Master Craps – Tricks and Techniques: The History of Craps

Be brilliant, play clever, and learn how to play craps the right way!

Dice and dice games date back to the Crusades, but modern craps is only about one hundred years old. Modern craps formed from the 12th Century English game called Hazard. No one knows for sure the origin of the game, however Hazard is said to have been invented by the Anglo, Sir William of Tyre, around the 12th century. It’s believed that Sir William’s soldiers wagered on Hazard during a siege on the fortification Hazarth in 1125 AD. The name Hazard was acquired from the castle’s name.

Early French settlers brought the game Hazard to Canada. In the 18th century, when driven away by the English, the French moved south and settled in southern Louisiana where they after a while became known as Cajuns. When they departed Acadia, they brought their preferred game, Hazard, with them. The Cajuns simplified the game and made it more mathematically fair. It’s believed that the Cajuns changed the title to craps, which is derived from the name of the losing toss of two in the game of Hazard, recognized as "crabs."

From Louisiana, the game migrated to the Mississippi riverboats and across the nation. Many think the dice builder John H. Winn as the creator of modern craps. In 1907, Winn developed the modern craps layout. He created the Do not Pass line so players could bet on the dice to not win. Afterwords, he designed the spots for Place bets and put in place the Big 6, Big 8, and Hardways.

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