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Craps



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History - CRAPS COMES TO AMERICA

To be perfectly honest, no one knows the exact story of how the game of craps came to the United States, though the conflicting stories all sound like they are based in logic. It is Craps History in America the opinion of many that since "hazard," the forerunner of craps, was so wildly popular in England, it only makes sense that the original British settlers would have brought it over on ships like the Mayflower. However, there are others who feel that a form of craps actually preceded them, as there is evidence that the Native Americans had been playing a game very much like it for their own amusement.

Certainly the French fit into this story somewhere, and as it turns out they were absolutely critical to the popularization of the game, as well as the evolution of craps into the game we know it as now.

French settlers largely wound up in a region called Arcadia, a vast territory which included much of Quebec and the Maritimes in Canada, not to mention almost the entirety of New England, and stretching as far south as what was eventually southern New Jersey and Pennsylvania. However, during the Great Upheaval of the 1750's, many of the French were forced to flee, and a large number of them went south to Louisiana, where they settled an area that they also called "Arcadia," and which came to be known to many as "Arcadiana" as well. The residents took on the name of "Cajuns," which is an outgrowth of the term "Arcadians."

Some have claimed that the game was brought over to America by the French aristocrats as "craps," while others insist that it developed that name after it had been brought over, as a corruption of sorts of the term "crabs," which was a term used in the game of Hazard that describes what we know as a shooter "crapping out."

Around 1813, Bernard de Mandeville, one of those aristocrats, is thought to have started to refine the game to some extent, and it eventually became a pastime that made its way onto the riverboats that went up and down the Mississippi.

In those days, where gamblers gathered, there was going to be enough greed that inspired a little "bending" of the rules. Craps was no exception, not by a long shot. One of the big problems in the game was that often, fixed dice were used. Then along came a man named John H. Winn, a dice maker who truly polished the game so that it could be played completely legitimately anywhere. Winn conceived and designed the modern layout, and many of the bets that became a staple of the game. He also came up with the modern rules.

In Winn's version of the game, players could make a wager either for or against the "shooter," rather than just on the shooter, so in effect, he obviated the idea of using loaded dice in the game. He also made it possible for "banked craps" to be employed by casinos, opening up the doors for it to become palatable to the masses.

For this Winn is generally considered to be the "father of modern craps."

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