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.

Step 1: 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

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.
<p>Excellent!</p><p>And you can replace the other dice like D8, D12 up to D100 with some more coins. I'll improve this method with coloured plastic coins with 0-s and 1-s on their sides. Colours for the order, 0-s or 1-s for the binary value.</p><p>Congrats and Fhtang:-)!</p>
woohoo, binary dice made from coins<br>
*cough* (i knew how to do binary in 5th grade)*cough*<br/><br/>I'm NOT a geek!<br/>=P<br/>
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 webs.com
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!
thank you! your instructables has helped me in my life!
whats with all the dice instructables lately?
You mean both of them? :)<br/>I saw the other one yesterday morning, and was reminded of this trick. I don't <em>think</em> there's a secret Illuminati dice plot.<br/>
SHH!! *mumble*(they_know_too_much)*mumble* *cough* *sneeze* *OUCH* :P
The goose has left the nest.<br /> Repeat - The goose has left the nest.<br />
Reminds me of an <a href="http://xkcd.com/733/" rel="nofollow">xkcd comic</a> where a biologist says into a voice recorder:<br /> &quot;The eagle has left the nest.&quot;<br /> *khhhkht* &quot;Roger that, eagle has left the nest, alert the agents.&quot; *khhhkht*<br /> &quot;Will you <em>stop that</em>?&quot;<br />
xkcd ftw!! I love the schrodinger one!
they ALL know too much, we should run while we still can, no?
LLAMA....EPIC WIN!!!111111111
I win! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbPDKHXWlLQ
Aaahh, but how would you get a d20?! That would come in very handy when I&nbsp;don't have my d20 on me and someone says &quot;roll for damage&quot; when I burn someone.<br />
Just use more coins...<br /> <br /> 20 in binary is:<br /> 10100<br /> So just use 5 dice then.<br /> <br /> You could simulate a d100 if you really wanted with 7 dice.<br /> 64 32&nbsp; 16&nbsp;&nbsp; 8 &nbsp;&nbsp; 4&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 2&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 1<br /> &nbsp;1&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 1&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 0&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 0&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 1&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 0&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 0<br />
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.<br />
EPIC WIN Dice roll score=INFINTY (OR 99999999999999)!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111<br/>
hes a lama...gosh, get it right!
You could be even more of a nerd by using 3 pennies and making one silver and one gold through chemistry. :p
0110100100100000011011000110111101110110011001010010000001100010011010010110111001100001011100100111100100100001 nice instructable
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.
This is 100% dorktastic!. I love it.
cool completely geektastic :)
I score 6. Had to use a 10 (Euro) cent French coin though... L
Darn! I keep getting SIXTEEN! lol Great instructable canida!
Haha, clever. I'll have to remember this the next time I'm playing a board game with a bunch of my CS major friends. Thanks.

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Bio: I've been posting Instructables since the site's inception, and now build other things at Autodesk. Follow me for food and more!
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