History of craps


The history of dice

Dice games and their usage for games of chance go back 5,000 years.

Some dice were found in Sumerian royal tombs in Ur (formerly Chaldea, today's Iraq). In Rome and in Ancient Greece, the dice used by Romans were cubic (6 sides). As is the case with our current dice game, the total points of two opposite sides was always 7 (1 + 6; 2 + 5; 3 + 4).

Dice became widespread as soon as the 7th century BC, from Greece, where they were in all likelihood created by Palamedes. Dice games were very popular at banquets in Ancient Greece and in rooms especially dedicated to dice games in Imperial Rome.

In Europe, dice games also made an appearance, since some dice and dice boxes were found in Northern Europe in Iron Age excavations.

Researchers could observe that the dice were made of pig nails. These accessories were not used only for games of chance, since they were also among the items used to predict the future.

Origins of craps

The history of craps could have several origins.

  • Some experts situate the arrival of this game in the Arab world. It could have a common ancestor with “alzar”, which is translated as “dice”.
  • Others date its creation to 1125, with a battle that was fought in the “Asart” castle.
  • Another story proves the existence of dice 4,600 years ago in Egypt.

To this day, it is therefore not possible to state the origin of this game accurately. In any case, it appeared in England in the 17th century, when aristocrats loved playing the game.

French people would then have imported this dice game to France and renamed it “craps”, by modifying the name of a throw of two dice at the game of Hazard, which was called “crabs”. No documented evidence is available though. The game was brought to the South of the United States, where French people settled, and it spread along the Mississippi.

The inventor of the dice game, or modern craps, had the idea to allow other players (other than the dice thrower) to bet. This was accompanied by the conception of the game layout displaying all the possible bets.

Nowadays, craps is the casino dice game where the greatest amount of money is bet in the United States. Besides terrestrial casinos which offer this dice game, you can also find it online, to increase your comfort!

Superstitions and beliefs

The world of craps is often closely linked to the universe of superstitions and beliefs. Even rational people end up basing their strategies and habits on rituals. It is common to notice players at a table rubbing the dice on the table coating several times, as if this gesture could have an effect on the creation of the combination.

Other gamblers tend to blow on the pair of dice, in order to prompt chance. The dice are thrown by the players in turn. The more they win, the more they become real heroes who can bring luck. Conversely, losses create a sentiment of evil eye around the table. Rituals can be observed significantly during a game.

Those who win are praised, as they bring happiness and most importantly chance. However, gamblers who make the wrong decision are sometimes treated as if they were plague-stricken.