Las Vegas Has a Dice Pip Problem and Nobody’s Talking About It
Dice are a cornerstone of casino culture. The earliest dice were made of animal bone (which is why we say “roll the bones”) and were used by fortune tellers to predict the future.
The venerable history of dice might lead one to think they’d be treated with the respect they deserve, but nay, that is not always the case. Oh, that’s right, we said “nay.” This is serious business. You don’t say “nay” unless you’re serious.
You see, Las Vegas has a dice pip problem, and it’s time for some idiot to bring this travesty to light. We are that idiot.
What’s a “pip”? Well, a pip is a spot on a die.
Casino dice have six sides. The pips on opposite sides of casino dice always add up to seven.
That means you should never see four pips and three pips next to each other, for example.
Now, check out the dice on that poster for “Casino” again.
It’s an outrage! And not just because everything is an outrage now. Some things really are outrages. Dice pips, paper straws, people who drive in the passing lane, people who bring children to Las Vegas. So many outrages, but let’s stay focused.
Casinos (or more accurately, their graphic designers) get dice pips wrong, a lot.
As mentioned, the dice pip issue isn’t limited to casinos, but casinos should know better. Dice are their stock and trade.
There’s an epidemic of pip confusion, with designers whimsically whipping up random pip configurations with no real concern for the sanctity of this most hallowed of gambling devices.
Inaccurate depictions of dice pips undermines the integrity of gambling as a pursuit.
If a casino can’t get pips right, who says they aren’t using decks with 56 cards, or using roulette balls fashioned from curd?
To the untrained eye, inaccurate pip placement may seem trivial. But that’s because many people aren’t aware one of the first mentions of dice in an ancient text was the epic poem, “Mahabharata.” A dice game resulted in war. Like we said, serious.
The Old Testament has a number of mentions of “casting lots,” and it’s entirely possible the improper placement of dice pips could be one of the signs of the Apocalypse. Just play along.
So, what’s to be done about this rampant disregard for pip accuracy?
Should a new set of laws governing the depiction of dice be instituted?
Nay, we say again. We would’ve said “nyet,” but that’s sort of fallen out of favor recently.
Nay, new laws seem like overkill.
Our suggestion: Good, old-fashioned ridicule. That’s right, taunting! It’s free and fun.
Whenever you see dice pip gaffes in the wild, share a pic on social media, tagging the responsible party.
Don’t be mean, but don’t let the blunder slide, either.
Once you start to notice pip irregularities, you’ll see them everywhere.
Even famed artist LeRoy Neiman fell victim to the pip problem in his iconic painting, Stardust Reflections.
It’s understandable those not involved with the gambling industry could get pips wrong, but it’s inexcusable for casinos to do so.
Inaccurate depictions of pips have evoked more cringes than Criss Angel without a shirt, and that’s saying something.
If you’re a dice purist, also feel free to point out when you see “casino dice” with rounded corners. Casinos only use dice with sharp corners. Rounded corner dice are used for board games at home.
Together, we can collectively shame graphic designers into getting dice right.
If you’re into dice, you may want to check out our 11 Casino Dice Security Measures to Keep Players From Cheating. The other kind of cheating! Casinos aren’t your mom.
There’s no easy way to say this: We want this vexing trend to die. It’s just not working, and we hope you see our point. Please hop on this pressing problem and pass along any pip improprieties you might spot. We have to push for change and we’ll all avoid going over to the dark side.
Congratulations on surviving the paragraph with the most craps references, ever. You should add this accomplishment to your LinkedIn profile.
Update (5/25/22): Thanks to the eagle-eyed reader who passed this along.
Update (9/29/22): We love us some Donny Osmond, so we were disappointed to see this pip gaff on “Masked Singer,” whatever that might actually be.
Last night’s episode won the night in ratings! How cool is this? Honored to have been the first Masked Singer back in 2019 as a Peacock & return again as that same bird last night. Thank you to everyone who watched. @themaskedsinger @RealityClubFOX https://t.co/HHJzcl0OnQ pic.twitter.com/hAWt0Yrf0h
— Donny Osmond (@donnyosmond) September 29, 2022
Thanks to Plaza CEO Jonathan Jossel for letting us share a photo (taken Nov. 30, 2022 at an Oscar Goodman dinner series event) of his sweet lapel pin, despite the pip issue. (The five and two aren’t supposed to be side-by-side.)