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Gaming Guru

 

The Origin of Craps

23 October 2000

The Time: One Million and One BC (approximate date).

The Places: Lost Vegas, Outwestus and Atlantisity, Eastcoastes.

The Principle Players: Savvon, Chieftain of the Vegans and Elevvon, Chieftain of the Eastcoastens.

The Scenario: At the Dawn of History, two neighboring herds of a species that would be known as Mankind had reached a point in their development where it became just as much fun to fight with each other as it was to fight with dinosaurs and saber-toothed tigers. The Vegans, led by their strongest and least intelligent member, Savvon, had been trying for many moons (no calendars back then) to gain supremacy over the tribe next door, led by Elevvon, another big dumb guy. The herds were equally matched in strength and stupidity, and an impasse existed, until....

One day Savvon, while walking through a field intensely attempting to think of some way to beat his adversary, stumbled over two square bones and rolled down the adjacent embankment. His soothsayer (all herds had soothsayers back then), a man named Pit (because he had fallen into one when he was a child), ran to his side and exclaimed, "Gosh, boss, this must be a sign; a way to defeat the pesky Elevvon and his herd of ne'er-do-wells."

"How come?" asked the befuddled Savvon.

"Can't you see?" exclaimed Pit. "The die has been cast. We must seize this opportunity and use those two bones to invent a game which the Eastcoastens will be compelled to play and at which they have no chance of winning! And we must convince them to risk their herddom on the outcome of the game."

"Of course! I see!" replied Savvon, who rose to his feet and immediately slipped and fell. "Darn," he said. "I just stepped in two piles of dinosaur crap!"

"Another sign!" exclaimed Pit. "We'll call the game craps."

"How's this game gonna work?" said Savvon.

"You'll challenge Elevvon to a rolling contest. You both stand on the top of this hill. The first one to roll to the bottom and pick up the two bones is the winner. The winner gains control of both herds and can banish the loser to a faraway field!"

"But that means I have to roll faster than Elevvon and pick up the bones before he does. You know he's not as fat as me and he might reach the bones before I do. Seems like a hard way to go."

"Ah, but here's the beauty of my plan!" said Pit. "We'll use all of these piles of dinosaur crap to our advantage. I'll move the piles up the hill. Follow me and watch closely." Pit called over Box Man to help him carry 17 piles of crap and the three herdsman moved up the hill where Stick Man stood watch to make sure the Eastcoastens did not try any funny stuff.

"The idea is to keep Elevvon from reaching the bottom of the hill before you do, boss" said Pit. "So we'll put two piles of crap in this spot, three piles of crap in that spot, and 12 piles of crap right over there. So that's two craps here, three craps here and 12 craps there. Elevvon won't know they are there and he will roll into them and stop to clean himself off. You will keep rolling without hitting the crap piles; you'll easily beat him to the bottom of the hill, pick up the bones and win the contest. You'll take over his herd and banish him to a field in Mishippy."

"I've got another idea," said Savvon. "Can't we just put a different number of spots on each side of the square bones, then have each of us roll the bones and let the winner be the one who gets the highest number?"

"Bad idea," replied Pit. "That's an even bet and you could lose. We don't want that to happen. We need to have an edge over Elevvon. Let's go with my plan. It's a winner, Savvon!"

"Savvon winner! Winner Savvon!" screamed Stick Man.

Elevvon accepted the challenge; he rolled down the hill, landed in all three crap traps, stopped to clean himself off, and never reached the bottom of the hill. Savvon managed to circumvent any contact with the various piles, and he reached the bottom in record time and picked up the two bones. To celebrate his accomplishment, he threw the two bones into the air, pointed his head to the sky, opened his mouth and began a victory chant. "I will take over the whole world next!" As luck would have it, the bones fell into his opened mouth just as he was shouting big threats about how he would take over everything in the universe, and Savvon choked to death.

Stick Man stood over him in consternation: "Savvon out! Savvon Out!" Pit then took over both herds. "Pit Boss! Pit Boss!" screamed the combined herds. Pit then explained the change in how the herds would be managed and he also eulogized the former leaders by saying: "Savvon and Elevvon were both winners but not for long. Elevvon could not avoid those two craps, three craps and 12 craps piles...and Savvon got greedy in the end and caused his own downfall. I was the ultimate victor because I made the rules and didn't have to play the game! I now control your destiny."

But Elevvon was not so easily discouraged. He soon introduced the game to the simple creatures in Mishippy, but he did away with the craps piles that had proved his undoing. He called his new game crapless craps and he quickly regained his power over a new herd. But his game never really caught on.

Eons passed and the descendents of Pit became the bosses over all craps games. The rules were changed and new rules added. Savvon's idea of putting spots on the bones became a reality. When the Egyptians invented the pyramid, tiny facsimiles were put on the craps tables and these made it even tougher for the bone rollers to beat the game. A lot of crappy bets were also added and the game proved many a gambler's undoing.

And that, dear friends, is the origin of craps.


For more information about craps, we recommend:

Beat the Craps Out of the Casinos: How to Play Craps and Win! by Frank Scoblete
The Captain's Craps Revolution! by Frank Scoblete
Sharpshooter Craps Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete
Walter Thomason
Walter Thomason is the best-selling author of Blackjack for the Clueless and the editor of The Experts’ Guide to Casino Games and The Ultimate Blackjack Book.

A long-time casino gaming enthusiast, he is a frequent contributor to
The New Chance and Circumstance, Midwest Gaming & Travel, and Heartland Casino News.

His new book is
21st Century Blackjack: A New Strategy for a New Millenium. He can be reached
at PO Box 550068, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33355.

Books by Walter Thomason:

> More Books By Walter Thomason

Walter Thomason
Walter Thomason is the best-selling author of Blackjack for the Clueless and the editor of The Experts’ Guide to Casino Games and The Ultimate Blackjack Book.

A long-time casino gaming enthusiast, he is a frequent contributor to
The New Chance and Circumstance, Midwest Gaming & Travel, and Heartland Casino News.

His new book is
21st Century Blackjack: A New Strategy for a New Millenium. He can be reached
at PO Box 550068, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33355.

Books by Walter Thomason:

> More Books By Walter Thomason