The history of craps is a checkered one. The popular live casino game has been a regular feature in Casinos for over a century, but not many know how the dice game found its way to those casinos. The origins of craps can be traced all the way back to the crusades and even further. The game has not just been a popular choice for gamblers either but has also appeared in many forms of popular culture. Here are some facts about craps that most people are unaware of.
It is a Variation
Craps is essentially an offshoot of English dice game called Hazard. Hazard is an invention of 1125 A.D. It was created by Sir William of Tyre to give soldiers something to do in between sieges. The game became very popular throughout England and Europe. Pretty soon people were playing Hazard in ritzy gambling houses and grubby street corners. As the game traveled from one country to another each would put their own stamp on it. When it reached France they turned it into a variation called crabs. Modern-day craps is a variation of this variation. The game would travel with colonists into the new world and eventually become the Las Vegas, or casino, version that the masses enjoy at present.
It was Created to Stop Unfair Practices
The modern-day version of craps was actually created to weed out cheating. Just as it became increasingly popular in Europe, Hazard’s French version crabs became popular in the U.S. The Cajun version of the game, creps, was ported from one side of the Mississippi to the other via ferry. During this time gambling houses began playing with unfair dice. This abuse of the game would continue for a full century. The term, “loaded dice” originated during this period. Dice-maker John H. Winn put a stop to it in 1907 by introducing a revolutionary new set of rules. These rules were designed to level the playing field and dial back house advantage. Winn’s main concept was that players could bet for or against the shooter. This negated the use of crooked dice as players could bet on the outcome of a roll. Winn also changed the overall layout of the game. He is honored with the title of, “Father of Modern-Day Craps” as his rules are still practiced today.
It Gained Popularity Thanks to WWII
Craps hit its heyday when gambling was legalized in the 1930’s. Table games like Blackjack, Poker, and craps made it big as players flocked into live casinos to try their luck. The game did pretty well but did not really take off until after WWII. Craps has always been a game for soldiers. Hazard was played by crusaders to pass the time, and an earlier version that used pig knuckles was played by Roman centurions. Dice-games are easier to set up and takedown. They can be played quickly and the thrill of actually rolling the dice is very entertaining. Naturally, the modern-day version of craps was easy to port to the distant battlefields soldiers had to travel to for World War II. When the war ended those soldiers returned home and carried with them fond memories of playing the dice game. These memories caused them to flock to the craps table at Atlantic City and Las Vegas. The game became a huge seller and a regular feature in every gaming house throughout the world.