National Dice Day – December 4, 2021

National Dice Day is on December 4 and we’re celebrating by … rolling dice and playing with dice! Can you believe that dice have been around for over 5,000 years? Dice are popular all over the world and are available in many colors, shapes, materials, and forms. From “Monopoly” and “Snakes and Ladders” to your favorite roleplaying game, this ancient gaming tool is an integral part of many games.

History of National Dice Day

Dice are a famous gaming tool that has been used for gambling and gaming since the age of kings and conquerors. Whether you like roleplaying games, strategy games, or simple board games, there is a dice game out there for everyone. Today, almost all of us will have some amazing childhood memories associated with dice games. 

The origin of dice and National Dice Day is still uncertain. However, dice can be and have been found throughout the world. In fact, dice have a long tradition. The most common die is a cube with six sides having one to six dots on each side. 

The oldest-known dice ever were excavated at ‘The Burnt City’ in present-day Iran as a portion of a backgammon-like game set that dates back to 5000 B.C. Historians say that various civilizations have used dice in games. There have been instances of dice in the Indus Valley, Egypt, Rome, and China. Various religions like Hinduism and Christianity mention the game of dicing.

In the olden days, dice were first made from the talus or ankle bones of hoofed animals. As time went on, ivory, wood, plastic, and other materials were used to make dice. The dice that we use today are mostly made from plastic or synthetic resin. 

Today, there are hundreds of games that exist around the world that incorporate dice as a way to add random challenges or obstacles to the objectives. Even without a board or a game set-up, playing with dice can be entertaining!

National Dice Day timeline

5000 B.C.
We Have a Die

Sumerians play with knucklebones, the primitive form of modern dice.

2600 B.C.
Royal Game of Ur

The Royal Game of Ur is played with four-sided pyramid-shaped dice.

1950
D20 Dice

Tokyo-Shibaura Electric Company patents the first plastic D20.

1974
Polyhedral Dice

“Dungeons and Dragons” is published and sells with a set of polyhedral dice.

National Dice Day FAQs

Can we use one type of dice for all board games?

Several board games require the use of special dice, like the one that has more than six sides. So, one dice doesn’t fit all.

Why don’t dice have numbers on them?

The use of dots instead of numbers is mainly for two reasons: people have been using dice since long before the invention of writing numbers and dots fit perfectly on even the smallest dice.

Can I learn dice games on my own?

Yes, you can. You can learn almost any dice game on your own, however, while playing, you might need another player to keep things interesting.

National Dice Day Activities

  1. Play it

    You’ll experience the greatest enjoyment on National Dice Day by playing a dice game. It’s time to dig out all your favorite dice board games.

  2. Teach someone how to play dice games

    What’s better than playing dice games on National Dice Day? Teach your friends and family how to play a dice game that you know well.

  3. Organize a dice party

    Call your friends, spread the word among other fellow dice-game lovers, and organize a dice party where you battle each other in dice games. With all the fun to be had, everyone’s a winner.

5 Facts About Dice That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. French and Latin

    The word ‘dice’ is a combination of the words ‘de’ (French) and ‘datum’ (Latin), which translates to “something which is given or played.”

  2. Seven! Seven! Seven!

    On a six-sided die, the most common die used for most games, the sum of opposite sides is always seven.

  3. All dice are uneven

    Although it might seem like a smooth, even surface to the naked eye, there is no such thing as a 100% even dice.

  4. The dots have a name

    The dots on the side of dice planes are called pips.

  5. A die with 120 faces

    There is a die called ‘disdyakis triacontahedron’ that features 120 faces and 62 vertices — it is the most complex fair dice in the world.

Why We Love National Dice Day

  1. So simple yet so brilliant

    One of the important reasons why dice is such a popular game even now is due to its simplicity. We can easily carry it in our pocket and it can provide us with hours of quality fun.

  2. Improves math skills

    Certain dice games, like “Snakes and Ladder”, have been proven to benefit children in their first two years of school. It helps them learn numbers and basic math.

  3. Dice games teach us life skills

    Dice games are not only entertaining. They also teach us valuable life skills like strategy, planning, execution, and social skills.

National Dice Day dates

YearDateDay
2021December 4Saturday
2022December 4Sunday
2023December 4Monday
2024December 4Wednesday
2025December 4Thursday

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