Introduction: Basic Dice Stacking

Picture of Basic Dice Stacking
Ah, dice stacking. The popular pastime of stacking dice in a cup... Wait, what? You've never heard of it?

Dice stacking is the art of using a cup to stack dice. There is no trick, but a scientific principle, inertia. The dice are first picked up by the cup, and because of the motion of the cup resist movement like a bucket of water swung around. As a result, the dice stack inside the cup and slide around as if they were a single mass.

Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need
To start dice stacking, you'll need:

  • Dice
  • A cup

That's about it. More specifically, you'll need

  • Heavy casino dice / standard dice / rounded-edges dice
  • Speed stacks cup / yahtzee cup / short plastic cup

In order from recommended to needed.

Step 2: How This Works

Picture of How This Works

When you pick up the first dice, you swing the cup back and forth, alternating similar angles. By holding the cup still on only two positions, the dice slides around the sides of the cup. The uniform motion swings the dice equally and the dice are stacked inside the cup. When you stop the dice on the table, the dice swing to the opposite side of the cup and stop, resting on the weight of the force created by sliding the cup.

See below for 2D picture example

Step 3: Picking Up the Dice

Picture of Picking Up the Dice

Picking up the dice may seem trivial, but it's the part most people get wrong.

First, approach the dice at a 45 degree angle. Sharply switch directions as you strike the dice, as it rises to the top, hold the cup at an almost 90 degree angle. Repeat this process until all the desired dice are in the cup. Its similar to cradling a lacrosse ball. For reference, look at my video on the introduction.

Note: Practice this away from windows until you master it. I am not responsible for broken windows or black eyes.

Step 4: Stopping the Dice

Picture of Stopping the Dice

This is the hard part. If you passed step 3, nicely done! you got farther than most people ever will.

Now, to stack the dice, you finish your current swing, and then slide the cup along the ground as if it were another swing. You almost fool the dice into thinking you just swung the cup again. Then you stop short.

Its very difficult to explain. The most important thing to get out of this is that you need to stop short. It takes practice. A LOT of practice. If you need help, watch videos on youtube. They are a big help.

Step 5: Variations

Dice stacking can be very broad. There are many variations of the basic stack. These are only limited by your imagination, so I won't list to many here. Common variations are:

Point stops - Stopping the dice on small areas, usually Rubik's Cubes or other stacks.

Downstacks - Stacking dice, then removing dice with the cup one by one.

All-in-one - Grabbing all the dice in one swing, than stacking them.

One person that can really push the limits of dice stacking is Dennis. He is the pioneer of dice stacking, and he is just amazing.

Step 6: Perform!

Picture of Perform!

This trick is very impressive, and if you attempt this in public: Expect people to want to examine the dice or cup. People generally won't believe you if you say there is no trick, so go ahead and taunt them. Claim supernatural powers or give them headaches by letting them try to pick up one dice, only for them to miserably fail. It's fun!

Good luck!


Bayukid (author)2017-11-23

Can you teach point stack too. I still can't perform it.

coolo52 (author)2012-04-18

eventually i will try this it is quite impressive

Dream Dragon (author)2011-01-24

Very impressive stuff.

power (author)2009-12-23

 needs more practice :(
it's hard to catch all the dice together

steed1172 (author)2009-12-18

DUDE!!! finally something cool to do with my dice!!(i have tons from "board" games)faved this and will be practicing, i love how you picked one off from the pile and not knock over the rest :O

puzzlefreak (author)steed11722009-12-18

Haha, thank you :D

vince_93 (author)2009-10-17

how do u pointstack? i've been lookin all on the web but "no dice" (lol get it :D). but pls make a tut on pointstacking and down stacking pls :D

puzzlefreak (author)vince_932009-10-24

Nice pun XD

Those are really difficult to do, especially with regular dice. I'll try to make a tutorial on it. I plan on updating this instructable soon.

Regardless, what you need to do for point stacks is essentially the same motion you do with the cup except in mid-air. The hard part is Keeping it straight. Just a warning - it takes a LOT of practice.

For downstacks, you turn on the top of the dice. Its similar to picking up a dice off a table touching nothing except the top half of the dice. This is also very difficult.

This is easier with heavier dice, but it is VERY difficult with regular dice. All I can recommend is lots of practice.

Good luck!

lobo_pal (author)2008-09-06

I'm having trouble getting them to stack once there in the can, any suggestions?

E-R-IC (author)lobo_pal2009-02-13

check by stooping sideways so you can peer in

lobo_pal (author)E-R-IC2009-02-14

Already figured it out months ago.

