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HomeGamblingCasino GamesA Comprehensive Look at Craps: Its Origins, Evolution, and Gameplay

A Comprehensive Look at Craps: Its Origins, Evolution, and Gameplay

 Craps and Gameplay
Photo by Balázs Utasi: pexels.com

In the article “A Comprehensive Look at Craps: Its Origins, Evolution, and Gameplay.” We dive deep into the fascinating world of one of the oldest gambling devices in history – the dice, and the game of Craps that utilizes them. We trace the roots of Craps from its inception in ancient civilizations. Its evolution across cultures and periods, to its present-day embodiment in modern casinos both physical and online.

The article explores how Craps has transitioned from an earlier game known as Hazard. Dating back to the Middle Ages, to a popular dice game that continues to captivate gamblers worldwide. We take a closer look at innovative adaptations of the game, such as “First Person Craps” by Evolution Gaming. We delve into the launching of the first-ever online Live Craps game by Evolution.

Finally, we provide a comprehensive guide to playing Craps, demystifying the seemingly complex table layout and providing strategies for beginners. This article is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of gambling. The evolution of games, or those simply wanting to learn how to play and win at Craps.

II. The Origins of Craps

The evolution of Craps is a captivating tale that merges different cultures, spans across continents, and traverses centuries. It’s suggested by historians that the origins of Craps date back to the Roman era. Soldiers used to carve pig knuckles into dice-like shapes and toss them onto their upturned shields. A custom thought to have inspired the phrase “rolling the bones”.

However, the more commonly recognized ancestor of Craps is an English dice game called Hazard. Conceived by Sir William of Tyre and his knights during the Crusades in 1125. The gameplay of Hazard closely mirrors that of modern Craps. Players alternate as the caster, throwing dice and betting on the results. Hazard’s popularity surged during the English Middle Ages, earning references in Geoffrey Chaucer’s renowned work. The Canterbury Tales, and becoming a beloved leisure activity in English gambling houses, particularly among nobility and aristocrats.

Crebs or Creps

When the game reached France, it evolved into Crabs, named after the least favourable roll of two. After the English seized control of the French colony of Acadia (present-day parts of Canada and Maine), the French settlers, or Cajuns, moved south to Louisiana. Bringing with them the game, now known as Crebs or Creps.

In New Orleans, Crebs found a champion in Bernard de Marigny, a nobleman and gambler who simplified the game by emphasizing the role of a seven—the most probable outcome. Although it didn’t capture the interest of the American elite, the game resonated with the working class. Spreading via labourers journeying along the Mississippi River and eventually being played in streets, back alleys, and casinos alike.

It was during this time that the game acquired its contemporary name—Craps. The origin of this name continues to be a subject of debate. Some attribute it to a distortion of Crebs or Crabs, while others suggest it derives from the French word ‘crapaud’. Which describes the toad-like squatting position often assumed by players when playing the game in the street.

III. The Evolution of Craps

The early 20th century saw Craps becoming increasingly available in American casinos. However, this period was also rife with controversy due to the lack of uniformity in the game’s rules. Leading some establishments to use rigged dice to ensure a house advantage. The issue was resolved by John H. Winn, frequently dubbed the ‘Father of modern Craps,’ when he developed an exhaustive set of rules in 1907 that remain largely applicable to this day. Winn’s contributions included refining the Craps table layout and introducing the ‘Don’t Pass’ bet, which for the first time, enabled players to wager against the shooter.

These enhanced and standardized rules were rapidly adopted by casinos, which allowed them to secure a house edge through fixed payouts. Thereby eliminating the necessity for rigged dice. This development helped improve Craps’ image, which its association with dishonest gameplay had tarnished. The game’s popularity expanded significantly throughout the 20th century. Particularly among American soldiers during World War II, who introduced it to other parts of the world. Recognizing this growing interest, casinos in destinations such as Las Vegas, the Caribbean, Central Europe, Australia, and Asia increased their Craps offerings from the 1960s onwards.

As we moved into the 21st century, Craps continued to enjoy increasing popularity and is now widely played in casinos worldwide. The game’s lively ambience and unity among players battling against the house have greatly contributed to its appeal. Craps has also gained recognition in popular culture. With notable appearances in the musical ‘Guys and Dolls’ and the 1993 film ‘A Bronx Tale,’ where Craps became synonymous with the phrase, “Baby needs a new pair of shoes!”

