Picture of How to Roll Dice Like an MIT Nerd
Lost your d6? Flip three visually distinct coins, and use binary.

This Instructable is another cool way to substitute for a standard 6-sided die, and reminded me of the extremely geeky method we use. A great teaching tool for kids, too.
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Step 1: Acquire Coins

Picture of Acquire Coins
It happens all the time: you open your favorite board game, and the die is gone. What to do?

Coins are readily available.
Just find three visually distinct coins: I've got a dime, nickel, and penny here, but you could mark up three of the same coins with a Sharpie to distinguish them if necessary.

Step 2: Understand Binary

Picture of Understand Binary
This is pretty easy.

Designate one coin for each of the following:

20 = 1 (assigned to the penny)

21 = 2 (assigned to the nickel)

22 = 4 (assigned to the dime)

Heads = yes, tails = no.

Flip (or shake and dump) your coins and add the values to figure out the value of your roll.

Step 3: Scoring examples

Remember: dime: 22=4, nickel: 21=2, penny: 20=1

H H H = 4 + 2 + 1 = 7 (discarded- reroll)
H H T = 4 + 2 + 0 = 6
H T H = 4 + 0 + 1 = 5
H T T = 4 + 0 + 0 = 4
T H H = 0 + 2 + 1 = 3
T H T = 0 + 2 + 0 = 2
T T H = 0 + 0 + 1 = 1
T T T = 0 + 0 + 0 = 0 (discarded- reroll)

(For a d8 the TTT=0 is considered an 8, and none are discarded.)

Check out the examples below, then go roll dice like an MIT nerd.
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GASSYPOOTS3 years ago
pwnag33 years ago
woohoo, binary dice made from coins
*cough* (i knew how to do binary in 5th grade)*cough*

I'm NOT a geek!
nice comment lol!
I knew binary in 4th grade!!! What Now!!!!!!
Erm... Not to brag.... I KNEW BINARY IN SECOND GRADE!!!!1!!eleven!!!111!!11!
not bragging...but i wrote a web page in 3rd grade. with html not
Ooh, big deal. I was programming in BASIC in the fourth grade. Real programming, not that spaghetti code bull most beginners write.
i was creating websites before i was born.
oh my god its the 42 virgins
I new binary in Sixth grade!
jwoo20234 years ago
thank you! your instructables has helped me in my life!
whats with all the dice instructables lately?
canida (author)  ich bin ein pyro8 years ago
You mean both of them? :)
I saw the other one yesterday morning, and was reminded of this trick. I don't think there's a secret Illuminati dice plot.
SHH!! *mumble*(they_know_too_much)*mumble* *cough* *sneeze* *OUCH* :P
The goose has left the nest.
Repeat - The goose has left the nest.
Reminds me of an xkcd comic where a biologist says into a voice recorder:
"The eagle has left the nest."
*khhhkht* "Roger that, eagle has left the nest, alert the agents." *khhhkht*
"Will you stop that?"
xkcd ftw!! I love the schrodinger one!
they ALL know too much, we should run while we still can, no?
fwjs28 qualia6 years ago
LLAMA....EPIC WIN!!!111111111
Iridium7 fwjs286 years ago
fwjs28 Iridium76 years ago
jamiec53 fwjs285 years ago
JohnJY jamiec534 years ago
I win!
radiobath5 years ago
Aaahh, but how would you get a d20?! That would come in very handy when I don't have my d20 on me and someone says "roll for damage" when I burn someone.
Just use more coins...

20 in binary is:
So just use 5 dice then.

You could simulate a d100 if you really wanted with 7 dice.
64 32  16   8    4    2    1
 1    1    0    0    1    0    0
PastTheVoid5 years ago
This is great and all (I'm goin' camping this weekend and I forgot my dice), but is it really accurate?
it is perfectly accurate, provided the two non-die rolls are discounted. the zero/8 and 7 combintions would throw off any die probabilities, but other than that, the remaining six possible combinations all correspond to a single die face, so the probabilities work out the same as rolling a die.
will4215 years ago
EPIC WIN Dice roll score=INFINTY (OR 99999999999999)!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111
hornbadoing6 years ago
fwjs28 Argool6 years ago
hes a lama...gosh, get it right!
j626no6 years ago
You could be even more of a nerd by using 3 pennies and making one silver and one gold through chemistry. :p
Slangan11176 years ago
0110100100100000011011000110111101110110011001010010000001100010011010010110111001100001011100100111100100100001 nice instructable
lupinesoul6 years ago
I love it! My friend's always forgetting the die for D&D games.
Good Idea. Another way that you could do with any coins (same or not) is to simply assign heads as 1 and tails as 0 and just read the coins left to right. So a H-T-H would be 101 witch is 5.
It could also be 6 or 3 as well, depending on where you dumped the zero. One would have to drop the coins one at a time to do it with the same coin. Or it could be done three times with the same coin for that matter.
furun7 years ago
This is 100% dorktastic!. I love it.
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