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Blog Posted on 27/02/2023 | Author: Karen Macarthur

Craps History: A Look at the Origins and Evolution of Craps


Craps is a casino favourite at both land-based and online gambling venues. The game of Craps is easy to get started with and comes with dozens of different wagering options that add variety to the gameplay.

As with several other casino classics, the game of Craps shares a rich and long history that spans several centuries and countries. Here’s an article that details the history of Craps and how it evolved to become such a popular casino game.

Rolling the knucklebones

It isn’t clear who exactly invented the game of Craps. But just like several other casino classics offered by online casinos, there exist a number of legends regarding the origins of Craps. Some stories say that it were the Ancient Roman soldiers who first invented the game of Craps. According to these legends, their motive behind creating the game was to find a way to pass time between battles. Back then, the soldiers used pig’s knucklebones as dice and shields as their playing tables.

Another legend says that the origins of Craps can be traced back to the Arabic dice game Al Dar. It’s said the Al Dar existed for a long time in the Arabian world and it was brought to Europe by Arabian merchants in the 1300s.

The advent of Hazard

The next development that led to the creation of modern-day Craps also came from soldiers. With plenty of time to spend, Sir William of Tyre and his group of knights made their own version of the game. He called the game “Hazarth”, a title which many say was inspired by the name of a castle. Although Sir William’s version had fairly sophisticated rules, it shares several similarities with today’s version of Craps.

The game quickly gained traction among other European soldiers and became popular in several European soldiers. The gambling houses also took note of this and began offering it to their visitors. The game then evolved to take the form of Hazard, which also was widely played in the medieval age.

The rules of Hazard are quite similar to that of Craps. In Hazard, the shooter keeps on rolling the dice until they win or lose three times consecutively. Then there are varying payouts for different dice sums and players can choose to wager with or against the shooter.

It’s believed that the name Craps was also derived from Hazard. In the game of Hazard, a combination of 1-1 and 1-2 was referred to as “Crabs” or “Krabbs”. But again, this is just a theory. Another story suggests that the name Craps was inspired by the French name “Crapaud”. The word translates to “Toad” in English and describes the posture of players as they took their position to play.

Craps moves to the US

While the exact origins of Craps are unknown, its introduction to the Americans is well-documented. In 1805, a nobleman named Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville took the game from London to New Orleans.

For the next few decades, the game experienced its fair share of controversy, all thanks to the varying gameplay rules in different parts of the US. Finally, John H. Winn set out a standard set of rules and Craps terms in the early 1900s. This was also the time when the Craps table layout was simplified and the Don’t Pass bet was introduced.

With the speculation part taken out, Craps quickly became popular in several parts of the US. By the mid-20th century, Craps could be found in several casinos on the Vegas strip.

Craps today

Today, Craps players can seamlessly enjoy Craps gaming action at our online casino or new mobile casino. When playing online, players don’t have to spend hours travelling to a land-based venue. All they have to do is sign into their online casino account and they can play Craps anywhere, anytime.

Players who long for the social interaction of land-based venues have the option to try their hands at live Craps. These games have several features that give players the feel of playing at a land-based Craps table. And as the gaming action in Live Craps games is streamed onto the player’s device, many of the strict Craps table etiquette for land-based tables don’t apply here. All of this makes for a more fun, exciting and entertaining Craps experience.

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