Online casinos

The advent of online casinos has significantly boosted Craps’ popularity, offering players the flexibility to enjoy the game at their leisure. Prestigious tournaments such as the World Craps Championship (WCC) and the Las Vegas Hilton Craps tournaments have drawn participants from around the world. The game is also favoured by gamblers aiming to join the prestigious Golden Arm club. A distinction awarded to a player who can maintain the role of the shooter for over an hour without losing. Stanley Fujitake, the club’s first member, held the record with a three-hour-and-six-minute streak in 1989. |Until Patricia DeMauro surpassed him in 2009 with a four-hour-and-eighteen-minute run at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City.

IV. Understanding the Game of Craps

Craps is an exciting and dynamic casino game that primarily revolves around the roll of a pair of dice. The main objective for players is to predict the outcome of the roll. Gameplay begins with the “come-out” roll made by the shooter (the player currently rolling the dice). If the come-out roll is a 7 or 11, players who bet on the Pass line win. If it’s a 2, 3, or 12, those who bet on the Don’t Pass line win. Any other number becomes the “point,” and the shooter continues to roll until they either roll the point number again (resulting in a Pass line win) or a 7 (resulting in a Don’t Pass line win).

A plethora of other betting options exist in Craps. Among these are the Come bets, which work similarly to the Pass line bet but are made after the point is established. The payout for these bets is usually even money, but this can vary depending on the specific bet and the casino’s rules.

Types of bets

Understanding the different types of bets is crucial as it directly influences your odds of winning. For example, Pass line and Come bets are known for their low house edge, making them popular choices. In contrast, proposition bets, which involve guessing the exact outcome of the next roll, offer larger payouts but come with a higher house edge.

When it comes to strategies, managing your bankroll effectively is key. It’s essential to set a limit and stick to it to prevent significant losses. Additionally, knowing when to make certain bets can significantly impact your game. For instance, making Pass line or Come bets during the come-out roll often works in favour of the player due to their low house edge. Remember, while Craps is a game of chance, understanding its rules, bets, and strategies can enhance your gaming experience and potentially improve your odds of winning.

V. How to Play Craps

Craps is a captivating dice game that centres on predicting the outcome of the roll of two dice. Here’s a step-by-step guide about how to play craps:

  1. The Shooter and the Come-Out Roll: The game begins with the shooter, the player who rolls the dice, making a ‘come-out’ roll. Other players place their bets on the ‘Pass’ or ‘Don’t Pass’ lines.
  2. Understanding Bets: If the come-out roll results in a 7 or 11, ‘Pass’ line bets win and ‘Don’t Pass’ bets lose. If the result is a 2, 3, or 12, it’s the opposite; ‘Pass’ line bets lose, and ‘Don’t Pass’ bets win. Any other number becomes the ‘point.’
  3. The Point and Subsequent Rolls: After the point is established, the shooter continues to roll the dice. If they roll the point number again before rolling a 7, the ‘Pass’ line bets win. If a 7 comes before the point number, the ‘Don’t Pass’ line bets win.
  4. Role of Dealers: Dealers are responsible for handling cash transactions, managing bets, and ensuring smooth gameplay. They’ll also help you understand the game if you’re new.
  5. Winning and Losing Rounds: A round of craps ends when the shooter either rolls the point number or a 7 after the point has been established.

Playing craps

Playing craps can be an exciting experience, especially if you’re familiar with some practical tips and strategies. Here are a few to get you started:

  1. Understand the Game: Before you start betting, it’s crucial to understand the rules of craps and the different types of bets you can make. The more you know about the game, the better your chances are at making smart betting decisions.
  2. Start with Simple Bets: As a beginner, it’s advisable to start with simple bets like the Pass line or Don’t Pass line bets. These bets have a lower house edge, making them less risky.
  3. Avoid Proposition Bets: While proposition bets can offer big payouts, they also come with a high house edge. Unless you’re feeling particularly lucky, it’s best to avoid these bets.
  4. Manage Your Bankroll: Set a budget for yourself before you start playing and stick to it. It can be tempting to keep betting, especially if you’re on a winning streak, but it’s important to gamble responsibly.
  5. Watch and Learn: If you’re new to the game, take some time to watch other players before you start betting. This can give you a better understanding of how the game works and what strategies other players use.
  6. Bet with the Best Odds: Always aim to make bets with the best odds. In craps, this often means betting on the Pass line or Come bets, which offer a lower house edge.

Remember, craps is a game of chance, so while these strategies can help, they don’t guarantee a win. The most important thing is to enjoy the game and have fun!

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