Poker dice are dice which, instead of having number pips, have representations of playing cards upon them. Poker dice have six sides, one each of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, and 9, and are used to form a poker hand.
Each variety of poker dice varies slightly in regard to suits, though the ace of spades is almost universally represented. 9♣ and 10♦ are frequently found, while face cards are traditionally represented not by suit but instead by color: red for kings, green for queens and blue for jacks. Manufacturers have not standardized the colors of the face sides.
As a game
The classic poker dice game is played with 5 dice and two or more players. Each player has a total of 3 rolls and the ability to hold dice in between rolls. After the three rolls the best hand wins. Neither a "flush" nor a "straight flush" is a possible hand, due to the lack of suits on the dice.
In some rules, whilst a straight to a King is referred to as a Straight, a straight to an Ace is referred to (somewhat incorrectly) as a Flush. Furthermore, in these rules, a Straight is more valuable than a Full House (correctly reflecting its difficulty level) and a Flush is more valuable than Four Of A Kind (incorrectly reflecting its identical probability to that of a Straight).
|Hand||Exact probability||Percentage||1 in ...||Example|
|Five of a kind||6 / 7776||0.08%||1296||J J J J J|
|Four of a kind||150 / 7776||1.93%||51.8||10 10 10 10 A|
|Full house||300 / 7776||3.86%||25.9||K K K 9 9|
|Straight||240 / 7776||3.09%||32.4||A K Q J 10|
|Three of a kind||1200 / 7776||15.43%||6.5||9 9 9 K J|
|Two pair||1800 / 7776||23.15%||4.3||Q Q 9 9 A|
|One pair||3600 / 7776||46.30%||2.2||10 10 K Q 9|
|Bust (High card, no pair, no straight)||480 / 7776||6.17%||16.2||A K Q J 9|
Busts are much lower probability than in card poker, because there are only 6 values instead of 13, making pairs and straights much more likely than with cards. In poker dice there are in fact only four possible bust hands: [A K Q J 9], [A K Q 10 9], [A K J 10 9], and [A Q J 10 9]; both other no-pair hands (i.e., in which either the A or the 9 are missing) are straights. Consequently, in some variants of the rules, straights are counted as busts.
Marlboro once marketed a set of octahedral poker dice that included suits; each die had slightly different numberings, ranging from 7 up to ace. A similar set is currently manufactured by Koplow Games.
In 1974 Aurora produced a set of 12 sided poker dice called "Jimmy the Greek Odds Maker Poker Dice" and in 2000 Aurora/Rex Games produced a similar set under the name "Royal Poker Dice". The sets featured five 12-sided dice allowing for all 52 playing cards to be represented. The remaining 8 faces featured stars and acted as wild cards allowing for every possible poker hand to be rolled.
- Deep, Ronald (2006), Probability and statistics with integrated software routines, Elsevier Inc., ISBN 0-12-369463-9 Chapter 1 p 42
- Bărboianu, Cătălin (2006), Probability Guide to Gambling: The Mathematics of Dice, Slots, Roulette, Baccarat, Blackjack, Poker, Lottery and Sport Bets, INFAROM Publishing, p. 224, ISBN 973-87520-3-5 Extract of page 224
- Arneson, Erik (2012). "The Complete Rules for the Dice Game Poker Dice". About.com. New York Times Company. "Board / Card Games" subsite.
- Koplow Games
- 8 sided poker dice on BoardGameGeek.com
- Jimmy the Greek Odds Maker Poker Dice on BoardGameGeek.com
- Royal Poker Dice on BoardGameGeek.com