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Subject: Cheating with dice: What have you seen? rss

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The War Chief
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Ever played with a gamer whose self-esteem is so low they have to cheat to win?

Regarding the use of dice, I have seen:

"The Bump", which is rolling one die, seeing the result, then hitting it with a second die to attempt to increase or alter the result.

"Cheaters Dice", produced by Chessex, these dice contain extra high or low faces replacing another face, such as a d20 with two "20" faces and no "1" face, or a d6 with two "6" faces, no "1"s. They also supply a duplicate die for each that is not altered, so you can switch them in and out to avoid detection.

"The Quick Scoop", where the player rolls the dice close to them, announce the result, then quickly scoop up the dice before the roll can be confirmed.

What other techniques have you seen used by these lowest of low gamers?

Jack
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Andrew Tullsen
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"The reroll" - When one or more dice miss the box/board/table whatever is the "approved" rolling surface, and the player decides to either re roll it all or just the dice that missed - depending of course on the roll.
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Hannah Smith
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I often teach Liar's Dice to kids, and they use the same few super-stealthy strategies, most notably the "Oh! My thumb hit it. Good thing I remember what it was and they were all sixes!" technique.
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Jeff Johnson
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This one drives me crazy:

Dude buys some new dice, but won't let anyone else use them.

All dice in the game should be usable by all players. Haven't people seen Octopussy?!
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Tim Rank
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Time to come clean: back in the day my first gaming group (and I) used to practice rolling 1's for Axis & Allies. We could flick off 1's at about a 50% clip. Anti-aircraft shots became game-changers. Fortunately I've grown out of those teen years.
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I've seen a lot of the "quick scoop" in role-playing games. I've never experienced someone doing anything odd in board games, because usually there is a communal set of dice rolled to the center of the table rather than each player having their own dice.
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Martin Gallo
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"The Slam" Where the desired roll is prepared in the roller's hand (upside down) and then the dice are slammed on to the table (so there is no actual roll) with the desired sides face up.

"The Dump" where the dice faces are pre-selected and the dice are just slid off the hand so that the desired faces are showing. I have seen variations where the dice actually 'tumbled' one or two faces to give the illusion of rolling.
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Usual one I see in RPGs is the players continually rolling their dice while the story is plodding along, but choose to keep a particularly good roll as their next die roll.

"Yeah, I just rolled a natural 20" Yeah, after rolling the die a hundred times!

My usual trick now is to have an unimportant roll needed before any important rolls. So now it goes;

Player "I just rolled a natural 20"
GM (me) "Right, that's you DEX roll not to trip over the twig, now you can roll for Initiative." devil
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2d6: "The Slow Roller", in that the player kind of lets the dice roll gently off his open hand very close to the table. Depending on what the dice say face-up in your hand, you can almost control what the result will be.

Really pisses me off to see people do that. That's when I give them a dice cup and watch the slow burn begin...
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markgravitygood wrote:
2d6: "The Slow Roller", in that the player kind of lets the dice roll gently off his open hand very close to the table. Depending on what the dice say face-up in your hand, you can almost control what the result will be.

Really pisses me off to see people do that. That's when I give them a dice cup and watch the slow burn begin...


Dice cup is an excellent solution, especially if a designated area to roll in is established. It would stop most of the techniques, except for the gimmicked dice. Dice Towers also work well. I have a portable Dice Boot I sometimes use, which is a lexan clear dice tower shaped like a boot that dissasembles flat for storage.

Jack
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jumbit
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There are five ways to cheat at dice:

1. Crooked rolling.
2. Misspotted dice.
3. Weighted dice.
4. Magnetic dice.
5. Shaved or shaped dice.

The first can be easily countered by a dice cup or dice tower. Highly skilled players can even cheat with a dice cup. If you're really into it, get a portable craps pit and insist players bounce the dice off the back wall.

The second can be countered by insisting that players use your dice - much like a casino does. If it's not your game, then carefully inspect the dice before playing to ensure that all six sides are different. However, cheaters can switch misspotted dice in and out of the game. Check for this by insisting that players show a clean palm after rolling. If the cheater can perform clean-hand dice switching, then he is the devil incarnate and should not be wasting his time playing Dungeons & Dragons.

The third is much more subtle. To test, use a balancing caliper with the die held diagonally: if the die is weighted, the same corner will always end up on the bottom when you spin the die. For those of you who aren't in the habit of showing up to game night with a balancing caliper, drop the suspect die into a tall glass of water. Repeat this several times, while dropping the die into the water with a different face up each time. If you see the same number again and again, you might have a weighted die.

For magnetic dice, it's easy. Wave a magnet around the dice. If they move they're crooked.

Shaped dice have been altered so that they are not true cubes. This is actually not uncommon, many ordinary dice are manufactured to poor tolerances. The only way to detect this is to measure the faces with a micrometer, you can get a digital one online for about $30.

For the real story on cheating with dice, the definitive text is Darwin Ortiz's "Gambling Scams" (1984).

