Why Is It Called Craps?

Craps is an American invention but a variation of a game based elsewhere. It seems to be the most social game in the casino, where camaraderie and fun are the foundation of all that noise we hear. There are a few theories about how Craps got its name. So let’s find an answer – Why Is It Called Craps?

Binbin rolls the dice.

Related Post – 5 Reasons Why Craps Players Have the Most Fun

Early Origins

English nobleman Sir Williams of Tyre is credited with naming the descendant of our modern-day craps game.

He and his knights entertained themselves with the game during the Crusades. The name comes from a battle over a castle in 1125 A.D. The soldiers had to wait to attack the Hazarth castle and played the game to pass the time. At some point, the name of the castle, “Hazarth” morphed into the name of the card game “Hazard.”

Hazard Takes Europe By Storm

Hazard became one of the most popular games among the English throughout the Middle Ages and was even referenced in Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales.”

Related Post – A Regency Primer on How to Play Hazard

Later in the 17th and 18th centuries, Hazard became a staple in top gambling houses throughout England. For English nobles and royals, hosting a dice game became a major social event. High-stakes gambling among noblemen was common with little concern for big losses. At this time, hazard spread to France as well.

Over the next few decades, the French would change the name from hazard to crabs. “Crabs” was the name of the lowest total possible in a roll of dice in a game of hazard. The game then moved from France across the Atlantic to the colony of Acadia in the 1700’s.

Why Is It Called Craps?

First, a foundation to build on.

why is the most social game in the casino called craps

When the French settled in Acadia, Canada, they brought the game of Hazard with them. But unfortunately, France then lost control of Acadia, which became an English colony under Nova Scotia. So, In the mid-1700s, many of the French re-settled their bones in New Orleans the hard way. You see, without trains, boxcars were unavailable.

The English pushed the French out of the territory that landed in Louisiana. The French-American culture that evolved was French Creole. Since then, New Orleans has always kept a French influence. Hazard pressed into popularity thanks to all the gaming parlors in the area.

Theory #1A

In Hazard, players call “snake eyes” “crabs,” which turned into craps over time.

why is the most social game in the casino called craps

By the early 1800s, players used more simplified rules. When riverboats filled with gamblers hopped up the Mississippi River, craps caught on, much like in the rest of the country.

Theory #1B

Remember, French culture was a dominant influence in New Orleans. The French Creoles in Louisiana also called the game of crabs “crebs” or “creps” in Cajun’s hybrid dialect.

Theory #2

Back in France, Hazard played in the streets. Players would come out and hunch over street corners on the ground, rolling dice and placing bets. This led to people describing it as” crapaud,” a French word meaning a toad. On-lookers called them “toads” because they hunched over during play.

why is the most social game in the casino called craps
” crapaud” is a French word meaning a toad.

Because of the French influence on places like New Orleans, the game eventually made its way to the rest of the USA, from” crapaud” to craps.


Yo, Craps is a variation of Hazard. Whether it’s called crabs, crebs, creps, or craps, it’s still the most exciting game on the casino floor.

why is the most social game in the casino called craps

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