History of Craps
Craps evolved in the 19th century as a simplified adaption of the Old English dice game Hazard that was very popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. Hazard was developed by Sir William of Tyre, an Englishman whose aim was to devise a game that would serve as a pastime for his soldiers as they lay in siege to ‘Hazarth’, an Arabian castle around 1125A.D. The name Hazard has Arabic origins, derived from either the castle’s name or the word “Al Zah” or “Azza”, which are Arabic for dice.
Hazard, well-known and played by English aristocracy, travelled across the Channel to France and the Mediterranean countries who adopted the game with zest. Hazard’s rules were modified, creating a less complicated and faster paced game, which the French then renamed. Craps was originally known as crapaud, which is French for "toad". Many theories circulate over the origins of the name. One theory suggests that the game’s popularity with the French Creole residents lead to the name as they were referred to as “Frogs” by the residents who spoke English. Another proposes that it was the position of those playing the game, hunched over and crouching when throwing the dice, which made them look like toads.
In its early stages, craps was highly influenced by French gamblers and was brought to New Orleans in North America from England by the politician and avid gambler Bernard de Marigny in 1813. The game spread like wildfire throughout the country by the African-American slaves and was quickly adopted by players of all colours and cultures. The game became a huge craze in the American way of life and worked its way from the streets into the casinos. When craps first came to the casinos it was one of the most popular games on offer. Over the last couple of decades games like blackjack and poker have begun to take centre stage at the casinos, but craps is still the most popular dice game.
Throughout the 19th century many new variations and rules were introduced. Casino tables at the time featured a much simpler layout than those today and only offered the Big 6 and Big 8, Field, Win and Come bets to craps players. Eventually a man named John H. Winn was to come along and revolutionise the game, conceiving the modern layout - originally known as the Philadelphia layout. Winn introduced players to betting Right and Wrong in craps and created space for Don’t Pass bets on the table plan. He is often accredited as the "father of modern craps". Winn was also the first to allow players to place wagers against the shooter, which put an end to the use of crooked or loaded dice by players trying to win against the house.
The status and popularity of craps sky rocketed throughout the 20th and 21st centuries and became recognised and played right across the globe. Soldiers from both sides in World War 2 played craps to pass the time and the game travelled to remote locations all over the world with the soldiers.
Current variations of the game include card-based adaptations by the Indian reservations in California to get around the state’s laws prohibiting the game. Also, outside of casinos and bank craps, informal games of street or private craps are played. One of the best ways to play this enthralling and multifaceted game is on any number of the fantastic and secure online casinos. Playing craps online boomed with the development and growth of online casinos in the 1990’s. Online craps has had many terrific advances in recent years as technology and software evolves. The online games are now really starting to stimulate the madness of land-based casinos, so experience the fun and play craps in online casinos today!