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How Craps Became A Staple
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Dice, be nice! Baby needs a new pair of shoes! Have you ever walked into a casino and seen the bustle around the craps tables? It’s no wonder given the evolution this game has gone through!
HISTORY OF CRAPS
The origin story for the dice game we call craps has many twists and turns. Today you cannot enter a casino without the familiar green felt of a craps table catching your eye, but this dice game has changed significantly from its humble origins.
THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE
There are sources that place craps as starting off during the Holy Roman Empire. During those times, soldiers used to polish pig knuckles to use in an impromptu dice game. They would toss the makeshift dice onto their inverted shields and hence the expression “roll the dice” present in any casino today. Craps was adopted in the US after the dice game had become a staple in every European casino.
CRAPS DURING THE MIDDLE AGES
Another theory states that craps is very similar to another dice game played by Arabs in the Middle Ages- azzahr or Hazard. The formal rules of Hazard were established by Montmort early in the 1700s, as the European aristocracy enthusiastically adopted the game. The roll of the lowest value in that dice game was called craps. Some say that the origin of the name is from the French Crapeaud (toad). Also, some historians believe that the name was adopted by the French from the English in order to introduce the dice game to any French casino, but changed the spelling to crabs. In the early 1700s, the dice game crossed the Atlantic and became available in every casino in the New World through the colony of Acadia.
Around 1755 the colony was lost by the French and any established casino relocated to Louisiana. Here they dropped the French designation of crabes and called the game crebs or creps, inching closer to today’s spelling of craps. By 1843, Americanized English finally allowed the term craps to hold prevalence in any respectable casino. It was during this time that the 6, 8, win, come and filed bets were introduced on the table. Later on, a man named John H. Winn dramatically changed the game to the advantage of the player by creating the don’t pass play which effectively stopped the house from using loaded dice by allowing the player to bet with the shooter or against him.
To update the specific lingo, every casino added the word “craps” to any part of the dice game: the table, the player or to the designation of the game itself.
Rich not only in history, this dice game also has a large fan base: any casino or similar establishment will offer the game of craps to its patrons. While not as popular as blackjack or slots because of its apparently complicated rule book, craps is easier to play and more encouraging to newbies. Its pace is fast and thrilling and the game allows a pretty mellow learning curve.
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