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Iron Cross Craps Strategy: The Definitive Guide

Bill Collins
Written by Bill Collins
This guide is suitable for advanced players. Advanced Percentage of users that found this guide helpful. 100% Estimated reading time based on the average reading speed. 6 Min
Iron Cross Craps Strategy: The Definitive Guide

Craps is a complex casino game that has a wide range of winning strategies. If you have been playing for a while, you probably heard about the Iron Cross craps strategy. 

Some pro players claim that this betting system is unbeatable, while others think it's just too good to be true.

But is the craps Iron Cross really the "foolproof winning strategy"?

In this guide, expert dice influencer Bill Collins will shed some light regarding this popular betting system and common misconceptions about the strategy. 

You will learn how you can walk out of the casino with money in your pocket using this strategy.

Without further ado, let's get started!

What is the Iron Cross in Craps?

The Iron Cross craps bet is a popular bet because it allows you to win money on every roll that isn't a losing 7. 

Most people like the winning-all-the-time part. 

It is a simple bet to play, too, and that gives it a lot of appeal for most casual craps players.

How to Play the Iron Cross in Craps

I learned to bet the Iron Cross strategy as full place bets on 5, 6, and 8 and a half-sized bet on field. 


$25 place 5, $30 place 6, $30 place 8, and $15 on the field bet. 

Here, the field bet would win $15 on 3, 4, 9, 10, and 11, or $30 on 2, or $45 on 12, in most real money craps casinos that offer premium payoffs on the 2 and 12. The craps Iron Cross is scalable, so long as the bet amounts are over the table's minimum bet.

iron cross strategy craps

I've also seen some players not even place the 5, choosing to hop the two ways to roll 5 instead, each for an amount that pays at least the same amount that the place bet would pay; but the hop bets are a single roll bet that has to be replaced each time it loses if you want it to stay up. 

Hopping the 5’s for $3 each way, 2-3 and 1-4, for a $6 investment per roll does reduce your total amount risked on each roll.

You are now risking $6 versus placing the 5 for $25, so hopping the 5's saves $19 that roll, if the losing 7 shows then. 

And, your $3 bet will win you $45, instead of the $35 that placing $25 on the 5 wins. But, it does have to be replaced after each roll that the hopping bets lose and that can add up on a long roll. Hopping the 5's for eight tosses would just about be equal to placing the 5 or $25.


The field bets win full normal payoff amounts, but the payoff on the place bets on 5, 6, and 8 hitting is reduced because of having to replace the field bet each time one of those place bets wins and takes down the field bet, which then has to be replaced before the next roll to keep the Iron Cross craps strategy going.

How the Iron Cross Craps Bet Stacks Up Against Other Bets

Because only part of your Iron Cross Bet wins and the other part loses, the overall payoff you receive is reduced on the place bet wins. 

You win $35 when 5, 6, or 8, on the example bet explained above, but that $35 win gets reduced by the $15 field bet loss. So, you'd actually win $20. 

One part of the bet is working against the other part, pay-off wise.

Below are other bets I like to make. All these bets are figured with me making a $376 total bet on them. The dollar amount shown to the right of each bet below is my average win per every roll, when tracked over my most recently logged 2,000 practice tosses:

Bet type                      Average win / roll

4 & 10


8, 9 & 10


4, 6, 8 & 10


6 & 8


6, 8 & 9


5, 6 & 8


INSIDE (5, 6, 8 & 9)


ACROSS (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 & 10)




As you can see the unbeatable Iron Cross craps average winnings per every toss just doesn't stack up against equal-sized bets that don't dilute their winnings because of one part of the bet working against another part of the bet. 

On some of the other bets listed above, I win over three dollars more per roll than I'd win if I had played the Iron Cross. So, I play those bets, instead, and win that extra amount per roll. 

Why win $6.39 per roll, when I can bet smarter and win over $9.00 per roll? 

Those other bets win almost an extra one-third more money per roll. I did bet the Craps Iron Cross, until I learned that there were better-paying bets for me to make.

Pro tip

Do you want to learn more about the game? Check out our learn craps page to discover more beginner-friendly guides that will help you become a better player and maximize your odds at the craps table.

Reverse Iron Cross Craps Bet

You can also bet the Reverse Iron Cross, which is a bet I came up with recently. 

It is a full-sized across bet (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 & 10) plus a half-sized field bet that pays you twice you on the 4, 9, and 10 hits; you get paid once for the place bet hit and again for the field bet hit. 

reverse iron cross strategy

This is called “double-dipping”. 

This bet, too, is scalable for the size of bets you make, just try to not bet more than ten percent of your buy-in on any one turn shooting. 

The average win per every toss for the Reverse Iron Cross Craps bet is the same for me as when betting across. Again, that would make me choose a higher-paying bet to make instead.

Final thoughts

There you have it - the complete guide to using the Iron Cross craps strategy.

We hope that Bill's lessons will help you use this system to your advantage. 

Of course, it won't guarantee that you win every time, but you will minimize your risks and walk out from the craps table with more money in your pocket (if you play it right, of course!)

Remember that there is no surefire winning formula to beat the casino unless you learn how to quit while you're ahead.

Have fun!


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Bill Collins

Bill Collins

Professional Craps Player

About Bill Collins

  • Over 2 decades of triumphant experience in the game of craps, with a winning streak since 2003;
  • Noted author of the acclaimed craps novel, "Vegas Fever";
  • Proficient Craps writer, with a wide range of published articles;
  • Administrator of the popular Facebook group "Craps Crusher", which has 4.3k+ members, sharing daily insights into successful craps strategies.

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