Craps Casinos

Digital Dice – Craps and the Move to Online Casinos

Despite its unfortunate name, Craps is one of the most popular casino games in the world. Researchers estimate that more money has been won and lost at craps than at any other casino game in history. Its popularity is due to the exciting nature of the game, the number of players that can join in simultaneously, and because, in relation to other casino games, the odds are almost equal for the house and player.

Nobody is quite sure of the origin of craps. Dice games have been played around the world since ancient times, often using animal knuckle-bones for dice. Dice-like objects have been found in Egypt, China, Roman garrisons, and Babylonian ruins. The most direct ancestor is probably a game known as “Hazard” that was popular in England and France in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Around the year 1800, French exiles from Acadia (Nova Scotia) known as Cajuns brought Hazard to New Orleans, the gambling epicenter of the fledgling United Sates. Here, in 1813, Bernard de Mandeville simplified the rules of Hazard to make it more accessible to beginning gamblers. Also in New Orleans, the Cajun name for Hazard – “crepes” or “crabes” – was Anglicized into “craps” around the year 1843, and the name stuck. Like many other gambling games, it first gained a foothold in New Orleans, and then was carried up on the Mississippi riverboats into the interior by traders and merchants.

There are basically two forms of craps, each of which follows it’s own craps strategy. In bank craps, also called Las Vegas craps, players bet against the house, and the house covers all wagers. In street craps players bet against each other, and another player must cover the bet in order to have a game. Nearly all casinos run bank games exclusively and the limited floor space around tables means that most have substantial minimum bets.

As with other gambling games, there has been a continuing battle between gamblers trying to cheat the game and casinos trying to prevent it. One common technique in the early days of craps was to use loaded dice. Around 1850, a dice maker named John Winn changed the rules of craps, primarily by allowing players to bet for or against the shooter, which eliminated the advantage of weighted dice. Other techniques still in use include “setting the dice,” which means holding the dice in exactly the same way every time to try to control the outcome of the throw.

However, the move to online casinos where you can play online craps has virtually eliminated these techniques. Unlike throws with physical dice, digital throws are impossible to control and are truly random. Additionally, since virtually all online craps games are Bank games, a player doesn’t have to find another player with whom to play, nor come up with as large of a minimum bet. Some online games are less than 10% of the typical casino minimum. As with other gaming, the move to online craps has benefited both gambler and casino.

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