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Craps History

Craps GameWhile many games have a history that might as well be set in stone, there are actually a couple of different options about when Craps actually came about and how the rules of the game were initially established.

There's one opinion that craps was developed from a game established in the 1700's called Hazard; it actually dates to the Middle Ages, though the commonly understood rules were only established at this time. The name of the game according to this theory, the opinion of Richard Epstein, is that the name might have come from the French word Crapenaud, which means road, or that it may be modeled after the English word crabs.

It might have dated as far back as the Holy Roman Empire according to some experts. In those days, it was known that Soldiers of the Roman Legions played with cubes, shaved into shape using pig knuckles, which were played on their invested shields. The term used in Craps called "roll the bones" definitely comes from this part in history, but whether or not this is where caps came from is still up for debate.

The other perspective on Craps, for this who contest the first view, is that it actually has history that predates the Middle Ages. Some experts believe that Craps might be based on a game called Azzahr, which has been played historically by the Arabs. The game then landed in France and was renamed Hasard, before coming to England to receive and English spelling of the same word. By this belief, Craps appeared in Europe around or before 1500 AD, after which point it experienced a name change, when the word for the final round was called crabs, later changed again when the game entered North America via the colony of Acadia in the 1700's. This second ideology about the history of Craps is a theory outlined by Mark Pilarski.

The later parts of Craps history have not been contested. It's a fact that the game travelled from the United States to Europe, and two of the common forms played today including Street Craps and Bank Craps

Three are two general forms of craps played today that can be traced back in craps history - "Street Craps" and "Bank Craps". In recent times, the Internet version - Online craps - has also become very popular.

Craps HistoryThe second take on Craps history, according to Mark Pilarski, is that Craps dates back before the Middle Ages. The Arabs played a game using little numbered cubes, called azzahr (meaning "the die"). The game showed up across the Mediterranean in France, where it was renamed hasard, then jumped the English Channel to England some time before 1500 AD where it was given the English spelling of the same word, hazard. The roll of lowest value in that game was called crabs. The French, trying to be amiable, adopted that term from the English, but spelling it the French way as crabes. In the early 1700's, the game crossed the Atlantic to the French colony of Acadia. When the French lost Acadia to England in 1755, the province was renamed Nova Scotia, and the French Acadians were removed from the province. Once the French re-located to Louisiana, they carried the tradition of the game with them, never calling the game Hasard again, and referring it to as Crebs or Creps instead.

By 1843, it's known that English speaking Americans also began using the term Craps and were careful to ensure that the final "s" was clearly pronounced so there was no confusion over meaning!

See also:

Craps Beginning with Troy