Are Casino Dice Weighted? Things to Look out for When Rolling Dice at Casinos

are casino dice weighted

Are casino dice weighted? Dice used in casinos are ‘fair,’ but ordinary dice aren’t. By that, I mean casino dice are made to be exactly balanced cubes, and the tolerances are ridiculously tight, most legitamite casinos do not have weighted dice as this would throw off the probability balance and will eventually destroy the casino’s reputation. 

Normal dice are mainly cubes, but they aren’t manufactured to the same standard, so each die may land on one side more or less than the other. There is a slight bias, irrelevant in the vast majority of cases. 

You would think casino dice are weighted, but in most cases they are not.

Why is that?

Let’s find out!

Are Casino Dice Weighted? Things to Look out for When Rolling Dice at Casinos

Things to Look out for When Rolling Dice at Casinos

why casino dice are not weighted

Check Serial Numbers of Dice

In some casinos, swapping legitimate dice with weighted or “loaded” dice has been a long-established tradition. To prevent the entry of crooked dice into a game, casino dice have serial numbers. Casino dice are normally wrapped in gold foil with matching serial numbers and sold in packs of five. If there are two dice in play with two different serial numbers, something fishy is going on. 

Sharp Corners

Pay attention to the corners next time you use dice in a board game at home. Casino dice usually have sharp corners, but outside casinos, most dice have rounded corners. Dice with rounded corners are not truly random, which can exaggerate any bias. Corners with sharp edges ensure that rolls are random. You must ensure that the dice you are using have sharp corners.

Translucency

Since the 1950s, dice have been made of cellulose acetate, making them translucent. Until the advent of plastics, it was impossible to tell whether dice were weighted or not. However, now you can see inside a dice, you can easily tell if anyone has tampered with it.

Key Letter Spot

This is one of my favorite casino dice secrets. I have been to craps tables worldwide and held hundreds of dice. Though it’s in plain sight, I didn’t notice this security measure. There is a letter or number “monogrammed” on a designated spot on every casino die before that spot is painted. Although scammers may be able to replicate a die’s exterior, it is difficult for them to fake a letter under pip paint. You can leave the game whenever you think there is something fishy about the dice.

Glow Spots

Several casinos use dice with “pips,” or spots filled with epoxy that change color when exposed to ultraviolet light. Using a simple black light, you should avoid playing on that table if the dice are of the same color. You can ask the floor manager to verify if the dice are legit.

Casino Logos

Yes, some casinos imprint their logo on dice as a security measure. Adding a logo to dice is relatively easy, but this “unique identifier” is another factor that cheaters must consider. 

Diamond Rubber Bumpers

Even though it is much more of a table security measure than a dice security measure, I include it. The textured bumps along the side of a craps table are known as “diamond bumpers” or “pyramid bumpers.” These bumpers make predicting the roll of the dice much more difficult.

Change-outs in a timely manner

Casinos take various measures to foil cheaters, like frequently changing out dice, just as they do with cards at the blackjack table. There are also things like edges and corners that become less sharp with use which can impact the randomness of rolls. Fresh dice are introduced to a craps table every four to eight hours, usually when a shift change occurs. Casinos can, however, change dice at any time. Casinos often do this during hot rolls to ensure a player’s good fortune isn’t caused by dice tampering. However, if it’s not done promptly, something amiss could occur.

Perfect Cubes

Because casino dice are made to exact specifications, they’re also known as “precision dice.” These dice are usually 3/4-inches in diameter, and each of their dimensions must be accurate to within 0.0005 of an inch. 

Pip Drilling and Backfilling

Even slight changes in a die can make it roll less randomly. When dice are used in a casino, the pip is not just painted; it is also drilled. Adding 6 holes to one side and one to the other side will result in the side with one hole being slightly heavier and thus likely to sink. Die drill holes are filled with a special paint that has the same density as the rest of the die, so that side with six pips doesn’t weigh more than the side with one. 

Cancellation

Using a hand-operated press (or “punch”), casinos can “cancel” dice after they are removed from the table. The symbols on the retired die are known as cancellation markings, which allow security, dealers, you, and managers to identify whether a dishonest player has used the die.

Weighted Dice: Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if my dice are crooked?

It is common to find crooked dice in casinos that are used to cheat on tables and other games. There will be very small differences between crooked and precision casino dice, which are usually only discerned by an experienced eye. The spots on a die’s face can be arranged differently if crooked. The “loaded dice” method of cheating through dice involves drilling a very small hole behind each dot and filling it with metal. The unwrapped sides will land face up whenever the dice are rolled since the dice are heavier on one side. Alternatively, some crooked dice will employ “flats,” which are dice with larger dimensions on two sides, resulting in a fixed roll.

These can be prevented by careful inspection of the dice themselves. In most casinos, dice now include the die’s serial number, key letters under the spots, or the casino logo or name. As an alternative, casinos use a box person to check the dice through several tests, such as a visual inspection, a size measure, a weight check, and even a magnet to ensure no metal is added. 

How Are Casino Dice Made?

Injection molding is used in the mass production of dice, followed by painting and packaging. Nevertheless, these are usually flawed standard dice that don’t measure up to casino quality. In the modern era, precision dice are usually machine-made but can be made by hand. Machine-made dice should be evenly distributed in both material and weight, thus being made precisely. 

In addition, they should adhere to federally mandated tolerances when manufactured. After the dice are made, their numerical symbol is drilled into the dice so that the corresponding holes can be filled with colored substances. Nevertheless, the density of the filler material must match the density of the dice material before it was drilled. Therefore, the two must equalize.

Can I buy Casino Dice?

Several places are selling used casino dice, and I highly recommend getting some. They are solid, hard to lose, and sometimes people collect them like cards.

Conclusion

The game of craps is one of the most thrilling in casinos. Next time you play, you will know exactly what you need to look out for when rolling dice at casinos. As a matter of fact, cheating in a casino is a criminal offense in Las Vegas, so if you decide to play craps in Las Vegas, make sure not to use weighted dice! This can lead you up to 5 years in prison if you get charged, so know what you’re getting into before trying to play in casinos.

Mike Horton (head of Weighted Living)

by Mike Horton

Mike is one of the lead editors at Weighted Living and the author of this article. He's become fascinated with weighted products (a bit too much we think) and loves to see all the different ways they can improve our loves. He's written quite a few weighted product guides as well.

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