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Origins, Evolution, and History of Craps – The Game of Dice

  • Diverse stories and legends about the Origin of Craps
  • A game that landed in America under a new name
  • How did Craps become the most popular gambling game ever?
history of Craps
Image source: Flickr

Craps, such as roulette and blackjack, is one of the traditional casino games, no matter if we talk about online casinos or the land-based ones. Since there is normally a variety of wagers, this game is one of the hardest casino games ever. This article is about the origins, evolution, and history of Craps, so it is worth reading!

Before The Story Begins

There are various interesting theories on how the game evolved over historical times. The most common belief about the origin of Craps is the fact, that it is a variation of the Old English game called Hazard. However, its history hides much older treasures!

Unfortunately, there are few sources of the origin of Craps. Historians claim that it was found in Egyptian tombs and Indian crypts. The game was probably invented by different civilizations in separate regions of the world, independently of each other.

It All Started in the Roman Empire – Early Origins of Craps

According to some historical evidence, the game of Craps may have been created at the time of the Roman Empire. That was the time when probably the History of Roulette also began. Legend has it that Roman soldiers invented the Craps using pig knucklebones as dice and their armor shield as a table. This is how the term ‘to roll the bones’ got prevalent.

Others believe that the game originated from an Arabic dice game called Al Dar, which means dice. Arabic merchants brought the game over to Europe in the 12th century.

However, the most commonly accepted version of the game’s origin is that the game of Hazard was invented by Sir William of Tyre. Craps is probably a variation of this English game.

Which story do you think is the true origin of the game Craps?

The History of Craps Continues in Medieval Europe

The early game of Craps managed to spread rapidly in Europe and actually became quite popular in England over the Middle Ages. The medieval author, Geoffrey Chaucer also mentions the game in his Canterbury Tales which proves that the game was popular at the time.

Later, from the 18th century the game expanded its reach to the luxurious gambling houses in England. Noblemen also loved playing the game of Hazard as a pastime, making the game a huge social event.

Gambling, including Hazard also attracted the English royal court. Richard the Lionheart and Henry VIII both loved the game so much that the latter one lost the bells in the Cathedral of St. Paul with one throw. Otherwise, Henry VIII was the greatest gambling lover in the history of England, and maybe in the history of Craps.

Evolution of Craps on American Soil

history of Craps
Craps is superfun – Image source: Flickr

Yet, it is generally accepted that the evolution of the name ‘Craps’ most probably occurred on American soil. With the first European settlers, pastime activities such as dice and card games also sailed across the Atlantic Ocean. However, we do not know whether the change in the name was due to the French or British settlers. Nonetheless, once the game reached America, it quickly took hold, and spread onto the Mississippi riverboats, which traveled through many states, increasing the popularity of Craps.

Later, in the 19th century, African American people invented the modern Craps game. However, it spread around the continent, and several new variations of the game appeared, with simplified rules in comparison to the Hazard.

The First Casinos in the Evolution and History of Craps

An American politician and gambler introduced the modern version of Craps in the 19th century. However, his version gave players an advantage over casinos, so John H. Winn changed it. He created an option ‘do not pass’ and till nowadays, players play craps based on this version. People call Winn the father of modern Craps because he completely revolutionized the game. After the legalization of gambling in the state of Nevada, Craps quickly became popular among gamblers.

Currently, casinos around the world offer players the game of Craps, which combines elements of strategic games and games of chance. This is why Craps became one of the most preferred games and casinos considered it quite prominent.

During the Second World War, soldiers played the game to pass the time between battles. It spread to various parts of the world and as a result, there are only a few places on Earth where people do not know the Craps.

The Popularity of Craps Grew and Grew

The breakthrough for Craps was in 1950. The Tony Award-winning musical called ‘Guys and Dolls’ popularised the game on Broadway. Furthermore, Marlon Brando and Jean Simmons starred in the cinema version, in which Frank Sinatra crooned ‘Luck Be a Lady’. After these, Craps was not only acceptable, it was on its way to becoming a world-class favorite. What is more, based upon the volume of money wagered, the game of Craps now ranks as the number one gambling activity in history.

The History of Craps Goes Online

The development of technologies made it possible for the casino industry to go online. For the first time, players could play the game of Craps more easily, choosing whether to bet real money or play for free. Nowadays, there is a huge variety of online casinos that offer a great number of craps versions with fantastic features. Realistic virtual tables and all sorts of visual and sound effects are available on the Vegas Crest casino site!

The disadvantage of online Craps is the same as other games. It cannot capture the fact that most land-based casinos are like social hubs. However, there are constant developments in the business, and various options are available for the players.

Read the Best Strategies to Win Money While Playing on Craps, and be ready for the ride!

Discover the most popular gambling game ever on the online casino sites in the US!

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