The dice game: a classic with a long history

Lukas Wagner

Lukas Wagner

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Everybody knows it. Everyone has had fights with family members as a child thanks to it. And many still like to use it even as adults: the dice. However, this little guy has been causing both ecstasy and annoyance for more than just a few years. The history of the dice can be traced back over thousands of years. We have for you a little excursion into the development of one of the simplest and most ingenious “toys” for young and old.

Ancient pleasures & Celtic cheating

Many of the first finds of dice come from countries of the Orient. There are early pieces from the 3rd millennium B C from Iraq, Pakistan, and Egypt. But also in the Germanic and Celtic areas, the inhabitants probably already passed their time by playing dice. Other countries where dice were known early are India, Greece and of course Italy. Who exactly invented the dice game is therefore difficult to determine. What is certain, however, is that even back then people were busy cheating during a game of dice. Because dice from various cultures were found where certain numbers were manipulated with the tiniest weights. A proof of real slyness.

The emperor’s little sins

Initially, small pieces of bone were used for a dice game. These, by their nature, had only four sides, with each side of the dice assigned a certain number or value. Exactly which games were played and which rules were applied can often no longer be reconstructed. It would therefore be exciting to take a little trip back in time to know what exactly was played. At that time, it might have been possible to roll the dice with famous Roman rulers, despite the official ban on gambling. For these noblemen, like Caesar and Emperor Claudius, were quite passionate dice players. Actually, in the 1st century B C the dice became such common property that it also found its way into everyday language. You probably know the saying from that time – “The die has been cast” – that is still in use today. Even today it is used when there is no way back.

One dice, countless games

Ever since man has used dice in games, new ways and means of using them have been devised. Meanwhile, there is an incredible number of games that focus on dice. Be it with just one or several dice – board game figures do not move without its use, in casinos, people like to blow large amounts in dice games, and a roll decides in classics such as “Mensch ärgere dich nicht” about happiness and peace at home.
To make dice games even more exciting, symbols were used at some point in addition to the usual pips (or dots). Anyone who opens a game box today often finds dice designs in a wide variety of forms. Animals, words, colors, pictures, monsters, numbers… there is nothing that does not exist.

A host of different shapes

Well, how many sides does today’s standard game dice have? Correct, there are 6 sides. From the four-sided tiny bone, the long stick dice to the six-sided dice, which is still the most popular today – the dice game has produced a variety of different types of dice. Most often, these come with the numbers 1-6, the base color is white and the pip color is black. The first dice in history probably came in a similar design. But there are also game dice that go far beyond the standard size. If a D10 dice (D stands for dice and 10 for type) already has 10 sides, the world record dice has an incredible 120 sides. However, the almost 100-gram heavy design is less suitable for gaming. It finds its application in mathematical shenanigans.

Even though there are some games for dice with different numbers of sides, a look at the game boxes of our games shows: Six-sided game dice are the most common.

The dice game of the future

The most exciting question at the end: How will we play with dice in the future? As you can see, even though the basic 6-sided shape has always prevailed, there is a lot of experimentation going on when it comes to the design of the game dice. The unidice is the dice of the future for all friends of the cultivated game night. Because no matter what game you like to play with friends or family, the unidice can be quickly and easily customized with countless icons, GIFs, and images thanks to advanced technology. No matter the direction the design of the game dice will still develop into – the unidice goes with it.

Image: One of the most popular dice games even today: Mensch ärgere dich nicht [Man, Don’t Get Angry]. Source: 2396521 via pixabay.com

Share article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Newsroom

The latest news and updates, direct from unidice.