A Brief History of Craps

A Brief History of Craps

The origin of craps is often attributed to a simplification of the English dice game ‘hazard’. Hazard is a very complicated dice game, with many of its components similar to craps. When we say very complicated, we mean very complicated.

For example, in hazard, the consequences of dice rolls are reliant on all the other previous results of the rolls. So hazard players need to have a really great memory in order to remember what happened two or three rolls back. The one to blame for this unwarranted complexity is a man named Montmort. He formalized the rules of hazard in the early 1700.

Craps is a very simple evolution of the game, but it’s far more exciting. A Frenchman named Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville allegedly brought the game to New Orleans. The name was traced back to ‘crapaud’, a French word that literally means ‘toad’.

The addition of many kinds of bets made craps complicated in its own way. The betting structure made the probabilistic property of dice a main feature, as players can now create strategies and choose their bets, instead of just relying on pure luck.

This combination of rules simplicity and mathematical complexity is what made craps a staple in casinos. It became attractive not only to fun-seeking gamblers but to intellectual high rollers as well because of the myriads of possibilities the game offers.

With the advent of technology, craps has now migrated to an online environment. Online craps may not look and feel different at all from its land-based counterpart, but the small changes affect gameplay tremendously.

Because the dice roll is now a simple computer simulation (often based on a random number generation program), the probabilistic nature of the roll is purer. There’s not a chance that the dice could be loaded, or maybe chipped in some small part that affects its roll. The results are now reflective of that of perfectly-made dice.

That should be enough evidence that craps has come such a long way from a very complicated English pastime!

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