How Bitcoin made dice cool again

Dice: from divinity to probability

Few games have defined the crypto gambling industry better than dice -- such is its association with crypto casinos that many early brands in Bitcoin and crypto gaming built their offerings around a dice game.

Of course, crypto dice looks nothing like the actual dice -- thought to have been among the earliest man-made apparatus used in social and gaming activities. Physical dice, in their most common cube form, easily allows you to determine a random outcome out of a possible six. This is because, when thrown (or cast, rolled, flipped, shaken in a cup!), a die eventually lands on one side, with the side facing up denoting the result of the throw.

This simple and easy means of random result generation has been used by people for thousands of years to play games and -- especially in ancient times, to gamble. From two-sided teeth and fruit pits, to six-sided cubes made from stone and marble, dice have been used to tell fortunes, perform rituals and even determine innocence.

It might, however, be of note to mention that concepts of randomness and probabilities in the outcome of dice were only prevalent in the last 500 years or so. Before, people really did think that supernatural or unseen forces were the ones guiding the dice! In fact, studies show that balanced (or fair) dice were only really created around the Renaissance, suggesting that dice bias was deliberate or at least, expected.

The wane of dice in casinos

Modern dice gambling became progressively complex over time, with six-sided dice evolving in design and quantity to provide increasingly more varied mathematical probabilities.

But physical dice with many sides eventually exposed a design problem. The more sides you have, the bigger the die has to be and the rounder the shape becomes, so the more difficult it is to craft a dice that is of equal weight on every side to ensure a fair outcome.

Because of these practical limits, the dice most commonly used today have no more than 20 sides. With technological precision, we’ve become better at constructing more sides to a die and you can quite easily go out today and get a 48-, 60- and even 120-sided dice, but you’ll notice quickly how unwieldy they can be to roll. For that reason, these high-number-sided dice are really only used in board gaming and role playing games (think Dungeons and Dragons).

Instead, casinos that offer dice games have remained true to the six-sided cube, and this was the kind of dice people used to gamble with all over the world in all kinds of variations.

As casinos modernised and incorporated more complex mechanisms -- not to mention computer random number generation -- into their games, however, dice began to lose their appeal. While card games have continued to evolve, likely because of their multi-player or player-vs-player appeal, some dice games saw a gradual phasing out to make way for slot machines and other table games. This happened even more noticeably for online casinos.

Thus, dice gambling games like Klondike, once immensely popular in America’s Wild West, have all but disappeared from most digital versions of casinos these days. A quick glance at dice games online will show that the majority of offerings will be Craps in casinos in the West or Sic-Bo throughout Asia.

Nevertheless, more traditional gambling houses still ensure that that older dice games remain on offer: Chuck-a-Luck in Australia, Hazard in England (some say, the Craps OG), and Banka Francesca in Portugal are some “exotic” examples.

When crypto revitalised dice

Perhaps rather unexpectedly, online gambling emerged as an early use case of Bitcoin. As early as 2012, gambling sites that used Bitcoin as a currency introduced the concept of Bitcoin dice, a game where players could set their own odds or win percentage and bet on an outcome above or under the “dice” result. No longer constrained by the design of physical dice, crypto dice possible results were also from a very large range. A roll of dice at Crypto.Games, for instance, will produce a result between 0.001 and 99.999 -- 100,000 possibilities!

This set itself apart from typical gambling games in two ways. Firstly, players were immediately and easily able to see the risk and the possible reward with highly customizable settings. Even with the earliest crypto dice, it was possible to win as little as 1% of your wager, or thousands of times your wager.

For instance, with Crypto.Games dice, you can manually adjust your payout and immediately see your win chance as well as the result required for you to win. In the example below, setting the minimum payout (1.02x) displays the win amount, a Win Chance of 92.254%, and the result you’d need to win for both Under and Over bets.

Secondly, the large maximum bets on Bitcoin dice, plus the near-instant resolution of bets and micro wagers made possible with bets of 1 satoshi (a 100 millionth of a Bitcoin), enabled players to test out a variety of strategies that would require hundreds of thousands of bets in a series.

For instance, with only 0.0105 BTC, a 1 satoshi starting bet at 2x payout, doubled on every loss with a Martingale strategy, would see the player survive 20 consecutive losses. At most other casino games, with restrictive minimum and maximum wager amounts, a similar strategy would see you bust with fewer than 10 consecutive losses.

Dice becomes cool again

The simple yet elegant design of Bitcoin dice proved to be an immediate hit -- so much so that in 2013, it was estimated that betting on a single Bitcoin dice site accounted for up to 50% of all activity on the Bitcoin network.

Crypto dice has only grown in popularity among avid crypto gamblers. Since then, dice has become staple fare on crypto casinos, played not just with Bitcoin but many other cryptocurrencies, each version with its own unique take to make it more attractive to players.

Today, the best-known crypto-only casinos continue to offer dice, while more and more conventional casinos that have incorporated crypto payments are also attempting to design their own dice games in order to attract crypto gamers who like the game.

At Crypto.Games, you can play dice with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero, Dogecoin, Ethereum Classic, Neogas, Dash and Bitcoin Cash. You can even test it out with faucets to get comfortable with how the game works. With a house edge of only 1% (0.8% for VIPs), a max payout of 9,900x and a massive Jackpot to play for (Bitcoin alone is over 3.7 BTC and counting!), Crypto.Games players have made over 6.8 billion bets on dice.

So come make a deposit today and try your hand at Crypto.Games dice.