My trouble with dice - and are casino dice the answer?



  • AA games don’t come with enough dice to roll epic sized battles in one throw. So I bought one of those 100 packs of 16mm dice on Ebay, 10 colors of 10 dice each. After a bunch of games and a bunch of throws I got the feeling that these dice aren’t so random. I have a felt-lined dice rolling tray and these dice seem to be very favorable to landing on 4, 5, and 6. After noticing this, I did a bunch of rolls comparing my Ebay dice to the oob AA dice and found the AA dice to be marginally better.

    To resolve this problem I first considered using computer dice on my phone or laptop but it wasn’t as satisfying. I tried it but quickly decided I didn’t like it, because it doesn’t have that tactile, visceral feel that draws me to physical boardgames in the first place.

    So tonight I resigned to buying some 19mm foil-wrapped and serialized casino dice from GSE. They should arrive in a few days. I’m hoping for a more random performance from these casino dice. They are much more expensive and come in packs of 5 so I bought a couple packs and if they work well then I guess I’ll get some more.

    What does everyone here use?

    I see lots of oob dice usage in AA games on YouTube. Are you satisfied with the performance of the oob dice? Do you source dice from other places?

    Does anyone here use casino dice, and what are your thoughts on their performance?

    Does anyone here prefer to use computer dice when doing IRL physical AA boardgames?

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  • SFO Founder TripleA Admin

    @655321 said in My trouble with dice - and are casino dice the answer?:

    To resolve this problem I first considered using computer dice on my phone or laptop but it wasn’t as satisfying.

    You also have to make sure that the computer dice use cryptographic random numbers otherwise you could potentially predict outcomes. Plus computer dice are no fun!


  • SFO Founder TripleA Admin

    Side conversation: this is clearly and A&A and gaming topic but we don’t seem to have a place for these conversations, except here in General. cc: @Panther



  • @djensen Yeah I looked carefully and couldn’t find a better place to post this than in this room. And I agree computer dice are no fun when doing physical boardgaming. I don’t mind computer dice when playing computer games ☺


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Official Answers TripleA Moderator

    @djensen In the past we had related discussions sometimes in “Customization” or “Marketplace” or “General Discussion”. Also “Software, Tools and Aides” might be appropriate …


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @655321 said in My trouble with dice - and are casino dice the answer?:

    Does anyone here use casino dice, and what are your thoughts on their performance?

    I don’t use casino precision dice, but in case this option might be useful to you note that there’s another type of precision dice which might be more suitable for A&A: precision backgammon dice. They’re smaller and they have rounded edges/corners, which makes them less destructive if they land on the game map (which can happen even when you’re using a dice tray, if you get a bad bounce).



  • @CWO-Marc said in My trouble with dice - and are casino dice the answer?:

    I don’t use casino precision dice, but in case this option might be useful to you note that there’s another type of precision dice which might be more suitable for A&A: precision backgammon dice. They’re smaller and they have rounded edges/corners, which makes them less destructive if they land on the game map (which can happen even when you’re using a dice tray, if you get a bad bounce).

    I looked at backgammon precision dice, and they look good, but they cost even more than the casino dice. I might give the backgammon dice a try though if I end up not liking the sharp edged casino dice.



  • Can’t attest to the randomness, but I’ve been using the A&A 1914 dice for all games. Only 10mm and can toss a lot of them at once. Would be perfect size for hit dice.



  • My set of 19mm precision serialized casino dice arrived a couple days ago and I’ve been playing with them. They do seem to roll more randomly than the cheap 16mm dice (not oob) I was using previously. They are also quite beautiful. I got a set of red and a set of blue. The red is a strong ruby and the blue is a deep sapphire. I’m thinking of getting a yellow set next.

    I have a good quality felt board and dice cups to roll with. I get good rolls with these tools but the sharp edged 19mm casino dice definitely don’t roll as readily as the round edged 16mm dice do. So you gotta give them an assertive shake and throw.

    I wouldn’t recommend using sharp edged 19mm casino dice directly on a printed gameboard because the sharp corners really could cause damage. A dedicated rolling surface and large dice cup help get a confident and satisfying roll with these babies.

    I think I’m going to demote my 16mm cheap dice to nonwargaming duties. I’m going to stock up on more 19mm casino dice so that I can roll big stack battles for my AA games all at once. This will allow me to retain the fun of a tactile, physical dice roll (no computer number generators) and feel confident that I’m getting random results.


  • SFO Founder TripleA Admin

    @655321 Upload some pics of the new dice. I’m not sure I’ve seen blue 19mm casino dice.



  • @djensen

    I ain’t trying to advertise for anybody, but GSE sells red, blue, green, yellow, and purple 19mm precision serialized casino dice on Ebay and Amazon.


  • 2018 2017

    All gaming dice I’ve seen have rounded corners. Casino dice have squared corners. Rounded corners lead to spinners that wont settle down for 10 or so seconds.

