A Brief History of Craps
Craps is a game with a storied history. The oldest gambling games in the world use dice. Since gambling is about luck, dice provide one of the most efficient methods of pre-technological randomization. Furthermore, the ability to create dice predates the ability to create cards, since any stones can take the shape of dice, whereas cards require paper.
The modern game of craps has its origins in a game called Hazard, popular in 14th century England. Hazard had similar rules to craps — a player would choose a point, called a “main,” between 5 and 9.
If the player rolled the main, he would win. If he threw a 2 or 3, he would lose. If he rolled an 11 or 12, he would win or lose depending on the main — an 11 was a winner for some mains, a 12 for others, for still others, 11 and 12 was a loser for both. The thrower would get odds depending on which main he chose.
In the early 19th century, nobleman and notorious gambler Bernard de Marigny brought Hazard from England to his home in New Orleans. The name of the game became Crapaud, for the French for toad. It later became craps as the rules evolved to the type of craps played today.
While craps is a staple of many casinos, you can also easily find it anywhere, from an inner city alley to a private home on a computer online.