Steve Mould
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Hi there

I just had a BGG member buy some dice and he got in touch to recommend that I publish them here.

I wouldn't call them a game though so I'm not sure it would be right to list them as a game. Though they certainly could be used to modify existing games and they do have a competitive element to them. I'll stop waffling, here they are:

http://www.mathsgear.co.uk/non-transitive-dice-set-of-5/

And here's our little video explaining how they work:

http://youtu.be/u4XNL-uo520

What do you think? Can I list them as a game? Any advice would be gratefully received!

Thanks

Steve
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Liam
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Wow! The idea hurts my head, they look amazing.

Remind me a bit of Pokémon (don't judge me, the video games are great), with its web of weaknesses - fire beats grass, grass beats water, water beats fire, etc.

I'm sure these will inspire some game designers!
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Scott M.
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Ok, wtf did i just watch....
Can someone who really understands whatbthey were talking about break it down for the rest of us?
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atraangelis wrote:
Ok, wtf did i just watch....
Can someone who really understands whatbthey were talking about break it down for the rest of us?


Now I'm not pretending to understand per se, but I think I can work out what the head-hurty aspect of it is.

I guess it would be reasonable to be confused because you're thinking about the average roll of each dice. And it doesn't make sense to assume that die A has a higher average roll than die B which has a higher average roll than die C which has a higher average roll than die A. Impossible.

But we're not looking at average rolls at all, we're looking at a series of single rolls. I assume that die A is simply numbered in such a way that's more likely to win than lose any single roll against die B. If all you're doing is counting wins, rolling average becomes kind of irrelevant, and that's what's so counter-intuitive about it.

I'm fully expecting someone much more mathematically-minded than me to jump in and tell me how I've got it completely wrong, but I welcome that because I'll learn something.
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The thing confusing me is the claim that they invented these dice. The Wikipedia article is sadly deficient on dates, but one of its sources, at least, is from 2002. I suspect nontransitive dice have probably been known about for decades, maybe even centuries.

Maybe it's just this specific set of 5 dice?

BTW, for those who don't get it, nontransitive dice form a paper-rock-scissors sort of relationship where given two dice, one is more likely to roll higher than the other.
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K Septyn
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Non-transitive dice have been around a long time, but this is the first 5-dice set I've heard of.

Asmor wrote:
BTW, for those who don't get it, nontransitive dice form a paper-rock-scissors sort of relationship where given two dice, one is more likely to roll higher than the other.


Nutshell'd.

The Singing Banana site where the article is posted is currently out-of-bandwidth, but it looks like a copy similar to the Google cached one is located here. This one has a 2010 date on it.

From the article. it looks like:
A beats B with 13/18 (26/36) probability,
B beats C with 2/3 (24/36),
C beats D with 2/3 (24/36),
D beats E with 13/18 (26/36). and
E beats A with 25/36.

The neat trick of this set is there is a second path of non-transitive behavior:
A beats C with 7/12 (21/36),
C beats E with 7/12 (21/36),
E beats B with 5/9 (20/36)
B beats D with 5/9 (20/36), and
D beats A with 13/18 (26/36).

With the typical 3-die set of non-transitive dice, A beats B beats C beats A ("on average"), so whenever the opponent picks first, you always pick the same die in response. With this 5-die set, you have two differnt dice to choose from.
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A. B. West
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Love this kinda stuff. Thanks for posting it.
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Joe Waller
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M.C. Escher would love these!

 
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Brian
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Definitely neat, especial the stuff with pairs.

The pairs seems to be a new twist, but I remember reading something on BGG before. Other than a one time trick with friends and cheating people in a bar (and stupid people at that), what is the use of these? And there is a non-trivial chance you lose.

The wiki article explains it pretty clearly, just look at one of the diagrams of the numbers on the faces of d6.

A simplification would be a pair of dice like 5,5,2,2,2,2 and 3,3,3,3,3,3. Same average, but the 3 dice will win 66% of the time.

The Warren Buffet antidote suggest they have been around atleast 20-30 years.

More interesting, maybe, is someone was talking about making a set of 'first player' dice. d20 maybe, I don't remember how many in the set. Each die would have the same chance of winning, but there would never be a tie. Not sure it would be worth the effort to remove ties.
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Jacob Søgaard
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ionizedbrian wrote:
More interesting, maybe, is someone was talking about making a set of 'first player' dice. d20 maybe, I don't remember how many in the set. Each die would have the same chance of winning, but there would never be a tie. Not sure it would be worth the effort to remove ties.


I couldn't find the thread about them here at BGG, but the article from The Guardian can be found here.

I see more potential in making new games based on the dies in this topic though.
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Steve Mould
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Yes, it's just the 5 set we invented. The 3 set has been around for quite a while and I believe there's a 4 set too. And when I say "we" invented I mean James Grime. He's a very clever man indeed!
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Kim Williams
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ionizedbrian wrote:
More interesting, maybe, is someone was talking about making a set of 'first player' dice. d20 maybe, I don't remember how many in the set. Each die would have the same chance of winning, but there would never be a tie. Not sure it would be worth the effort to remove ties.


These dice are listed on the Geek as Go First Dice.
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atraangelis wrote:
Ok, wtf did i just watch....
Can someone who really understands whatbthey were talking about break it down for the rest of us?
They don't only rely on greater or smaller numbers but also on the probabilty of actually rolling those numbers. From looking at the dice that is. So while a 9 is greater than a 1 if you only rolled a 9 1/6 of the rolls but a 1 6/6 of the rolls then the 1 would of course win the most rolls.
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Lewis Wagner
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steventhebrave wrote:

What do you think? Can I list them as a game? Any advice would be gratefully received!


For this site, I'd just make one of the games alluded to in the video. Call it "Bar Bet Dice." Mention other uses in the description of your game.

My understanding is that a set of dice already comes with a description of bar bets, so your game is already complete. If not, just add a piece of paper to each set with such a description.

Please note that one variant of the game requires 2 sets of dice. Many users of this site are more interested in the instantiation of the game than the idea, so they need to know what they need to physically get their game. This will be true of everyone actually wanting to go out and make bar bets with them.
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Keith Wilson
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I've got two sets of these dice. They are a great trick to play on someone.

Of course, I am a mathematics teacher ... read into that what you will.
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Will

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or you could just get 2 of these...
http://www.thediceshoponline.com/dice-sets/876/Rock-Paper-Sc...
 
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