History of Craps

In terms of the money that is placed in bets, the dice game of Craps is currently the biggest gambling game throughout the world. It is incredibly popular and attracts thousands upon thousands of people to the casino tables. However, the origins of the game trace back so much further than the existence of the casino, to a time when 'craps' was not even a betting game. The game is thought to be a descendent of the ancient dice game of 'Hazard'. The invention of 'Hazard' is often attributed to the English military man Sir William of Tyre, who during the crusades, came up with the game as a way for his troops to pass the time ,whilst laying in wait to besiege a castle. The name is thought to stem from the fact that the castle in question was named, 'Hasarth' or perhaps 'Asart' and so the name 'Hazard' is actually a corruption of this name. However, some gaming historians believe that the game 'Hazard' is actually Arabic in its origins since a corruption for the Arabic word for dice, 'Al-Zar' seems far more likely to have led to the name.

It is the French who claim responsibility for developing the name 'Craps', which is actually thought to come from the term that was given to a losing throw of two- 'crabs'. Yet, it is generally accepted that the evolution of the name 'Craps' most probably occurred on American soil. With the first settlers from Europe, on the Mayflower, people brought with them their old traditions and customs, among which came the pastimes such as dice and card games. Some hold the British settlers responsible for the change in the name to 'Craps', whilst others see a more valid explanation in that when the French settlers were forced to displace to the most southern American territories, where they formed their identity as Cajuns, they actually brought about the name 'Craps'. Nonetheless, once the game reached American soil it quickly took hold, and spread onto the Mississippi riverboats, that travelled through many states and so the popularity of Craps spread.

However, it was the American dice maker John. H. Winn who really revolutionised the game, causing it to assume to form that is so enjoyed today. It was Winn who developed the game so that other players could bet either with or against the shooter. This saw the progression to the modern day 'Bank Craps', with its casino layout and gaming tables. Bank Craps is by far the most popular version of the game, and the casino banks to game, with all of the players' bets being placed against the house. Alternately there is the 'Street-Craps' game, which is, as its name denotes played in the streets. In this version of the game, the shooter will establish himself a point and then roll to attempt to make it. The other players will then bet for or against the shooter.

For some people, the team effort element of the game, since everyone is playing dependent on the same outcome- the roll of two die, is the most attractive element of the game 'craps'. However, for some people it is the money that is the most important- these players are out to make money, and as much as possible. Nonetheless, the game is attractive to a vast number of people. In general, Craps can be a relatively difficult game to grasp, but after a little experience of the game it is indeed a very entertaining and thrilling pastime. Although at one stage the status of Craps as the most popular casino game, seemed threatened by the rise of poker and blackjack, online gambling has revolutionised the game- it is regaining its popularity and is extending its popularity to many more people.


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