Dice are popular throughout the world. Judging from the fact that Sanskrit epics mention them and that they’ve shown up on various archaeological sites, they’ve probably been around practically as long as civilization itself. While many people may think of dice as only being a tool for gambling, they are also essential to board games such as backgammon and Monopoly.
In the Mahabharata, the character of Yudhisthira gambles away his kingdom, his brothers, and his wife. The epic Kurukshetra war that follows a simple game of dice makes up the rest of the narrative. While it is difficult to pinpoint the date that Mahabharata was written, the most commonly held belief in India is that the events described in it happened about 5,000 years ago.
Now it’s time to learn more about Dice Day!
History of Dice Day
While dice can be found throughout the world, the oldest known set comes as a part of the Royal Game of Ur, which is the oldest existing board game that is dated at approximately 4,400 years old. Ancient dice were not terribly different from modern forms and the concept of a six-faced cube with dots has been the world’s most popular pastime and gambling tool for centuries.
Tetrahedral dice and other shapes have also been around for quite some time as well. Materials such as ceramic, various metals, wood, and stone were all used to create dice of various shapes and sizes. Brass dice have been around for a very long time in Tamil Nadu and soldiers during the American War of Independence used to hammer dice out of lead musket balls to keep themselves entertained.
Regardless of what shape they come in, the most popular medium for dice up until the 20th century seems to have been bone. These days, however, most dice are cast from plastic or synthetic resin. Particularly, the ones used in casinos are designed to ensure that they are truly random and not given to an unfair advantage.
How to Celebrate Dice Day
Get involved with celebrating Dice Day in a variety of fun ways, including ideas such as these:
Play Some Dice Day Games
It’s likely that almost anyone can probably think of at least one example of a game involving dice that they would like to play. Obviously, it is not necessary to make an exhaustive list of all of the possible options on that front. However, here are a few of the most popular games that people play with dice today:
Played with nine dice, a little bit of skill and a whole lot of luck, Bunco is typically played with large groups–twelve players who split up into teams of four. Points are awarded based on rolls and the winner takes all!
This classic family game requires some luck and also just some paying attention. Scorecards are kept by each player using the poker philosophy of getting pairs, a full house and other combinations. Players use strategy to decide which items to score when.
This dice game encourages players to take huge risks in order to win it all. Players roll all six dice and then set aside the “bankable” dice. They can then re-roll for more points or pass to the next player. If they choose to re-roll but nothing comes out of it, they must forfeit all of their points.
- Left, Center, Right (LCR)
This game comes with custom made dice that are labelled with “L”, “R”, and “C”. It also uses chips that must be passed around from player to player, depending on the roll.
Bring Dice Day Games to Work
Sure, it’s maybe not conducive for playing over the cubicle walls at the office, but perhaps playing some Dice Day games in the lunch room during a break would be a fun way to kill some time. Plus, it’s a great way to get to know coworkers a little better and perhaps know who to invite to that next game night function.
Learn Some Dice Day Trivia
Share that knowledge of dice with friends, family and coworkers. They’ll be impressed as they hear these interesting tidbits of trivia on Dice Day:
- The word “dice” seems to have been derived from a combination of Latin and Old French. The French word ‘dé’, and the Latin ‘datum’ seem to have been put together to mean “something which is given or played”. Over time, this evolved to “die”, the plural of which is “dice”.
- The sum of the opposite sides of a six-sided die should always be 7: 6+1, 5+2 and 4+3.
- A famous quote attributed to Julius Caesar says: “When dice are thrown, there is no turning back”.
Host a Dice Day Game Night
Invite over a few friends or gather up your family to play a dice game. Have plenty of dice ready and play one of the above-mentioned games or some others, such as Mexico, Qwixx, Tenzi Dice or others. While it’s not ideal to encourage gambling, if that’s what it takes to get those friends to come to your Dice Day party, then it’s best to just assume that the event exists in a sort of legal grey area and not say anything. However, it is still a good idea not to go to the extent of wagering on family members, spouse, or kingdom. For those who do so, it’s just bad policy.