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What Do You Really Know About Dice?

Aug 18, 2007
Dice is as old as magic. In fact, dice is associated with magic. In the olden days, when people learnt how to do magic, they also used dice to tell their fortunes. Dice was also popular among fortunetellers, witch doctors and soothsayers.

Wikipedia defines dice as small polyhedral objects, usually cubical, used for generating random numbers or other symbols. This makes dice suitable as gambling devices, especially for craps or for use in non-gambling tabletop games.

The first dice were made from sheep knuckles. The cubes that we use were in existence from around 5000 BC. As the game of dice became more popular, they were made from wood, ivory and other materials. They were also of different shapes and sizes. Some of them were square, stick shaped and cubed.

Types of dice

Over time, the types of dice changed with their purpose. Below are some of the popular dices and a brief about them.

Electronic dice: In this type of dice, a computer program rolls the dice for you. It has dice from 1 to 3 or from 1 to 20 sided dice. Its ideal for any kind of board game or even Dungeons and Dragons. You will not ever loose your dice again. You can install it on your laptop and take your dice anywhere.

Casino dice: Casino dice are called perfect or precision dice because of the way they are made. They are as close to being perfect true cubes as possible, measured to within a fraction of a millimeter, manufactured so each die has an equal chance of landing on any one of its six faces.

Casino dice are specially hand made to within a tolerance of 0.0005 of an inch. The spots are drilled and filled with material that is equal in weight to the material removed. Usually sides are flush and edges sharp. They are predominantly transparent red but can come in other colors like green, purple or blue.

Spots are usually solid but a number of different designs can be found. In casino play, a stick of 5 dice are used, all stamped with a matching serial number to prevent a cheat from substituting a die.

Alphabet dice: are invaluable for generating lots of stimulating word and spelling games for children. Games focus on sound/symbols, vowels, syllables, word patterns, puzzlers and parts of speech. Spelling strategies and problem solving are built into the games.

Flaming dice: Flaming dice were one of the first popular symbols of early hot rodding lifestyle. It is used as a tattoo with the lucky number seven.

Tumbling dice: these dice were used for board games and war games.

Loaded dice: Dice that have been weighted to tamper with their roll. Weights are added in the die so it falls on the desired number. These were popular among professional gamblers.

Liars dice: This is a bluffing game where the dice are rolled in a concealed manner and bids are made about the result of the throw. There are many versions of this game and it is believed to have originated from South America and popularized in early Spanish history.

Dice games

Some of the popular board and dice games using the above types of dice are:

Dungeons & Dragons: This is a fantasy role-playing game; these were popular among professional gamblers. This game makes use of 20-, 12-, 10-, 8- and 4-sided dice in addition to the traditional 6-sided die.

LCR: For this game, you need three LCR cubes, at least three players, and three chips for each player. Coins can be used in place of chips for additional players. After determining which player starts the game, the first player rolls three cubes. The number of L's, C's or Dots rolled dictates where the player's chips go.

This, as we can see, dice have been with us for centuries and though the games have evolved and the material in which the dice are made have changed, some of the rules do not change and that is "winner takes all".
About the Author
Kathy Austin is a search engine consultant for the online magic store Tricksforsale.com. This magic store provides a range of dice sets and board and strategy games. Learn how to do magic tricks with the variety of books written by magicians like David Blaine and CDs available. Visit now and get a free gift with every purchase.
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