    I use chessex dice. They look good. I have 10 or so matched sets of 12. I’ve played many games, rolled dice many times, and its hard to imagine a systematic roll bias on a d6 that isnt overcome by other factors. The only complaint I have here is that sometimes the pips are a similar noncontrasting color (green dice with yellow fill), and the fill is sometimes uneven so the roll is harder to see than black on white.

    What is much worse, in my opinion, are the nonstandard die that have a national symbol or other symbol on them. This is sometimes on the 1, and sometimes on the 6, but either way, an unscrupulous player could represent that it was either. Some people play pretty fast and loose and one of the easiest ways to cheat is by misrepresenting what you rolled. Watch for people who sweep the dice up quickly, and whose methods change depending on whether you are watching them directly or not. Cheating and slopping are much bigger concerns than nonrandom, hard to see, or spinning dice, IMO.

    A good rule of thumb is that anyone can roll any dice that you use. There are casino style dice made especially for cheating at street dice that contain only 1/6, 2/5 or 3/4, these are easy to add in or out and look exactly like the casino dice of that color.


  • SFO Founder TripleA Admin

    @taamvan This is somewhat negated in tournaments where the rule is that you must allow your opponents to use your dice.


  • SFO Founder TripleA Admin

    @smo63 What do you think about updating the tournament rules to ban custom painted dice and dice with stickers on them?


  • 2018 2017

    Some people have a ‘big bag o dice’ which contain all sorts of creatures and oddities. I wouldn’t want to roll from their pile of dice of varied sizes, colors, vintages, makers. In the last 15 years, there have been a profusion of dice that have fancy numbers or just weird symbols, and some people mix all that in to their pile.

    I feel like it is easier just to drop the $9 and get a set of Chessex die for every player. I buy them just because I’m out of gaming junk to buy and I want to support the stores we play at. I don’t know if they are concerned about randomness in their production (how could they with that cool swirly plastic?) they look great, and they’re all about the same. There are two sizes of d6, one for Warhammer and the other for RP/Wargaming. Other people want to play with a collection of dice–I want people to use SETS of dice.

    I would agree to such a ban, DJ, or a rule that all should bring a similar set. I don’t feel that dice cheating is a big problem in the tournament. My general rule is that with a certain amount of attention and vigilance by all players, most cheating (and slopping, also) can be deterred because it is much much harder to do when you play against people like me, who have extensive experience with cheaters (not in AxA or one venue but over a whole lifetime) and actually watch the other players roll.



  • I ordered a yellow set of casino precision dice and they just arrived. They look beautiful, just like the red and blue dice. Deep color. However these yellow dice are a bit on the orange side, only slightly. Doesn’t bother me, but it’s more of a deep amber yellow than it is a lemonade yellow.

    Only colors I have yet to get are the green and purple dice. I’ll probably get a set of each of those soon because I gotta say these casino dice are working out really well, and I like rolling big rolls!



  • @djensen Unfortunately at the end of the day, regardless of how cryptic the program is, no computer can properly simulate RNG, you will always find a pattern eventually. Nothing beats the chaos humans bring with dice rolls and even then you can still cheat the dice if you know how to throw.


  • SFO Founder TripleA Admin

    @Caesar-Seriona said in My trouble with dice - and are casino dice the answer?:

    @djensen Unfortunately at the end of the day, regardless of how cryptic the program is, no computer can properly simulate RNG, you will always find a pattern eventually. Nothing beats the chaos humans bring with dice rolls and even then you can still cheat the dice if you know how to throw.

    Random number generators are referred to as pseudorandom number generators for this reason. However, you can have cryptographically secure pseudorandom number generator that can make it any where from very difficult to impossible to predict. Entropy from the computer system is introduced to seed the pseudorandom numbers.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptographically_secure_pseudorandom_number_generator

    However, it turns out if you use something truly random in nature you can have truly random computer generated numbers. Weather is a good source and random.org provides a service for this… https://www.random.org/randomness/


  • 2018 2017

    @djensen I think that most of the time people claim that any given system “isn’t random” or some other similar complaint is because they do not like the capricious outcomes that true luck creates. So its not really a “it isnt truly random” argument, its a “this isn’t truly fair” (for my entire party to die in darkest dungeon or for the hab module in my otherwise perfectly maintained ship to blow up because you rolled snake eyes).

    We can all produce the outcomes we want–just reload the game until you get what you want!



  • Yeah but again, you cannot have perfect chaos with computer RNG regardless of how complex the program gets. Science even says that the day we have AI that has human intelligence, it still will not have the ability to do RNG since it requires logic where a human can violate logic logically. However for the sake of an Axis and Allies game, most RNG programs will get you buy just fine. I personally would rather use dice throws even if I get ass roles since I find it not using dice violates the spirit of the game.


  • SFO Founder TripleA Admin

    Looks like Dice+ was the answer but they’re out of business now. Such a cool idea though. Imagine playing TripleA or AAO with “real” dice.

    https://www.theverge.com/2012/6/8/3072284/dice-plus-digital-die-ios-android


  • SFO Founder TripleA Admin


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