The Brothers Graham in no way support or condone cheating at any game, especially when stakes are involved. That being said, the following information is supplied for educational and entertainment purposes only and should not be used for personal gain.
The art of loading dice has been around since dice and gambling themselves. Techniques can be as simple as shaving the face or corner of a die, or as complex as using magnetic tables or special dice with mercury reservoirs.
Types of loaded or crooked dice
- Types of Loaded or Crooked Dice
- Loaded Dice
- Iced Dice
- Variable Load Dice
- Magnetic Tables
- TUTORIAL: How to Load Dice
- Playing with Loaded Dice
The term loaded dice is casually used to describe any dice designed for cheating, but in actuality, it refers to dice that have been altered to have increased weight on a certain side, throwing the odds in favor of chosen number. Iced dice refer to the lead that is commonly used to weight a loaded die. Techniques for loading include drilling out a pip and inserting a weight (as demonstrated below), weighting the paint on the pip itself, or creating a "variable load" die.
How to insert weight into a die is described in detail below. The idea is to insert weight into a die on the opposite side than the face desired. This causes the heavy side to be more likely to fall to the table. A good loaded die should increase the odds in favor of the chosen face, but not be so heavy that the face is always up, for this can draw suspicion.
Variable load dice
Variable load dice are a more sophisticated way of creating a die where you can adjust which side the weight is on without realtering the die. One ingenious method is to hollow out a die completely via one of the pips, insert a small weight, then fill the cavity with a soft wax with a melting point just above room temperature. The pip is then filled with a glue or epoxy and colored black. To use the die, one can hold it in their closed hand for a moment with the desired face up. The wax then melts, allowing the weight to drop o the opposite side. The die is then held in an open palm for a moment so the wax can harden, holding the weight against the edge and effectively throwing the odds.
Another more sophisticated method of creating variable load dice involves creating a special die with a centeral reservoir, with capillary tubes running to other reservoirs behind each of the faces. The central reservoir is filled with mercury. The die can then be tapped against a table or other hard surface, forcing the mercury into one of the secondary reservoirs and weighting that side. Because of the means that the mercury is distributed, these dice are known as tappers.
AN especially popular way for the house to cheat in the wild west days was to create a magnetized table. Magnetic coils were placed under the felt of a craps table. The polarity of the coils could be set to positive or negative (of shut off completely) by the table operator. Special magnetic dice were used, and they could be stopped at given faces by activating the coils.
TUTORIAL: How to Load Dice
Here is a somewhat simple way to load your own die. We did this at home, with minimal tools and abilities. Here's what you will need:
- One standard six-sided die (opaque, not casino-style clear)
- A Dremel tool or drill with small bit
- A soldering iron
- Solder (fine gauge prefered)
- Epoxy or modeling glue
- Sharpie or black paint
Choose your face
Before any loading can be done, you first need to decide what face you want to increase your odds on. For a high-dice type game, you may want to choose a six-face. For craps, you may want to choose numbers that add up to seven. Whatever you choose, remember that the side you will be loading is opposite the face you want. In this example, we want to increase our odds of rolling a six, so we will be loading the one-face.
Drilling the Pip
In this example, we are using a Dremel tool. A drill may work, too, if you use a narrow bit, but a Dremel or other handheld router will work best, especially once we get to step three. Start out by drilling straight down into the pip, careful not to disfigure the shape of it. We will be filling it in later. You want to drill between 1/3 and 1/2 of the thickness of the die, no more. The close you can get to the face and still have room to add weight, the better.
Next, you will create a cavity just beneath the face of the die. This is where the Dremel tool will come in handy. The goal is to create enough room to fill with solder to displace the weight to that side. When you are done, you should have a nice cavity, like this:
For the weight, we will follow suit with the classic method of loading dice with lead, but we will use a more modern approach. Rather than inserting chunks of lead, we will use solder. There are two ways to fill the cavity. You can try and melt the solder directly into the hole in the pip, or, do what we did, and first make a bunch of "solder balls," like this:
Once they cool you can insert them into the hole, then carefully insert the tip of your soldering iron into the pip to melt the balls into the shape of the cavity. Repeat this step as needed until the cavity is filled just under the level of the pip hole, using caution not to accidentally melt the edges.
Plugging the Hole
Once the solder has sufficintly cooled, fill the remaining space in the pip with a modeling glue or epoxy. You should fill it until it is flush with the face of the die. The glue should create a natural bowl shape as it settles. If it doesn't, wait until it dries and carve it into the desired concave.
Once the glue is completely dried and you have given the new pip the correct shape, use a Sharipe or black enamel paint to color it in. And now you have a ready-to-use loaded die!
Playing with Loaded Dice
After we made our loaded die, we put it to the test to see how much it actually affected the odds. We threw two dice 50 times each and recorded the resulting numbers. The first die was a control die: an un-altered die from the same pack as the one we loaded (meaning weight, demensions, etc should be similar). The second die we threw was the loaded one. Here is a summary of the results:
There are a few factors that are significant here. One is that the loaded die rolled more sixes than the control die, and the other is that the loaded die rolled more sixes than any other number. Also note, that the control die rolled 11 threes due simply to chance, while our die rolled only one more six than that. It would benefit from increased weight to offset the odds better.