Master Craps – Hints and Plans: The History of Craps

Be clever, play smart, and master craps the correct way!

Games that use dice and the dice themselves date back to the Middle Eastern Crusades, but modern craps is only about 100 years old. Modern craps evolved from the 12th Century Anglo game called Hazard. No one knows for sure the ancestry of the game, however Hazard is believed to have been created by the Englishman, Sir William of Tyre, around the 12th century. It is theorized that Sir William’s soldiers bet on Hazard during a blockade on the fortress Hazarth in 1125 AD. The title Hazard was derived from the fortification’s name.

Early French colonizers brought the game Hazard to Canada. In the 1700s, when displaced by the British, the French headed down south and settled in southern Louisiana where they at a later time became Cajuns. When they departed Acadia, they took their favored game, Hazard, with them. The Cajuns simplified the game and made it more mathematically fair. It is said that the Cajuns adjusted the title to craps, which was derived from the name of the non-winning throw of snake-eyes in the game of Hazard, known as "crabs."

From Louisiana, the game migrated to the Mississippi riverboats and all over the nation. A few think the dice maker John H. Winn as the father of current craps. In 1907, Winn designed the modern craps layout. He appended the Do not Pass line so players could bet on the dice to not win. At another time, he created the spaces for Place bets and put in place the Big 6, Big 8, and Hardways.

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