The oldest confirmed record of a game of chance in which dice were used was in 1573 B.C. by the Egyptians. These Theban dice, as they are known today, are resting for all to see (but not to play with) in the Egyptian Museum in Berlin, Germany.
But the legacy of this game lives on. The modern game of craps is an American game that was developed on the Mississippi and other inland waterways during the great steamboat era of the 1800s.
Craps grew out of a popular European three-dice game called hazard. In that game, the three dice were thrown out of a tin or a wooden horn, and players made bets on numbers ranging from 3 to 18. (By the way, that's where the term “tin horn gambler” comes from.)
Today’s modern craps game is considered the fastest, noisiest and most exciting game in the casino. It also has some of the best odds for the player of any casino game.
• Histories tell us that dice have been made from animal bones, wood, clay, stone, peach pits, animal horns, teeth, ivory, bronze, porcelain, even jewels.
• Native American gambling games were popular throughout America well before any contact was made with Europeans. They included dice, guessing, dexterity, archery, javelin, darts, shooting and racing games.
• The stick used by the dealer to move the dice around the craps table is also known as a “whip.”
• The Emperor Claudius, ruling from A.D. 41 to his death in A.D. 54, wrote a book on the subject of playing dice.
• In 1334 an English Law was passed forbidding men to go masked to other people’s houses on Christmas to play dice.
• When Cortes imprisoned Montezuma in 1519, while the Aztec leader was being held he played a game using small gold dice. Local natives called it “Totloque.”
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