The ancient world knew dice games, starting around 2,600 BC in Egypt, and later in India and in the Roman Empire. Craps originated from the game called Hazard. One theory says that the word „Hazard” comes from before the 12th century from the word „Al Zar”, which means dice in Arabic. Another theory is apocryphal and says that during the Crusades in 1125 knights played a dice game while they laid siege to the castle called Asart or Hazarth.
Hazard became very popular in England, among both the poor and the rich, and later moved to France too. European settlers took it to America. It was particularly popular in New Orleans. The name got changed to Craps either in France or in America. It’s assumed to come from Crabs, which was the name for rolling 2.
The father of modern Craps, John H. Winn, introduced the modern format of the game in the 19th century. He invented the Big 6 and Big 8 bets, as well as the Pass and Don’t Pass bets, among other things. He also introduced the rule that players can bet against the shooter, which put an end to using crooked dice. This made the game more fair and therefore more popular.
In the 20th century the game of Craps became really well-known. Soldiers, both in World War II and later, played it during wars and spread it all over the world. Hollywood movies made it super popular too. And when online gaming got invented in the 1990s, the game became playable from any place in the world.