An accurate and systematic equation of state for the hard-core one-component plasma (HCOCP) is obtained. The result is based on the Hubbard-Schofield transformation which yields the field-theoretical Hamiltonian, with coefficients expressed in terms of equilibrium correlation functions of the reference hard-core fluid. Explicit calculations were performed using the Gaussian approximation for the effective Hamiltonian and known thermodynamic and structural properties of the reference hard-core fluid. For small values of the plasma parameter Γ and packing fraction the Debye-Hückel result is recovered, while for Γ≫1, the excess free energy F ex and internal U ex energy depend linearly on Γ. The obtained expression for U ex is in a good agreement with the available Monte Carlo data for the HCOCP. We also analyse the validity of the widely used approximation, which represents the free energy as a sum of the hard-core and electrostatic part.