So, next gaming night, show up with a dice tower, a complete set of your own high-quality dice (enough for everyone), a balancing caliper, a pocket magnet, and a micrometer. Don't be embarrassed to do this...what, will people think you're an obsessive geek or something?
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Matt B
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I have a fairly extreme example that kind of fits. Once when I was playing an RPG with some of my friends, one guy sat himself down at the opposite end of the table from the GM. Over the course of the session, he seemed to have remarkably good luck. When I said something to him about it after the session, he told me that he hadn't rolled a die the entire time - he simply told our GM what he wanted for a result, and the GM never questioned it.
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John Bobek
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My aversion to 10 and 20 sided dice began when a friend revealed that the Russian fleet had such great luck hitting the American ships with missiles because the Russian "admiral" purposely misread the numbers on the 20 sided die. Since it was a modern naval miniatures game, we Americans were too far away to verify the tiny numbers on the die. I only use or game with 6 sided dice ever since!
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Derek Anderson
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My son (16 now) can roll dice however he wants with about an 85% success rate. He discovered he could do this around the age of 8 or 9 when I owned a gaming store and he was taking part in a lot of games. He can only do this with 6-sided dice and only with 1 die at a time (not multiple in the same hand/roll).

He has tried to explain how he does it, but can't really, it has something to do with how he rolls it, he can roll it pretty consistently each time, so he knows how to hold it in his hand so when he rolls it he gets the desired result. Very cool to watch and usually a neat crowd gathering thing.

When he plays real games now he uses a cup to roll the dice from.

D.
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Cardboard Carnage wrote:
My son (16 now) can roll dice however he wants with about an 85% success rate. ...
When he plays real games now he uses a cup to roll the dice from.

D.


For games yes.

With his dates? "Ok Suzie, how about if I roll a six you ..." devil
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MSV Burns
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I think I read about this one over on the rpg side somewhere:

1. Place one d20 on table with the natural 20 facing up. (Y'know... training it.)
2. Toss similar-looking die so it ends its roll somewhere near first die.
3. Point at first die, confidently say "Natural 20!" or "Crit!" or something. Confidence is everything here...

Edit: P.S. Meant to mention that the Ortiz book mentioned in jumbit's post above is a really good read.
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I have seen a couple different but similiar methods of cheating. One was basically Martin's "Dump" and Mark's "Slow Roller" where the player would know what he needed, place the dice in his hand in such a way where if he allowed the dice to roll slowly out of his hand so that they each tumble a couple times and land with the amount he wanted showing.

The other way is to throw one first, then another but have this one (or more) hit the floor. If the number is enough for a 'hit' or something, they'll say it counts. If not, they get to reroll.

This second one is not much of a problem anymore with our new 'reroll ALL dice that land outside of the table surface' rule.
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Richard
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galathonredd wrote:

Player fidgets with dice all the time, rolling again and again. Then, suddenly, player rolls a max result and decides that it will be saved for his next roll


While I read that I realized that I have a player doing this, from time to time, in our RPG sessions when it comes down to skill checks. She casually rolls in front of her while ''thinking''.

Thanks!


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John Peterson
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I was in a role-playing game once where a guy would roll a die and then call out a different number. I got annoyed after a while and started calling out the result (the ACTUAL result) myself. He started glaring at me, but since I barely knew him, it didn't matter to me....

Another of his tricks, when a percentile roll (2 d10's) was required, he'd roll the tens die first, and if it wasn't satisfactory, use the ones die to try to hit the tens die to change its face.
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Martin Gallo
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scubadawg1 wrote:
Another of his tricks, when a percentile roll (2 d10's) was required, he'd roll the tens die first, and if it wasn't satisfactory, use the ones die to try to hit the tens die to change its face.


There is a variation I used to call 'the percentile shuffle' where when rolling 2d10's for a percentile roll, the player would choose the '10's' die and the '1's' die on an as needed basis AFTER seeing the rolls.
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David Albin
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notasfatasmike wrote:
I have a fairly extreme example that kind of fits. Once when I was playing an RPG with some of my friends, one guy sat himself down at the opposite end of the table from the GM. Over the course of the session, he seemed to have remarkably good luck. When I said something to him about it after the session, he told me that he hadn't rolled a die the entire time - he simply told our GM what he wanted for a result, and the GM never questioned it.


We had a player in our RPG that used this technique with clear dice, making it hard to read the results unless looking top-down at the dice. He gave himself away by NEVER getting a bad roll. We eventually asked him politely to use our dice for one night. When he refused, we laid down an ultimatum: he would not be welcomed back to the table with those dice. We haven't seen him since.
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Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
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martimer wrote:
"The Dump" where the dice faces are pre-selected and the dice are just slid off the hand so that the desired faces are showing. I have seen variations where the dice actually 'tumbled' one or two faces to give the illusion of rolling.


The variation I've seen I call the "Granny Shake". Player takes the pre-selected dice and gently shakes them in their hand, open palm up. The dice rattle a bit but never turn. Then "The Dump" where they are released just above the table and tumble just enough to roll two faces.

Crap in the palm. Gold on the table.
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LegoRick wrote:
I have seen a couple different but similiar methods of cheating. One was basically Martin's "Dump" and Mark's "Slow Roller" where the player would know what he needed, place the dice in his hand in such a way where if he allowed the dice to roll slowly out of his hand so that they each tumble a couple times and land with the amount he wanted showing.


Wish I'd read your post first. That's a killer combo that seems to be making the rounds! laugh
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Maarten D. de Jong
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In a different post someone left this video. You'll never look at throwing dice the same way again.

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wow that's quite interesting.
 
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