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The history of Craps is just as interesting at the actual game itself. Different forms of dice have been discovered at archaeological excavations in locations all over the globe. Some of the dice are from as far back as 600 BC. Some found in Asia, Europe, America and even Africa. The various dice were made of bone, wood, stone and other materials found in these ancient civilisations.

Image of Sailors Playing a Game of Craps

The Different Types of Die in Craps History

Dice made from Ivory and other expensive materials suggest that the dice games were played by nobleman. The simplistic nature of gameplay has led to lots of speculation about the origins of the game.

Some history students believe the game is an ancient variant of Sic Bo. Sic Bo is a three dice game of ancient Orient origin. The rules are dramatically different however, the type of bets a suspiciously similar. There are stories of dice games being played in Ancient India. The stories tell of how fortunes were made and lost in high stake dice games. None of this evidence concretely points to a craps kind of game being played during these times.

The Function of a Pair of Dice throughout History

In ancient societies dice had multiple functions. The most common use was in predicting the future. Most cultures had one or more versions of dice throwing fortune tellers. These individuals would throw the dice and use the markings on the dice to predict future events. This seems like the better explain of the dice.

The most accurate account is of a very similar game played by the English during the Crusades. The game was called Hazard by the English back then. There are several stories that tell of this game being played by European royalty around the 12th century. It is confirmed that the first settlers from England brought the game with them. Hazard made its rounds in America until the French came with their version of the game, Crapaud. This name originated from the French word for frog. They gave it this name because the players would squat on pavements and sidewalks playing the game. The squatting stance resembles a frog stance.

The original game involved the dice being thrown against a wall, door or anything that could stop the dice roll. This has remained the same in the street version of the game. The game owes its controlled method of dice throwing to war veterans of the Second World War. With no surface to throw dice against, they used military blankets as shooting surfaces. The soldiers created the army blanket roll which is still used today.

Image of the Craps Stick

The Modern Game: Online Craps

The modern version of the game can be directly traced to Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville who brought the game to New Orleans. The game found its way into several casinos but the game was essentially flawed in its gameplay. It suffered from the same thing that ancient Roman dice games suffered from centuries ago. Players would fix the dice to tip the edge in their favor. It was only in the early 1930’s that a solution to this problem was found. John H Winn introduced the Don’t Pass wager with his right and wrong bet rules. This corrected the problem and the game has not experienced any major changes since then.

The adding of progressive jackpots to craps and the introduction of online craps to Internet-based casinos resulted in the game gaining popularity internationally.