A Basic History of Craps

In nearly every casino, online or off, craps is a game that makes an appearance. People enjoy it because of the variety of odds, bets and ways to play, but very few actually take the time to learn the basic history of craps.

A Prehistoric Game

Craps is one of the oldest games known to mankind and there is evidence suggesting it was played in Egypt around 2600B.C. Here, the game was played with hand-crafted dice and was likely not as complicated as it is today. Though this is the case, documentation suggests that all of the craps variations that sprung up around the world in the following years were based upon this Egyptian game from more than 4000 years ago.

Around the World

As the game was passed down from generation to generation, it spread into India, Asia and the Roman Empire. None of these games were exactly the same, however, as each varied slightly in the way they were played and won. In Arabic countries, the game was known as Al Zar--meaning 'dice'--and it was played in the 12th century and onward. A few years later, another variation of the game cropped up during the Crusades thanks to a man by the name of Sir William of Tyre.


Today, the rules of craps are nearly universal and players all over the world compete to win big prizes and prestige. Played with two dice in casinos, homes and even prisons around the world, everyone is familiar with craps in some way. Land-based casinos boast an air of excitement around the craps tables as everyone yells and congratulates the shooter on a great roll; online casinos are working hard to improve graphics and gameplay to make the game seem more realistic.

The history of craps is one that is very rich and diverse, dating back more than 4000 years. Though the game is played much differently now than it was in those days, we can thank the ancient Egyptians for the basic ideals.