at a land based casino or online. If you've played enough or even just observed a few craps games you'll find that is one of the most popular bets because it's so simple. Even though it is a simple bet to make, it is deceptive, so it's essential that you understand the Field Bet before deciding to make it while playing.
Most players go with the Field bet because it can be placed at any time during the game, even before the come out roll and after the point is established, so you don't have to worry about timing it just right as with other bets. The outcome of the Field bet is also determined by a single roll of the dice. So basically all you have to do is play your bet, the dice are rolled and you either win or lose. The bet is not carried forward in the game, so there's really not much to it.
When playing craps at online casinos, the chips for the Field Bet are placed in a large demarcated area of the craps table known as the Field Box. This box usually has the word "Field" as well as the numbers 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 and 12 listed in a line on it, with 2 and 12 being circled. If any of these numbers are rolled on the dice then you will win and if other numbers are rolled you lose your wager. That said though, these numbers are not all created equal and bear different payouts. Three, Four, Nine, Ten and Eleven pay even money while Two and Twelve usually pay 2:1 but have been known to pay out at 3:1 in some online casinos (which is why they are circled).
So it all seems pretty straight forward and easy, why not bet the Field? As we mentioned before, this bet can be quite deceptive, especially if you are new to the game. Eleven possible numbers can be rolled with the two dice in craps, seven of these results in a win if you're betting the Field and four result in a loss. To the untrained mind this would seem like the chance of winning is almost double that of losing, but in reality, this isn't the case as one needs to consider the various combinations that can result in each of these numbers being rolled.
The losing numbers, namely 5, 6, 7 and 8 can be rolled in many more ways that the other numbers. If you consider that the total number of outcomes of the dice are 36, these four losing numbers can be rolled with 20 combinations while the eleven winning numbers can only be rolled with 16 combinations. With 2 and 12 paying out at 2:1, we can view this as 18 winning combinations versus 20 losing one's...doesn't sound so good now does it? In fact, this puts the house edge for this type of bet at 5.55% which is high in comparison to the many other bets that can be made in a game of online craps.
If you're prepared to place this bet in spite of the high house advantage over you, you might as well find your way to the online slot machines, where you can at least stand the chance of high payout rates...just a thought! But if craps is your game and you insist on betting the Field, then shop around for an online casino that pays out 3:1 for the 2 or 12 rolls as this significantly reduces the house edge to 2.7%, which is STILL higher than that of the best craps bets, but may be acceptable if you're only playing occasionally and betting smaller amounts of money.