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History of Craps

history craps

History of dice

The game of dice and their use in gambling dates back to 5000 years ago.

We have found dice in Sumerian royal graves in Ur (ancient Chaldea, today Iraq). In ancient Rome and Greece, people used to play with cubic dice (6 faces). Like in the contemporary game, the total points of two opposite faces was 7 (1+6; 2+5; 3+4).

Dice spread out since the VII century b.C from Greece, where probably they had been invented by Palamedes. The game of dice was really popular within the banquets happening in ancient Greece and in the specific rooms reserved to that game in ancient Rome.

The game of dice was important in the whole Europe and indeed several dice and dice boxes from the Iron Age have been found in Northern Europe.

Researchers have observed that certain dice were made of pigs’ nails. These tools were not used only in gambling, since they were essential also in the telling the future.

Origin of craps

The history of craps has several origins. Some historian place the invention of this game within the Arabic world. The game seems to be connected with the term “alzar”, a term which is indeed translated with the word “dice”. Other historians place its origin in the year 1125, during a battle happened in the castle “Asart”. According to another theory, the dice were played in Egypt 4600 years ago. Indeed, it is not possible to talk about a certain origin of this game. However, dice were definitely present during the XVII century in England and aristocrats loved to play with them.

Afterwards, French people imported the game in France and re-named it “craps”, modifying the name of a player in the gambling game crabs (even if there are not certain proves about that). The game was popular in the south of the Usa, where French people established their colonies: the game of dice spread out along the Mississipi.

The inventor of the modern craps though about allowing the other players (and not only the one who is throwing the dice) to bet. He also though about creating a game carpet, with all the possible bets.

Superstitions and believes

The game of craps is often associated to the universe of superstitions and believes. Even the most rational people may get used to base their strategies on actual rituals. Observing a table of craps, we may see some players rubbing the dice on the cover of the table several times, as if that gesture will affect the proceeding of the game.

Other players like to blow on their bet in the attempt to attract luck. Each player has a specific turn to throw the dice. Who wins repeatedly, becomes a hero within the table, but who loses create a bad ambiance. Rituals can have a quite important role for players during a match.

Winners are cheered, so that their mood stay good and they can get even more lucky. On the other hand, who never wins, is sometimes treated quite bad.