Dice and dice games date back to the Crusades, but modern craps is only about 100 years old. Modern craps evolved from the ancient English game called Hazard. No one knows for sure the origin of the game, but Hazard is said to have been created by the Englishman, Sir William of Tyre, in the 12th century. It's believed that Sir William's knights played Hazard during a siege on the castle Hazarth in 1125 AD. The name Hazard was derived from the castle's name.
Early French settlers brought the game Hazard to Canada (the colony of Acadia, which is Nova Scotia today). In the 1700s, when displaced by the British, the French moved south and found refuge in southern Louisiana where they eventually became Cajuns. When they left Acadia, they took their favorite game, Hazard, with them. The Cajuns simplified the game and made it more mathematically fair. It's said that the Cajuns changed the name to craps, which was derived from the name of the losing throw of 2 in the game of Hazard, known as "crabs."
From Louisiana, the game extended to the Mississippi riverboats and across the country. Many consider the dice maker John H. Winn as the father of modern craps. In 1907, Winn created the modern craps layout. He added the Don't Pass line so players could bet on the dice to lose. Later, he created the boxes for Place bets and added the Big 6, Big 8, and Hardways.