E-R-IC (author)lobo_pal2009-07-07

lol... didn't look at date

puzzlefreak (author)lobo_pal2008-09-07

Don't worry. The landing is the really hard part. Just make sure to swoop the cup along the ground and stop short. Don't slow down or swivel in a circle, just slide-stop.

lobo_pal (author)puzzlefreak2008-09-07

I saw another video that says casino dice are easier, would you agree? And is there a real trick to stopping?

puzzlefreak (author)lobo_pal2008-09-08

I think I mentioned that in the article... Yes, I think heavier dice are easier, but to a certain degree. It's not worth getting until you master the basics. They're more for things like point stacks. No, sadly there is no trick to stopping. Try watching dennyoo7's videos on youtube and mimicking the stacking motion. That's how I learned.

E-R-IC (author)puzzlefreak2009-02-01

do you mean denyooo6

puzzlefreak (author)E-R-IC2009-02-02

Oh, snap. That's what I meant.

lobo_pal (author)puzzlefreak2008-09-08

I finally got it! It was tough, but I think I found a good way to learn it. Start by learning to pick up dice, than to get multiple dice, than to keep them in the cup in mid air, than up your speed. I started using a yatzee cup and went as fast as I could and now it works. You were right, I just used regular dice. If anyone watches Naruto, it is exactly the same as when he learns the rasengan. Sorry, had to geek it up there.

yeah that's what I did too... that also helps if you want to do a trick where you pre stack the dice then take the cup back and proth in mid air and pick them up as you go down.

puzzlefreak (author)lobo_pal2008-09-09

Nice job!

beeny (author)2009-04-24

that is so cool!!!!!!!!!!!!

puzzlefreak (author)beeny2009-04-24


MubiKun (author)2009-04-10

how heavy is a heavy dice?

puzzlefreak (author)MubiKun2009-04-10

Casino dice would be best, however yahtzee dice works fine. Don't use rounded dice if you can, they're more difficult to use.

MubiKun (author)puzzlefreak2009-04-15

what i meant was the exact weight :P

puzzlefreak (author)MubiKun2009-04-15

Don't know offhand the exact weight. doesn't matter that much though.

E-R-IC (author)2009-02-06

o.k. i need help. i' using rounded dice and super cheap styrophome dixie cups. any help? or s there just no hope.

puzzlefreak (author)E-R-IC2009-02-07

No, No. 'Tis possible, but harder than it needs to be. I seriously doubt that the Styrofoam cups will do you any good though. You need to slide it across the table, so it'll probably break or not be smooth across the table. Try finding something more rigid, like a plastic cup.\ Rounded dice are okay, just a little harder.

E-R-IC (author)puzzlefreak2009-02-12

it's been three days: i'm doomed thanks for the help though

E-R-IC (author)E-R-IC2009-02-13

i now i have stacked hem. when i stop sideways, i can claearly see thet they are stacked

E-R-IC (author)2009-02-12

denyoo has a new video called the evelution. the best dice stacking video ever:

the_burrito_master (author)2008-09-20

I mastered this in like 10 minutes lol nice I always wanted to do this since i saw a video of it. I'm also a bit in to quarter bouncing.

You're welcome! Quarter bouncing... That's where you drop a quarter, make it land on it's edge when it lands so it bounces back up? Or something totally different?

sorta it's when you take a quarter and bounce it off of a table into your target like a bowl or a cup. yeah thanks a lot this is a great instructable I'm starting to do some tricks now too I can stack up the dice then I can take the cup and take one off the top every time you make the cup go back and forth. I did it with 2 dice like 3 times and with 2 dice like once or twice. then you land it and they are stacked again!

This quarter bouncing sorta sounds like an American drinking game........ :-)

no not really.

actually really similar.
except for the guy in the video is really skilled

Make an instructable on it!

it's to simple for that but last knight I made a new instructable

Gh{O}sT (author)2008-09-04

the coolest time I've every seen a window broken was when my brother throwed my other brother through it.

DUDE!... did he get cut up at all?

not that i can remember


tubbychick3n (author)Gh{O}sT2008-09-06


Gh{O}sT (author)tubbychick3n2008-09-06

yer i suck at grammar, i was trying to find the right word but i couldn't

tubbychick3n (author)Gh{O}sT2008-09-07

it's alright.

blackdemonicfire (author)2008-11-28

I cheated. I stacked the dice in the cup before hand then just practiced the landing... I stacked 5 and got them to land first try though. lol

The only problem is I can't pick up the dice with the cup.. =(

fireblast_1212 (author)2008-09-15

I can do everything exept the landing. Will it alter the landing if I use monopoly dice with round edges dice?

Yes: Badly. Rounded edges are generally the worst kind to use. Keep trying! The landing is the hard part.

linkaylomen (author)2008-08-30

Nice video, I get the theory behind it but i'm useless at it haha, more practice I guess :D Thanks!

About This Instructable




Bio: I love offbeat hobbies. Always looking for ways to boost productivity and hack life.
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