The History Of Dice In Games And Magic (Magick) - The Shankara Experience

The History Of Dice In Games And Magic (Magick)

It’s a well-documented fact that the history of dice is long, arduous and very slightly weird. Did you know that there are many different types of dice, not all of which are used for gaming? Or how about the fact that dicing was once considered sinful and banned in some societies? Well read on, because we’re about to get into the nitty-gritty details surrounding this most excellent piece of gaming equipment!

The Ancient Origins Of Dice

Dice are what we call a “pre-historic” gaming tool. Nobody is quite sure of when or where they were created, though many believe they have their origins in the Chinese or Egyptian civilizations. The oldest documented dice date back to 3000BC and were found in the Royal Tombs of Ur in modern-day Iraq. Some historians believe that the Ancient Chinese dice were made from turtle shells and could be as old as 4000BC. Dice were likely invented to assist with the randomization of numbers in divination for fortune-telling and/or magic-making. For many centuries, dice were only used to assist in spiritual practices and were considered tools of the metaphysical world – not the gaming world.

Dicemaking Throughout The Ages

The materials used to make dice have varied throughout the ages, though some materials have remained consistent (such as bones and gems). The earliest types of dice used pebbles or seeds, and later progressed to the more familiar cubes. Dice were typically made from materials that were plentiful and easily accessible to the general public. Early dice were made from bone, wood, copper and similar materials. Ancient Egyptians were known to use the ankle bones of sheep, while the Chinese used turtle shells. In the Middle Ages, dice were made from a wide variety of materials such as horn, ivory, and even the teeth of rodents! Nowadays, the materials used to make dice vary greatly depending on the manufacturer.

Dice In Games: A Brief History

Most historians believe that the first dice were used for gambling in Ancient Egypt. Backgammon is thought to have become popular in Ancient Greece and Rome, with the Romans eventually developing a game called “tables” or “dice” (which we now call backgammon). Backgammon was played for many years before the French invented the precursor to modern-day Parcheesi. In the 19th century, dice were used almost exclusively for gambling. It wasn’t until the 20th century that crafters, who had been making dice for fortune-telling for centuries, decided to see if they could find a way to monetize them within the game market. It’s worth noting that the Crafter’s Guild was formed in the 1950s and ‘60s by dice-makers who felt that they were being unfairly shunned by the gaming industry, and that they should be treated as a creative industry. The Guild was more interested in making artistic dice than they were in making gaming dice. The Guild’s members disliked the idea of playing with dice that had been used in casinos and wanted to keep their own dice clean and pristine.

Magic Shows And Dice Games: A Briefer History

There is pre-history to dice games and magic shows: there is even pre-history to pre-history! Dice might have been around for thousands of years, but the actual phrase “roll the dice” has only existed since the late 1700s when it was used to describe a dice game called “Hazard.” By the mid-1800s, the phrase “roll the dice” was being used to describe all games of chance. It’s believed that dice games were used as a sort of “magick” to help create money and prosperity and that the face-up numbers on the dice represented elements of the universe. In the mid-19th century, the earliest crafters began to develop board games that used dice. The crafters were hoping that their games would become popular and that people would use their dice. While the crafters were able to get their games published, no one was using the dice that were being produced by the crafters. The crafters decided to approach the game designers and offer their dice for use in the games. It was a good decision, as many of the crafters’ dice are still being used today.

What Are We Doing With All These Dice?

Historians and crafters have theorized that there are very few games that don’t benefit from dice and that almost every game should contain dice in some form. Crafters have come up with all manner of uses for dice, including dice that are used to generate sound and dice that are used to generate light. Dice are used in a variety of games, both traditional and modern. Some games use multiple dice, while others only use one. Dice can be made from a variety of materials and can even be designed with varying numbers of sides depending on the game being played. Dice are also used in magic shows, card tricks, and even to create decorative patterns.


Dice have been used for thousands of years, but it’s only recently that they’ve become a standard part of many gaming experiences – and this has been thanks to the crafters who ensured that dice were used as a standard part of their board games. Throughout history, dice have been used for divination, gambling, and in some cases as a way to create prosperity. In modern times, dice are used for a variety of purposes, from creating decorative patterns to assisting with sound and light. Dice come in many forms and sizes, and they can be made from a variety of materials.

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Shri Krishna Kalesh
Author: Shri Krishna Kalesh

Shri Krishna Kalesh is a mystic who guides people as a Spiritual Guide, Intuitive Reader, Dharma Teacher, and Coach. He has served thousands of people toward their healing and expansion - through personal sessions, mystical readings, courses, and retreats. His mission is to help others source their own boundless creative genius and joy, embody virtue, find clarity, and master their lives. Shri Krishna Kalesh created The Shankara Oracle as a divine portal to The Unlimited, All-Knowing, All-Conscious Universe.

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