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The Craps Dice

Dice have been a fascination among people for over 2,000 years; they have been deciding fates for centuries and have acquired a rather respectable standing in casinos all over the world today. Oftentimes, much was and still is left to chance, and rolling a die is just a way of getting a decision without actually making one. These little decision-makers are known in every country and every home, whether it's used for entertainment or simply to make life a little easier.

Roman Dice

One of the old dice used by the Romans

They have taken on many traits throughout the years; what they were made of and what their shapes were differed from one social group to another. In the primitive days, dice were made from plum and peach stones, seeds, buffalo, caribou and moose bone, walnut shells, pebbles, horns, and certain animal teeth. As the times evolved, the Romans started making theirs out of bone and ivory, bronze, rock crystal, onyx, marble, porcelain or amber. The image on the right is an old die used in the early years; it is made of stone and features 'bird's eye' spots. The bird's eye spotting was a result of the Roman beliefs and their respect for the environment, in which a bird signified power. You can view more Roman dice here.

Razor Edge Dice

Straight edge dice commonly used at casinos

Today, none of these materials are used as frequently as cellulose or some other plastic material is. The sides of a die are marked in a conventional, standard way so that the spots on opposite sides always total seven. The casinos use a small variety, differing in the type of edge-style, how they are marked and whether or not they are transparent. The edge-style is generally either square and known as razor edge or slightly rounded and known as feather edge. The three most common markings are the concave spot, bird's eye spot, and the flush spot. Typically, craps dice are transparent and often come in a shade of red. The image on the right depicts two razor edge dice that are most commonly used throughout casinos. Click here for a couple more images.

Every casino, to protect themselves against cheats, marks these fortune-tellers with a special monogram and a coded serial number; this eliminates the chance of someone trying to use crooked craps dice to have the game go in their favour. There are two kinds of dice: perfect and drugstore. Those used for gambling, referred to as 'perfect', are made by hand and are true to a tolerance of 1/5,000 inch, whereas the other kind is fabricated by machine, often lacking in detail that is such a necessity in gambling. These are often used for board games or other social activities.

All the numbers on a proper die have equal chances of coming up on a roll. Any casino game that uses dice always uses two. To find out what the odds are to get a certain total, visit the odds page. You'll find this to be a very important aspect when deciding on where to place a bet; certain numbers are less likely to be hit than others.

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