Introduction: 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.

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.

Comments

author
BigCthulhu (author)2017-01-01

Excellent!

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.

Congrats and Fhtang:-)!

author
GASSYPOOTS (author)2012-01-08

o-o

author
pwnag3 (author)2011-12-25

woohoo, binary dice made from coins

author
BuffaloNickel (author)2007-11-02

*cough* (i knew how to do binary in 5th grade)*cough*

I'm NOT a geek!
=P

author

nice comment lol!

author

I knew binary in 4th grade!!! What Now!!!!!!

author

Erm... Not to brag.... I KNEW BINARY IN SECOND GRADE!!!!1!!eleven!!!111!!11!

author

not bragging...but i wrote a web page in 3rd grade. with html not webs.com

author

Ooh, big deal. I was programming in BASIC in the fourth grade. Real programming, not that spaghetti code bull most beginners write.

author
Ismith17 (author)dungeon runner2011-07-21

i was creating websites before i was born.

author
chrisre cat (author)Ismith172011-07-21

oh my god its the 42 virgins

author

I new binary in Sixth grade!

author
jwoo2023 (author)2011-05-25

thank you! your instructables has helped me in my life!

author
ich bin ein pyro (author)2007-06-01

whats with all the dice instructables lately?

author
canida (author)ich bin ein pyro2007-06-01

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.

author
zachninme (author)canida2007-06-01

SHH!! *mumble*(they_know_too_much)*mumble* *cough* *sneeze* *OUCH* :P

author
Wafflicious (author)zachninme2009-11-24

The goose has left the nest.
Repeat - The goose has left the nest.

author
Archive555 (author)Wafflicious2010-05-14

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?"

author
lunius (author)Archive5552011-01-09

xkcd ftw!! I love the schrodinger one!

author
qualia (author)zachninme2008-06-05

they ALL know too much, we should run while we still can, no?

author
fwjs28 (author)qualia2009-03-13

moo?

author
valenluis (author)fwjs282009-04-28

who?

author
fwjs28 (author)valenluis2009-04-29

LLAMA....EPIC WIN!!!111111111

author
Iridium7 (author)fwjs282009-05-27

LLAMA LLAMA DUCK!

author
fwjs28 (author)Iridium72009-05-27

LLAMA LLLAMMA LLAMA GOOSE!

author
jamiec53 (author)fwjs282010-02-11

LLAMA LLAMA GOOSE DUCK QUACK CHICKEN LLAMA GOOSE QUACK HONK LLAMA!

author
JohnJY (author)jamiec532010-06-20

I win! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbPDKHXWlLQ

author
radiobath (author)2010-03-07

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.

author
Archive555 (author)radiobath2010-05-14

Just use more coins...

20 in binary is:
10100
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

author
PastTheVoid (author)2009-07-24

This is great and all (I'm goin' camping this weekend and I forgot my dice), but is it really accurate?

author
bythenumbers (author)PastTheVoid2009-11-15

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.

author
will421 (author)2009-06-29

EPIC WIN Dice roll score=INFINTY (OR 99999999999999)!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111

author
hornbadoing (author)2008-07-18

nnnnnnnnnnnerd

author
Argool (author)hornbadoing2009-01-02

hey!

author
fwjs28 (author)Argool2009-03-13

hes a lama...gosh, get it right!

author
j626no (author)2009-02-25

You could be even more of a nerd by using 3 pennies and making one silver and one gold through chemistry. :p

author
Slangan1117 (author)2009-01-19

0110100100100000011011000110111101110110011001010010000001100010011010010110111001100001011100100111100100100001 nice instructable

author
lupinesoul (author)2008-08-03

I love it! My friend's always forgetting the die for D&D; games.

author
Markusaurelius (author)2007-06-20

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.

author

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.

author
furun (author)2007-06-11

This is 100% dorktastic!. I love it.

author
place name here- (author)2007-06-05

cool completely geektastic :)

author
lemonie (author)2007-06-01

I score 6. Had to use a 10 (Euro) cent French coin though... L

DSCF0031.JPG
author
rimar2000 (author)2007-06-01

Excellent.

author
LasVegas (author)2007-06-01

Darn! I keep getting SIXTEEN! lol Great instructable canida!

author
tiuk (author)2007-06-01

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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