The origin of Craps is difficult to determine since this game is played with dice, and as you know, dice have perhaps always been used to play board games and for entertainment. In fact, historians who found ancient cubes deciphered that they were used by the ancient Egyptians in about 600 B.C.E.
A basic and early form of Craps was first played during the great Roman Empire by the soldiers of the Roman Legions who would use pig knuckles to carve into game cubes and toss them on their shields when turned over. Over time, we do find historical records of dice being made out of various materials—ivory, nutshells and clay, or even porcelain, gold and silver. Today, however, casinos use dice made of cellulose which aren’t dented by the sharp corners of the gaming table.
In the 1990′s, the advent of the Internet transformed Craps into an online casino game and a surge of interest in this game developed. By playing online Craps at vibrant sites such as 7Red Casino, newcomers to this game were no longer intimidated by it. They could play at their own speed by using easily understandable guidelines and online tutorials. They could also improve their game by playing free practice Craps games confidently. These measures brought in a whole new generation of Craps players who took to the game easily and grew its popularity. Today, this game has become a favorite for thousands of players worldwide.
How Craps got its name: Craps, as we know the game today, is a direct descendant of the Arabic game, Azzahr, which means “the die.” The Crusaders took this game with them when they returned to France and called it “Hasard.” From there, it crossed the English Channel and entered the UK, where it was better-known as “Hazard.” It was so popular all over the country that it also finds a mention in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
The French also took their pet game to Nova Scotia and to New Orleans, where it was immensely popular. In fact, it was Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville, a scion of a very rich landowning family of Louisiana, who introduced this game to fellowmen of New Orleans. This was the foundation of what was later known as the American version of Craps.
However, later Bernard’s version was found to be flawed as here, players could use the fixed dice of the casino to their advantage and exploit the way players could bet the dice thrower or against him.
In order to resolve this problem, the American dice maker, John H. Winn, introduced a betting option known as “don’t pass”—one that has stood the test of time. In fact, it his version that is played in casinos these days. After Bernard’s version was suitably altered, the game in its new avatar, spread all across the United States.
An interesting aspect of Craps is the way the game that was earlier titled Hazard finally came to be known as Craps. Well, in the 16th century, the worst roll of the dice in Hazard was referred to as “crabs.” The French called it “crabes”; and in Cajun, a dialect of French spoken in New Orleans, it was pronounced as “crebs” or “creps.” By 1850, the Cajun-pronounced “crebs” or “creps” was modified by the Americans to be “craps,” which became the final name of this game.