Early Beginnings and Development of Craps
The history of Craps is very interesting and will take us back to the 12th century. It is said that the game is a descendant of Hazard, an ancient game that was popularized by the Englishmen. But up to now, the origins of these two games are still on debate.
An idea of the origin of Hazard is that an Englishman named Sir William of Tyre together with his knights invented the game during the crusades. While laying a siege to Hazarth or Asart, a castle, in 1125, the crusaders played the game as a pastime. Thus, Hazard is a corruption of the name of the castle under siege. But in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, it is written that Hazard came from the Arabic word "azzah" or "al zar" that both mean "the dice". This idea implies that Hazard has an Arabic origin.
Whatever is the origin of the game, the point is that it became popular in England especially among the nobles and higher class. The French adopted Hazard and claimed to changing its name to Craps by corrupting the term crabs, the game's losing throw of Two. But, there are no documents to support this claim.
The way that the game reached America is also an issue of debate. Some claim it was the French while others think it was the British who brought the game to American soil. Regardless of whoever took the game to America, the game became popular.
It is believed that when the French settlers moved south, they took the game with them. That is also another reason why the invention and/or development of the game were also ascribed to African Americans during the early years of the 19th century.
From the southern part of America, the game spread throughout the rest of the country. John H. Winn, a dice maker, made some further developments on the game. This time, any player could make a bet with the shooter or bet against the shooter. Because of the contributions of Winn, he became the father of our modern day Craps, whom the tables and layouts of the game in the 20th century were attributed.
Today, it has become a big gambling game where large amounts of money are wagered. The game has become popular worldwide. Players flock to casinos to try their luck by playing this game of dice. Private games are also held in such places as back room alleys. The game simply satisfies the desire of man to throw dice and win money when fate and luck is with them.