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Master Craps – Tricks and Techniques: The Background of Craps

Be clever, play cunning, and become versed in craps the right way!

Games that use dice and the dice themselves date all the way back to the Middle Eastern Crusades, but modern craps is just about a century old. Current craps evolved from the ancient Anglo game referred to as Hazard. No one knows for sure the ancestry of the game, but Hazard is said to have been made up by the Anglo, Sir William of Tyre, in the twelfth century. It is presumed that Sir William’s paladins bet on Hazard through a blockade on the castle Hazarth in 1125 AD. The title Hazard was derived from the castle’s name.

Early French colonizers brought the game Hazard to Nova Scotia. In the 1700s, when exiled by the British, the French relocated down south and located safety in the south of Louisiana where they eventually became known as Cajuns. When they departed Acadia, they brought their favorite game, Hazard, with them. The Cajuns broke down the game and made it mathematically fair. It is said that the Cajuns adjusted the name to craps, which was derived from the term for the losing toss of snake-eyes in the game of Hazard, known as "crabs."

From Louisiana, the game moved to the Mississippi river boats and across the nation. Many acknowledge the dice maker John H. Winn as the founder of current craps. In the early 1900s, Winn created the modern craps layout. He appended the Don’t Pass line so gamblers can wager on the dice to lose. Afterwords, he established the spots for Place wagers and put in place the Big 6, Big 8, and Hardways.

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