[Ads-l] Antedating of "Craps" (Game)

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jun 16 05:10:49 EDT 2018


> let the company’s chance, which we call the main

So, that's the reference, WRT the "main chance." So now, the next time that
I come across this term, I won't think of Portland, Maine.

On Sat, Jun 16, 2018 at 3:12 AM, Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Like LH (June 11), I assume “crabs” refers to crab eyes for what we now
> envision as snake eyes. It might be worth noting that there are many
> medical citations for crab eyes (“crabs eyes”) in the 1700s and before,
> such that the image of crab eyes might have come readily to people in that
> time period.
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazard_(game) <https://en.wikipedia.org/
> wiki/Hazard_(game)> says the game craps is a simplified form of hazard.
>
> See page 38 of https://bit.ly/2yfDQUK <https://bit.ly/2yfDQUK> for a
> rundown of combinations and mention of “tray-ace” (trois ace), perhaps a
> one and a two (see citation 5 below). Backgammon has something known as a
> trois ace: https://bit.ly/2td2RdI <https://bit.ly/2td2RdI> (see also
> https://bit.ly/2tjGOlJ <https://bit.ly/2tjGOlJ>); could hazard/craps
> derive from the game tables/backgammon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
> Tables_(board_game) <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tables_(board_game)>
> such as by eliminating the board?
>
> To add to PR’s 1775 (below) and 1777 (June 11) citations, here are five
> others.
>
> 1. January 1773 (https://bit.ly/2MuSzyl <https://bit.ly/2MuSzyl>)
> “An Account of the Game of Hazard, with the Rules to be observed, the
> Chances in the Game, and the various Methods made use of to defraud the
> unwary” in The Gentleman's and London Magazine. p. 10
> author not attributed
>
> [The dice were rolled from a dice cup called a “box” (
> https://bit.ly/2yfDQUK <https://bit.ly/2yfDQUK>)]
>
> ——
> A box an pair of dice being produced, they begin. The person who first
> takes the box throws a main, that is, a chance for the company, which must
> be above four, and not to exceed nine…; if he throws two aces or trois ace
> (commonly called Crabs) he loses his stakes, let the company’s chance,
> which we call the main, be what it may. If the main should be seven, and
> seven or eleven is thrown immediately after, it is what is called a Nick,
> and the caster (the present player) wins out his stake…
> ——
>
> 2. February 1773 (https://bit.ly/2K1m8ZM <https://bit.ly/2K1m8ZM>)
> “High-Life, at Lovejoy’s” in The Covent Garden Magazine Or the Amorous
> Repository: Calculated Solely for the Entertainment of the Polite World and
> the Finishing of a Young Gentleman's Education, Volume 2, p. 47
> Ranger [recording an overheard dialogue at Lovejoy’s]
>
> ——
> Mr. F. (upon throwing crabs) A plague on you and Miss Munro, and all the
> sex, I say—these women pester one so, there’s no knowing what one’s about.
> ——
>
> 3. 1775 (https://bit.ly/2HTyxdv <https://bit.ly/2HTyxdv>)
> Annals of Gaming; or, The Fair Player’s Sure Guide….
> a Connoisseur
>
> 4. 1790 (https://bit.ly/2JYAKsW <https://bit.ly/2JYAKsW>)
> A Full Inquiry Into the Subject of Suicide: To which are Added (as Being
> Closely Connected with the Subject) Two Treatises on Duelling and Gaming in
> Two Volumes, Volume 2, p. 341
> Charles Moore
>
> [This term “doctors” (written with a ct ligature) is an interesting term]
>
> ——
> With wily craft the sharpers substitute their deceitful [z] doctors, and
> thus crabs become the portion of the losing flats.
>
> footnote: [z] False dice are called "Doctors;" a losing game "Crabs;" and
> those who are duped or taken in "Flats," in the gaming vocabulary.
> ——
>
> 5. May 1798 (https://bit.ly/2yeSGL9 <https://bit.ly/2yeSGL9>)
> “False Dice” in The Sporting Magazine, or, Monthly Calendar of the
> Transactions of the Turf, the Chace, and every other Diversion Interesting
> to the Man of Pleasure, Enterprize & Spirit, Volume 12, p. 79
> not attributed
>
> ——
> With these dice it is impossible to throw what is at Hazard called
> _crabs_; that is, _aces_, or _ace_ and _deuce_, _twelve_ or _seven_; hence
> the caster always called for his main; and consequently, as he could
> neither throw _one_ nor _seven_, let his chance be what it might, he was
> sure to win….
> ——
>
> Benjamin Barrett
> Formerly of Seattle, WA
>
>
> > On 13 Jun 2018, at 10:12, Peter Reitan <pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:
> >
> > Similarly, a publication from 1788 lists creps among a group of gambling
> games without mentioning Craps.
> >
> >
> > In 1787, the Belgian town of Spa debated banning gambling - they were on
> the verge of a day in which people would only go to Spa only for the water,
> after which they would have to auction off tables for "Biribi, Creps,
> Roulette &c" and an enormous stack of cards.
> >
> >
> > Mercure de France, Tome 134, January-June 1788 (reprint), Geneva,
> Slatkine Reprints, 1972, page 29, excerpt taken from Journal Politiques de
> Bruxelles, Turquis de Constantinople, November 19, 1787, pages 42-43.
> HathiTrust.
> >
> >
> >
> > "Crabs" and the rules of Hazard are discussed in Hoyle's Games Improved,
> London, J. Rivington, 1775, page 223.
> >
> >
> > [Excerpt] . . . if he throws two Aces or Trois-ace (commonly called
> Crabs) he loses his Stakes. [End Excerpt]
> >
> >
> > ________________________________
> > From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of
> ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> > Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 9:32 AM
> > To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> > Subject: Re: Antedating of "Craps" (Game)
> >
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> > Subject:      Re: Antedating of "Craps" (Game)
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> -------------------
> >
> > An 1883 French-English dictionary says that "creps" is a "sort of game
> > at dice". The Dictionary does not appear to have an entry for "craps".
> >
> > Year: MDCCCLXXXIII =3D 1883
> > Book: Dictionnaire International Fran=C3=A7ais-Anglais
> > Page 237, Column 1
> > Publisher: Sampson Low and Company, London also Ch. Fouraut et Fils,
> Paris
> >
> > https://books.google.com/books?id=3DsQc2AQAAMAAJ&q=3D%
> 22game+at+dice%22#v=
> > =3Dsnippet&
> >
> > [Begin excerpt =E2=80=93 check for errors]
> > CREPS, krayps, sm. sort of game at dice.
> > [End excerpt]
> >
> > Garson
> >
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



-- 
-Wilson
-----
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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