Craps is an American invention. But, much like many other “American” inventions, it’s a variation of a game based somewhere else in the world. There are a few theories about how Craps got its name. So, why is the most social game in the casino called craps?
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Why is the most social game in the casino called craps?
First, a foundation to build on.
When the French settled in Acadia, Canada, they brought the game of Hazard with them. France then lost control of Acadia, which became an English colony under the name 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, who 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.
In Hazard, the roll we now call “snake eyes” was called “crabs.” It is believed that over time “crabs” turned into “craps.”
By the early 1800s, the rules of the game had been simplified. When riverboats filled with gamblers hopped up the Mississippi, craps caught on with the rest of the country.
Back in France, Hazard was played in the streets. Players would come out and hunch over street corners on the ground rolling dice and placing bets. This then led to people describing it as ”crapaud” which is a French word meaning a toad. They referred to them as toads because of the position in which they were hunched over.
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.
Remember, the 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.
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.