History of Craps
Humans have been using some variety of dice since ancient times, sometimes as a tool to predict the future or interpret the will of the gods, and sometimes as a form of amusement. Cubical dice, similar to our modern version and dating to about 600 B.C., have been found in Egypt; ancient Indian texts speak of warriors throwing dice and betting on the outcomes. Roman emperors, among them Nero and Caligula, are said to have been devoted dice players, and both Roman warriors and American Indians are believed to have shaped animal knuckle bones into cubes, with which they played various games; this may be the origin of the phrase “roll the bones.”
The main theory about the modern game of craps is that it evolved from an Arab game, which made its way to France and England under the name “hazard.” It is believed to have made its way to the New World in the early 1700s, when the French colonized Acadia in present-day Nova Scotia. When France lost Acadia to the English, the Acadians took the game with them to present-day Louisiana, where it continued to flourish as a popular pastime. The name
Early dice were made from animal bones, ivory, porcelain, or other hard, opaque materials. Today's casino dice are molded from translucent hard cellulose, which allows you to see into the interior and decreases opportunities to “load” or “fix” the dice.
Early versions of the game allowed only two kinds of bets — “field” or “come” bets — and the use of “loaded” dice to skew the outcome of a roll was common. Then, dice-maker John H. Winn introduced new variations that allowed bettors to wager with or against the dice, which effectively eliminated the usefulness of loaded dice. By 1910, this new improved version of craps was one of the most popular casino games in the world.