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Pickup Craps – Tips and Schemes: The History of Craps

Be clever, play smart, and learn how to play craps the right way!

Games that use dice and the dice themselves date back to the Middle Eastern Crusades, but modern craps is approximately a century old. Modern craps come about from the old English game called Hazard. Nobody absolutely knows the birth of the game, although Hazard is said to have been discovered by the Englishman, Sir William of Tyre, sometime in the twelfth century. It’s theorized that Sir William’s paladins gambled on Hazard amid a blockade on the citadel Hazarth in 1125 AD. The title Hazard was derived from the fortress’s name.

Early French colonizers imported the game Hazard to Acadia. In the 18th century, when exiled by the British, the French moved down south and settled in southern Louisiana where they at a later time became known as Cajuns. When they were driven out of Acadia, they took their preferred game, Hazard, with them. The Cajuns broke down the game and made it mathematically fair. It’s believed that the Cajuns changed the title to craps, which is acquired from the name of the losing toss of two in the game of Hazard, referred to as "crabs."

From Louisiana, the game moved to the Mississippi riverboats and across the nation. A good many think the dice builder John H. Winn as the founder of modern craps. In the early 1900s, Winn assembled the modern craps layout. He created the Don’t Pass line so gamblers could wager on the dice to not win. Later, he developed the boxes for Place wagers and added the Big 6, Big 8, and Hardways.

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