The History of Craps: From Street Game to Casino Classic

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Craps is a popular casino game that has been enjoyed by millions of players worldwide. But have you ever wondered how it came to be? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the history of craps, from its humble beginnings as a street game to its current status as a casino classic.

The Origins of Craps

The origins of craps can be traced back to the 12th century, when a game called Hazard was played in England. Hazard was a game of chance that involved rolling two dice, and it quickly became popular among the upper classes. In fact, Sir William of Tyre, a crusader who wrote about his experiences in the Holy Land, mentioned Hazard in one of his books.

The game eventually made its way to France, where it became known as Crapaud, which means “toad” in French. The name was given to the game because players would crouch like toads while playing on the sidewalks and streets. It wasn’t until the game was introduced to the United States in the 19th century that it was given its current name, “craps.”

The Evolution of Craps in the United States

When craps arrived in the United States, it was played on the streets by soldiers who were stationed in New Orleans. The game quickly became popular among the working class, and it was often played in the city’s back alleys. However, the game was also associated with gambling and was illegal in many states.

In the early 1900s, John H. Winn, a dice maker from Chicago, introduced a new version of craps that allowed players to bet for or against the shooter. This new version of the game was much more exciting than the original, and it quickly became popular in casinos across the United States.

During World War II, craps became even more popular among soldiers who played the game to pass the time between battles. When they returned home, they brought the game with them, and it became a staple in casinos across the country.

The Modern Game of Craps

Today, craps is one of the most popular games in casinos worldwide. The game is played on a special table with a unique layout that features various betting options. Players take turns rolling the dice, and the other players at the table can bet on the outcome of the roll.

One of the reasons why craps is so popular is because it offers some of the best odds in the casino. Players can win big by betting on the pass line or the come line, and the house edge is relatively low. Additionally, the game is fast-paced and exciting, which makes it perfect for players who are looking for a thrilling casino experience.

In recent years, craps has also become popular online, with many online casinos offering virtual versions of the game. While playing craps online can be a bit different from playing in a physical casino, the basic rules and gameplay remain the same.


From its humble beginnings as a street game to its current status as a casino classic, craps has come a long way over the centuries. While the game has undergone many changes and adaptations, the basic rules and gameplay have remained the same. Whether you’re playing in a physical casino or online, craps is a thrilling and exciting game that has something to offer everyone.


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