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Gambling Guide: History of Craps

Today craps is the biggest gambling game in the history of the world in terms of money wagered. The fascination behind the game is purely a reflection of societys love for thrills. So much money is lost or gained purely from the roll of just 2 dice. For years the game has captured the public’s imagination, and the thrill of the craps dice is witnessed in private rooms, casinos, online casinos, mundoeslavo.com, and even back street alleys. History of Dice A key part of the history of craps is the origins of dice, although that is not known. However, historians all agree that dice have a long and rich history and that they are the oldest gaming and gambling tools in the world. There are many theories as to who invented dice, and where dice came from. For example, Roman Emperors were reported to have been compulsive dice players.

  • Egyptian tombs dated 600 B.C. have been found to contain dice.
  • In the Middle Ages, French academics taught dice games to their students.
  • In England, dice games were played in the 15th century – Richard the Lion Heart and King Henry VIII both gambled with dice.
  • The Greeks used dice during the siege of Troy.

18th-century Chinese Dominoes are said to have descended from dice. A common belief by historians is that the die was not invented solely by one source and spread from place to place, but that it was a product of many ancient cultures all over the world. In ancient times, the throw of dice was not just considered to be luck; it was also used to predict the future and gain insight and knowledge into the world of the unknown. Fortune-tellers, witch doctors, and shamans used to throw sacred sticks, arrows, animal knucklebones, nutshells, seashells, and bones upon the ground trying to predict the future. The Gods were said to control the outcome of the die. In the 21st century, dice have become a vital and treasured piece of gaming equipment and are invaluable to many games. The importance of dice is evidenced by the fact that dice are now thoroughly inspected by casino game boxmen. 

These boxmen carefully examine the dice for any flaws such as nicks or chips before putting them into play. The average life of a pair of casino dice is only eight hours. Todays dice are precision instruments engineered to very strict specifications. Dice games became popular in the 20th century and dice have become the vital component of a vast array of commercial board games. In fact, now, polyhedral-shaped dice have gained widespread popularity. History of Craps Games Craps is a descendant of an ancient English game called Hazard, which dates back to the 12th century. Hazard is claimed to have been invented by the Englishman, Sir William of Tyre, and his knights during the crusades. For many centuries Hazard was an extremely popular game in England, and it would often lead to great fortunes being won and lost by noblemen. It is not known who brought the game to America. Some claim that the French took the game to America while others think it probably went with the first English settlers on the “Mayflower. What is known is that in the early 19th century English Hazard became very popular in New Orleans. It was here that the history of craps begins when the game of hazards was simplified to become the game of craps that we know today. The rules and odds changed many times, and slowly craps were developed to become the game it is today. The history of craps does not contain a common consensus as to who invented the name craps. One theory behind the craps name is that it came from the Hazard game. In Hazards throwing a 2 was called crabs. So craps could be an altered form of the word crabs.

Another theory is that it may have been the French who came up with the name or the African Americans of the southern states of the United States who first played it. As with many games, craps spread to the rest of America on riverboats on the Mississippi. At the end of the 19th century, John H Winn, a dice maker made further developments on the game. He created a simple craps layout of the complex craps table we use today enabling players to bet with the dice shooter or against him. This development was significant in the history of craps and revolutionized the game. In 1931 casino gambling in the State of Nevada was legalized, and in the 1940s shortly after soldiers returned from World War II craps peaked in popularity. Craps was the premier game in a majority of American casinos and Casino craps became popular all over the world. Craps fell in popularity during the early 1960s, with games such as Blackjack and Slots taking over in the top American casinos. Nevertheless, the development of online casinos has seen a rise in popularity for craps in the last few years and craps are still the most exciting and entertaining game to watch and play. We hope you enjoyed learning about the history of craps.