That’s how we roll

Puzzler and mathematician Eric Harshberger has created a fascinating set of dice.

When two or more people roll a die each in order to see who scores highest – what you do, for example, when deciding who goes first in a board game – there is always the chance of a tie.

In the event of a tie, of course, you roll again.

But then there is still the chance of a tie. And this can go on ad infinitum.

In other words, the process is not as efficient as it could be. Eric wondered if he could come up with a set of fair dice such that one roll of each die is enough to establish an absolute winner.

I’m not sure if the result of Eric’s thinking will save gamers “hours and hours” of time, as the article above claims, but his Go First dice are definitely cool, in the nerdiest possible way. You can roll two, three, or four of the dice, and there will never be a tie, and each player has an equal chance of rolling the highest number. You can see the Go First dice — and oodles of other specialty dice, all of which are for sale — at Eric’s Web site. (This one is my favorite.)

1 thought on “That’s how we roll

  1. I don’t know quite why I’m so fascinated with these, but I think the concept is really cool and the execution is great. I’m thinking of buying several sets and using them as Christmas gifts for game-playing friends.

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