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The History of Craps

Dice games were to be found thousands of years ago, and can be traced back to Roman times when shaved pigs knuckles were used as the dice.

However, the history of modern Craps is a lot shorter – only circa one hundred years old.

The direct predecessor of modern craps was an English game of "Hazard" (he name Craps is believed to have derived from the English crabs which was the name for the throw of aces or ace-deuce).

There is historical evidence that it was played by the soldiers in Twelfth Century during the Third Crusade, led by the three most powerful kings of Western Europe: Frederick Barbarossa of The Holy Roman Empire, Philip Augustus of France and Richard The Lion-Heart of England. Hazard was probably created long before the crusaders. It is possible that the first English settlers on "Mayflower" brought it to America.

English Hazard became very popular in New Orleans around 1800, where French called it Craps. After that rules and odds changed many times. Few new variations of the game popped up which were simpler and faster than original Hazard.

One variation – Table Off game – became especially popular with gambling establishments at the end of nineteenth century. At that time casino tables and a simple layout, featuring the 6 and 8, the Field, the Win and the Come bets, were introduced. However, the players could bet only with the dice against the House.

Finally, John H. Winn revolutionized the game and made it possible for the craps players to bet right and wrong. He improved a layout accordingly and drew a space for Don’t Pass bets. In 1931 casino gambling was legalized in the State of Nevada and Casino Craps (Las Vegas style) became popular all over the world.

craps game origins

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