History of Craps
Craps is a game where players basically place bets on the outcome of a roll of the dice-of course, subject to several rules.
Variations include playing with more dice or wagering on a succession of rolls. Because it utilizes few objects, craps can be played virtually anywhere.
At present, there are different theories on the origins of the game of craps. The most prevalent one is that it is a simplified form of the Old English game, hazard.
The game can be traced back to 1125 CE, during the Crusades. It was said that the game had been conceived by Sir William of Tyre, supposedly with the help of his knights.
It quickly became the favored game of the Crusaders during the conquering of the castle Hazarth or Asart-hence the name of the game.
Another theory states that craps has Arabic roots because of the words ‘azzah’ or ‘al zah’ which can be translated into ‘the dice.’ It is said that craps in its initial format has reached Europe around the same time the Crusaders were supposedly starting to play the game Hazard.
Either way, the French started playing Hazard, eventually changing the name of the game into Craps. It supposedly came from ‘crapaud’ which means ‘toad’ in French. This is apparently because of the original way of playing it which involved people who squatted and stooped over a sidewalk or on the floor.
Another account says that the French converted the name to craps by means of corrupting the term that was given when a player would roll a 2, which was commonly referred to as ‘crabs.’
In 1813 the game of craps was modernized and brought into the mainstream by Bernard de Marigny in New Orleans. The game then proceeded to rapidly spread all over the United States. However with de Marigny’s version, there was a serious flaw brought about by the fact that people could only bet against the ‘shooter’ (the player throwing the dice). This has spawned several cheating methods including the use of weighted dice.
To deal with the massive cheating involved in the game, John Winn, who would later on be recognized as the father of modern craps, added various betting posts which included a ‘right’, a ‘wrong, and a ‘don’t pass.’ This made it possible for craps players to bet for or against the dice roller, the shooter, practically making the use of loaded dice to cheat impossible.
The final stage of the history of craps is of course the inventions of the Internet, online gaming and online craps. Technology continues to evolve and live online craps is the next frontier, making the game closer to the brick and mortar version.