Craps craps casino a dice game in which the players make wagers on the outcome of the roll, or a series of rolls, of a pair of dice. Craps developed in the United States from a simplification of the western European game of Hazard.
The origins of Hazard are obscure and may date to the Crusades. The central game, called Pass from the French word for pace or step, has been gradually supplemented over the decades by many companion games which can be played simultaneously. The entire collection of over one hundred separate and independent possible games is called Craps. For a century after its invention, Craps was abused by casinos using unfair dice. To remedy the problem, about 1907 a Philadelphia dice maker named John H. Winn introduced a layout which featured bets on both Pass and Don’t Pass.
Most modern casinos use his innovation. Craps exploded in popularity during World War II, which brought most young American men of every social class into the military. The street version of Craps was popular among soldiers, who often played it using a blanket as a shooting surface. Their military memories led to Craps becoming the dominant game in postwar Las Vegas.
Bank craps or casino craps is played by one or more players betting against the casino rather than each other. Both the players and the dealers stand around a large rectangular craps table. Sitting is discouraged by most casinos unless a player has medical reasons for requiring a seat. Players use casino checks rather than cash to bet on the Craps “layout,” a fabric surface which displays the various bets. The bets vary somewhat among casinos in availability, locations, and payouts. The tables roughly resemble bathtubs and come in various sizes.