Craps and Toads

There are several versions about the history of the game craps. Because the game uses dice, and these implements have been around since ancient Egypt, craps’ origins actually go a long way back. But the rules of modern day craps get its beginnings from an old English game, Hazard. This game was played with two dice and had complicated rules. Hazard was introduced to England by the Crusaders, who carried it back from the Middle East.

English Colonists are believed to have carried the game to America in the form of Hazard, but the game metamorphosed into craps in the French Quarter of New Orleans. There, the complicated rules of Hazard were simplified, and played in casinos and on the street. One theory says the name craps came from Creole players who crouched like “toads” when playing in the alleys. The French word for toad is “crapeaud”, and shortened to craps.

The new version of the game was spread throughout North America by soldiers and Riverboat patrons. At first players easily cheated, using fixed dice and taking advantage of how a player was able to bet with or against the dice thrower, until dice maker, John H. Winn, introduced changes to the betting arrangements in the early 1900’s.

Since soldiers carried the game overseas in World War II, it spread through all of Europe. Gambling was legalized in Nevada in the early 1930’s and craps became the most popular betting game in the world.

Soon on the many riverboats sailing the mighty Mississippi River, the game was being played. During this time, the version of the game being played did have one flaw, as play was vulnerable to the use of fixed dice due to its betting rules. Soon, when dice maker John Winn developed the game further so that players could bet with the shooter or against him, the game spread to the rest of the country.

As the years went on, as slots and other casino favorites began to draw large numbers of players, craps dropped in popularity. Due to technological advances like the option of playing the game on the internet, just recently the game of craps has made a comeback onto the gambling scene. For centuries, the game of craps has been with us and even though it faded out for a while, it is back as strong as ever and it will hold its place in gambling history as being one of the oldest gambling games played.