Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Word of the Day -- Dice

Dice (singular die or dice; from Old French dé; from Latin datum "something which is given or played") are small throwable objects with multiple resting positions, used for generating random numbers. Dice are suitable as gambling devices for games like craps, and are also used in non-gambling tabletop games.

A traditional die is a rounded cube, with each of its six faces showing a different number of dots

A dice tray or a dicebox is a piece of gaming equipment, a tray used to contain thrown dice, for gambling or board games. One traditional form used in Flemish dice games is an octagonal shaped wooden tray, lined with fabric. A dice tray can be used to play games on its own or as an add-on for other board games, in particular to allow dice throws which do not interfere with other game pieces.

Dice were originally made from the talus of hoofed animals, colloquially known as "knucklebones". These are approximately tetrahedral, leading to the nickname "bones" for dice. Modern Mongolians still use such bones as shagai for games and fortunetelling. Besides bone, materials like ivory, wood and plastics such as cellulose acetate have been used. Dice are hard to distinguish from knucklebones in literature because ancient writers confused the two, but both were used in prehistoric times.

(pips) from 1 to 6. When thrown or rolled, the die comes to rest showing on its upper surface a random integer from one to six, each value being equally likely. A variety of similar devices are also described as dice; such specialized dice may have polyhedral or irregular shapes and may have faces marked with symbols instead of numbers. They may be used to produce results other than one through six. Loaded and crooked dice are designed to favor some results over others for purposes of cheating or amusement.

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