What are Precision Dice?

September 20, 2012

What are Precision Dice?

Precision dice have sharp edges. They come in opaque or gem (translucent) plastic with a variety of colors to choose from. Many people (myself included) love the look of the gem colors because they look like precious stones.

Lou Zocchi is the creator of precision dice. He also was the first person to make polyhedral dice in the United States. His company, GameScience, is one of the main manufacturers of precision dice. Zocchi has even invented some new types of dice; the 100-sided die or “Zocchihedron,” the d3, d5, d7, d14, d16, d24 and d46.

Statistically speaking, each time you throw a die all numbers are equally likely to come up. So why use precision dice? Because, in real life, this isn’t always true, due to the way that most gaming dice are manufactured.

Gaming dice are usually made of plastic. Steel dice molds are injected with liquid plastic. Once cooled, the individual dice are clipped off, creating a small blemish on each die. They are put into a rock tumbler to smooth off the blemish. To get color into the numbers, the dice are dipped into paint, and then tumbled again to get rid of the excess paint. The dice are tumbled again to give them a nice luster..

The problem with this process is that the dice do not tumble evenly and end up slightly egg shaped; making them more likely to land on some numbers than others. This is where your “lucky” d20 comes from. Precision dice are not tumbled because they are more likely to roll truly random results. That’s why casino dice aren’t tumbled. The blemish left on a precision die can easily be sanded off without ruining the sharp edges.

Precision dice are by default not inked either. Some players who use precision dice really enjoy the process of inking them at home. (The precision dice sold at the Board Game Barrister have already been carefully hand inked.) Casino dice and precision dice share another trait; they roll a couple times and then stop dead. Some players really like this feature because it means they don’t have to wait long for their die roll to resolve.

You can learn more about precision dice from Mr. Zocchi himself by watching the videos at http://www.gamescience.com. Or buy a set from the Board Game Barrister and try them out firsthand.


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