Craps Game History : The History of Casino Craps

Before the casinos on the Las Vegas strip used craps to attract high rollers and excite spectators, early variants of the game were played around the world. Craps history is debated by many historians; some believe that Arabia's Al'zar was from where it originated, while others believe it sprouted from an Egyptian game played around 2600 BC. Although there are multiple theories, the most widely accepted history of craps starts with a game called Hazards.


Sir William Tyre, leader of the Crusaders, and his knights played a dice game during the early 12th century that was later named "Hazards." The game's popularity grew and, by the 17th century, Hazards was one of the most popular games in England. Hazards was a game that crossed socioeconomic boundaries; it was played by the common man in pubs and by the nobles in casinos. Later on, the popularity of the game travelled across the English Channel to the French. The name "Hazards" was replaced by the French, who called it "crabs," which is from where the modern name is thought to be derived.

The Development of Craps

In the 19th century, John H. Winn created a simpler layout of Hazards, implementing many of the bets still utilized today, including Pass and Don't Pass bets, Big 8, 8's, and the option to bet for or against the shooter. Crooked dice were eliminated with the new rules as well. This simpler version of craps spread, especially during the 20th and 21st centuries as soldiers began to play the game in order to pass the time. As the soldiers travelled, the game went with them.

Craps history doesn't end there, of course. The game has become commonplace in every land based casino. In the late 1990's, the popular game expanded to multiple online casinos. The history of craps is a long and interesting one, and it will be interesting to see how the game changes and expands in the future.