It’s been a while since I’ve written a dice post. Seth Owen’s Pawnderings blog has posted a nifty link to a detailed analysis of 6-sided dice done by an engineering professor at ASU who happens to be a tabletop miniatures gamer.
It turns out that many 6-sided dice are not particularly good when it comes to the statistical liklihood of the 6 possible outcomes; ideally each numbers should be rolled 16.67% of the time but in reality he found that Chessex, Games Workshop, and other dice with rounded corners actually roll ones a staggering 29% of the time! Dice with square corners were much closer, with 1s being rolled only 19% of the time. Certified casino dice used for craps were just about dead on.
This is pretty disappointing as I really like dice with rounded corners, they just feel and look better than dice with square corners. Not only that, it is somewhat counter intuitive as it seems like dice with rounded corners tumble better, so you would think that would lead to better randomization of the results. Instead it seems like the mass distribution of the dice after the pips have been hollowed out and the corners rounded off produces this very uneven result.
So it turns out that if you want more fair results from your D6’s you better be using dice with square corners and the heavier the better. Or, if you are really particular about your dice, you better be using Casino dice which it turns out are pretty pricy.
Anyways it’s a fascinating little article, definitely check it out if you play any sort of games with dice rolling.