Dice Have Grown More Fair Over Time

2/5/2018 - Professor of Anthropology Jelmer Eerkens in Archaeology.

A survey of cube-shaped dice dating back to the Roman era finds that they were not designed to have an equal chance of landing on different numbers until the Renaissance, according to a report from Science Alert. Researchers based their analysis on 110 different dice, and suggest that the trend toward “fair” dice coincided with the rise of scientific thinking. “People like Galileo and Blaise Pascal were developing ideas about chance and probability, and we know from written records in some cases they were actually consulting with gamblers," said Jelmer Eerkens of the University of California, Davis. “We think users of dice also adopted new ideas about fairness, and chance or probability in games.”

Read the full story in Archaeology.