John H. Winn & Craps

Winn, (not to be confused with the Wynn !) Introduced the banker, among other things, shortly after the turn of the 20th century. Until then, participants played against each other. With the new rules they played against the bank. John Winn also came up with the rule that you can bet against the pitcher, a measure against cheating by the pitcher. If you didn’t trust him or her, you bet against him.

John H. Winn became the father of modern craps with his innovations. But several people after him refined his rules. As early as 1910, craps beat the game Faro, which was the most popular game in America until then.

Additional information

  • Not only do we find the ancient history of craps questionable. The recent stories with Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville and John Henry Winn are also difficult or impossible to verify. According to game author John Scarne, John H. Winn was born in 1865. With his wife Ellen Florence Weake he had a son, Henry Edward Winn. But that information is nowhere to be found. And more is not known about this man. He is not even on the list of members of the Association of American Playing Card Manufacturers.
  • It is more fun to look at some weird facts about craps, for which we also do not put our hands in the fire.
    • Craps is the game around which most superstitions hang. For example, many players will never pronounce the word ‘seven’ because they believe it has a curse. Bizarre, of course, in a game in which seven plays a major role. The best-known alleged lucky charm, but of course also the result of superstition, is the blowing of a beautiful lady over the dice.
    • In 2009 Patricia Demauro played craps for the longest turn without rolling a combination of 7. In the end it took 154 throws, a chance of 1 in 1.5 billion, and 4 hours and 18 minutes. The New Jersey player set her record at the Borgota Hotel Casino in Atlantic City.
    • The highest craps win is attributed to Archie Karas (official name Anargyros Karabourniotis). He started playing with $ 50 in late 1992 and multiplied that to $ 40 million in three years. Gradually he had more and more capital to deploy. And he did, up to $ 100,000 or more per turn. But Archie Karas couldn’t handle the opulence. Instead of enjoying his acquired wealth, he played on and lost the money as quickly as he won it. And he started cheating. In 2013 he was arrested and charged with burglary, cheating and winning by fraudulent means. Many now wonder if he didn’t even when he made his huge profits. Especially after it became known that he was first caught in 1988.
  • According to some mathematicians, the rules of the game of craps are simple. But according to them it is the most complicated game in a casino. It is an exciting game and it can be loud at times. You can see that in the preview of the latest James Bond film ‘No Time to Die’.
  • And do you still want to read why it seems simple, but is complicated? Then read ‘The Risk of the Roll – A Mathematical Analysis of Casino Dice Games’. It’s a 2013 study in which Daniel Widmann takes you into the complexity of craps.
  • The story about Meyer Lansky comes from the book ‘Meyer Lansky, The Thinking Man’s Gangster’ by Robert Lacey from 2015 (reprint from 1991). This book is generally regarded as the most reliable and best-documented book about a gangster from the early years of American organized crime.

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