History of Craps – An introduction
Early History of Craps – There are numerous theories as to how the game of craps came about. The basic rules of craps as we know it today were developed in England and France from as far back as the 1700s. Back then, wealthy aristocrats played an early form of craps, but they called it ‘hazard‘, or they used a nickname ‘crabs‘, which were the double-ones that could make you lose. The French prounced ‘crabs‘ as ‘creps‘, so when the game was eventually brought to North America and the New World in that same century, Americans simply took this mis-pronounciation and started calling it ‘craps‘. In North America, the game was first played on riverboats and then moved west with the frontier as the country grew rapidly.
Craps in the early 20th century – Since it was first introduced, the rules, odds and other features of craps have changed numerous times. John H. Winn is credited with revolutionizing the game by making it possible for the craps players to bet ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. He made these improvements to the craps table layout and also created a space for the Don’t Pass bets. The game perhaps reached its greatest popularity during the 2nd World War, when soldiers and sailors played it to pass the time. Numerous war movies of the time also helped to spread its fame, and then came Frank Sinatra and the ‘Rat Pack’ of the 1960s in Las Vegas, legendary craps players in their own right.
Modern day craps – craps seemed to lose some of its popularity, especially in the 1990s when only an estimated 4% of gamblers sought to roll the dice, as electronic games such as video poker and slots stole the spotlight. Craps is making a comeback though, and from the street craps games that are still popular in poorer neighborhoods, to the high rollers making $100 bets in Las Vegas, a new generation of gamblers seems to be re-discovering the beauty of craps.