casino games of craps evolved over thousands of years.
It is inextricably interwoven with the development
of humanity. Prehistoric cavemen cast six-sided bones
called astragalas that came from the ankles of clove-footed
animals. The mythology of ancient Egypt, Greece, and
Rome relates how the gods amused themselves at dice,
with the destiny of the world riding on the outcome.
Dice have been found in the ruins of Pompeii and in
the burial chambers of the Pyramids. The Pharaohs
as well as the Romans rolled dice for amusement, divination,
and judicial decision. When Julius Caesar defied the
Roman Senate and led his victorious army across the
Rubicon, he took his announcement from the vocabulary
of the dice shooter: Iacta alea est, or "the
die is cast."
Even in the age of chivalry, knights entertained themselves
and their ladies with games of dice. Gaming schools
and guilds flourished, although by then gambling was
frowned on by the church and it was frequently prohibited
in various regions. Then, as now-, the nobility was
exempted, and the laws were enforced against the lower
classes, especially on working days.
Today's casino craps can be traced directly - to the
games of hazard, first played by English Crusaders
during the siege of an Arabian castle in the 12th
century. Tosses of 2, 3, or 12 were referred to as
"crabs." By the early 1800s, when the games
was introduced to America in they port city of New
Orleans, crabs had become craps and the rules had
nearly evolved to those used today. Spreading rapidly
up the Mississippi with the riverboat gamblers, and
across the country via Pullman-car sharks, craps quickly
replaced faro as the most popular gambling games.
John H. Win is credited with banking the first craps
games permitting right and wrong betting, charging
bettors a 5 percent commission. Shortly after, Win
designed the Philadelphia Layout, very much like the
craps layout of today. It included a Don't Pass Line,
which eventually evolved into the Don't Pass Bar 12
line, and eliminated the 5 percent commission. This
feature took the games out of the streets and into
the last hour or the last round at increased stakes
usually works out more to the advantage of the winners
than the losers. If you're winning and leaving would
be socially imprudent, then just play supertight for
those last rounds. You'll win more money as the losers
play even more recklessly in a desperate effort to
get even for the night.
A tight player chooses his starting hands selectively.
A supertight player is even more selective and usually
proceeds with great care through the later betting
rounds, too. Supertight play is usually not the best
way to win over the course of a game, but it's not
a had way to preserve a lead if your friends are insisting
you play longer than you'd prefer.