The Origins Of Craps

Craps, often referred to as shooting dice, is a game played by people from all walks of life. The scene of players crouched in the street, huddled over a set of dice is a common one, as is the idea of wealthy high rollers playing in casinos. It is the average person huddled in the street, however, that gave the game its official name.

The first origins of the game are lost in a shroud of mystery, as is the case with most casino games. There are various mentions of dice being found in ancient Egyptian tombs, as well as being used for ancient Greek rituals and ceremonies. In fact, so fascinated with dice were the ancient Greeks, and so convinced were they of the Gods having impact over dice rolls, that they used dice to settle legal matters, determine who should be in politics, and even decide who a person should pick as a life partner. But the actual games played with these dice were not especially similar to the modern game of craps.

Dice Playing Games

It is generally accepted that modern craps descended from an English game known as Hazard. Hazard, although also using dice, was a very popular game, although modern players would likely find it incredibly confusing. The game is notorious for having complicated rules, all of which would have to be memorised in order to avoid players getting into fistfights.

A French man with the very impressive name Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville took the game of Hazard from England to New Orleans in the 1800’s, where it was drastically simplified. The simplified version soon became popular, and it was not long until groups of players could be seen squatting in the streets, playing the game on the sidewalks.

A humorous remark was made that the dice playing men looked as if they were imitating toads, given their posture, and the joke was quickly repeated and became a countrywide gag. The crapauds, French for toads, are playing dice in the street again, people would say. And this phrase gave rise to the game being called craps.

Evolution Of Craps

Although this simplified version of craps is all but identical to the modern version, it had a few flaws, which soon made it a game that caused much controversy. The idea that players could bet for or against the person currently rolling the dice was exploitable, given the way craps was played at the time.

Cooperating players could take advantage of the bank, and so it was all but sure the bank would suffer losses. Once this exploitation was known the game was rejected and banned in many establishments, and craps developed a reputation as a game for con artists and scammers.

It was not until later that an American dice maker named John H. Winn, who had been a long time fan of craps, introduced a new rule to directly address the problems with the game. The rule he introduced was a simple one, the “don’t pass” option, and it made the game of craps as we know it today.

WW 2 Influences and Dice Control

One of the other controversial elements of craps was the myth of dice control, or the idea that those skilled at throwing dice could influence how the dice landed. A backboard is used in craps in order to eliminate the possibility of a person throwing the dice in fashion that gave definite results. It was rumoured, however, that some American soldiers in World War 2 had become experts at dice control.

In a technique now known as the army blanket roll, given that soldiers had used their rolled up blankets as backboards, soldiers had learned to bend the rules of craps, throwing the dice in such a way that the dice did not leave their axis once thrown. There has been much debate about how effective these soldiers were. The result was, however, that the backboards in casinos were altered, fitted with pyramid shaped rubber stoppers. This avoids thrown dice ever remaining level, and on one axis, after being thrown.

Modern Craps

Today, craps is a well known across the world, and is available on many online casinos in digital form. It is interesting to note, however, that it is a game with popularity largely focused in the United States. Few other countries enjoy the game as much as Americans, although it is generally available in most casinos worldwide. Some countries, however, do not even offer craps as a game in local casinos.

Craps games at online casinos offer a realistic and authentic experience that’s almost identical to playing in a brick and mortar establishment. RNG’s are used to determine a fair outcome, and playing online is just as enjoyable, plus, as an added advantage the games play out faster, so you can enjoy a greater number of turns, and increase your winning potential exponentially.