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Craps History

The dice is the most ancient gambling tool. According to Scarne's crap's research, the history of gambling shows that the dice was a prominent tool throughout the ancient world where gambling was involved.

Roman emperors such as Augustus, Caligula and Nero were known to be obsessive dice players. It was also known that a part of their goal included cheating.

Evidence that cubical die, similar to what we have today, were in existence at least 6 hundred years before the common era, and found in Egypt.

Similarly, the Mahabharata, an ancient Indian epic, details the enormous sums soldiers lost from casting dice.

Koreans were also recorded to have a love affair with the dice.

American Indians had their version of the dice. This was a four sided knucklebone. Additionally, Arabs have been playing with their version of the dice for almost as long as their own existence.

The origin of the dice can be related to pre-historic times. In one of the earliest account, a fortune teller attempted to tell his tribes prophesy by casting stones, sticks and sacred arrows on the ground. Hence the dice first evolved as a tool of the shaman, before becoming a means to gambling.

It follows that the dice evolved through many shapes, markings, forms and sizes. They were also made from various materials such as seeds, nutshells, horns, teeth, bones stone and wood.

More modern versions were made from porcelain, metals, precious stones, and ivory.

Today, dice are made from hard cellulose. The corners and the edges are created equally sharp. Additionally, the dice is made from transparent materials in order to prevent loading.

The dice, gambling and all other associated games have a long history – dating back thousands of years. Craps however, is relatively juvenile. Its history goes back only around one hundred years.

Craps developed from the English game known as Hazard. Historical sources date this game back to at least the twelfth century, during the Third Crusade. This crusade was especially famous for its leadership.

England's Richard the Lionhearted, Europe's Holy Roman Emperor Fredrick Barbarosa and France's Philip Augustus led the crusade. Their soldiers were noted for playing this version of the game. The game was probably exported to America through the first English settlers there.

Around the start of the nineteenth century, the French settlers in New Orleans had popularized Hazard, but was now known as craps. Since this time, the odds and rules of the game have gone through regular changes. While the original version was the quickest and simplest, the new varieties were becoming popular.

Towards the end of the nineteenth century one specific version of Hazard, known as Table Off, had become especially popular. During this time the basis of the craps table was being established. This included the layout, the field, come bets and the win. At this time, however, players could still only bet against the house.

Thanks to John H. Winn, the game revolution allowing punters to bet both (or either) right or wrong, evolved.

It was Winn who developed and planned the area for 'don’t pass bets'. He also made several other improvements to the game. With the legalization of betting in Nevada in 1931, craps – Las Vegas style – became an extremely popular game and a favorite amongst punters. 

The history of craps is a history of people attempting to beat the house odds. Many, many methods have been devised and developed for achieving this. Some people have used weighted dice while others just hoped for the best. All, however, have the same dream – how to keep control of the perfect dice.

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