Dice are the #1 choice playing board games when it’s necessary to generate random numbers. Classic games like Monopoly, Yahtzee, Trouble, Backgammon, and hundred more use dice. Naturally tabletop baseball board games such as Baseball Classics baseball game, Strat-o-matic, APBA, and many more require “rolling the bones” too.
Dice make a great choice because they are conveniently sized, typically last a long time, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes to generate many variations of random numbers.
With the popularity of more and more board games offered as a download, this presents a challenge. Google is littered with people listing ways to generate random numbers without using dice or asking how it’s possible. I decided to do some extra research to see what was being proposed to see what options were suggested. In addition, I’m challenging myself to devise a system to generate random numbers by merely using 1 piece of paper to play Baseball Classics baseball game (which uses 3 six-sided dice and 1 binary die).
Here’s what I learned in my research. Well, first some people are very funny! Hilarious even with their witty comments and suggestions on this topic that Google surfaced. I digress.
Here is a list of some of the suggestions (sans the witty banner) I came across on how to generate random numbers without dice:
- Use the random number key in a calculator
- Use a spreadsheet
- Open to random pages from big fat book (using the last number)
- Draw pieces of paper with numbers on them from a bag, hat, or coffee mug
- Write a computer software program
- A deck of playing cards
- Use your brain to think of numbers randomly 😉
- Ask someone to give you a random number
- Use a telephone directory, using last digit(s) of the phone number
- Use a stop watch or seconds hand of a clock/watch
- Dice simulators online
- Pop out numbers from an old key board, shake them in a cup
I’ve used a number of these suggestions to test playing Baseball Classics, the calculator and spreadsheet worked best. Using a calculator is handy and quick, though takes extra button presses to generate the 3 six-sided dice and binary dice roll. The one that is most effective is a spreadsheet using the RANDBETWEEN function in Excel (or other similar spreadsheet products). I can assign a macro to it and just like that am 1 click away from generating the random numbers needed to play Baseball Classics.
Generating Random Dice Roll Numbers Using 1 Sheet of Paper
The system I needed to devise could only rely on a single sheet of paper to generate random dice rolls, nothing else in addition such as a bag, hat, calculator, cup, etc.
Sometimes the answer is right in front of us. I used a combination of some of the suggestions listed above to create a way to generate random dice rolls using 1 piece of paper. And I’m happy to report it doesn’t include writing 1 number on a equally torn piece of the paper and tossing them in the air or anything like that.
Since standard six-sided dice are most popular, I used them as the model for the end result to generate a dice roll for 1, 2, or up to 3 six-sided dice. I thought about shapes like a hexagon (6-sided) putting 1-6 on each corner. A hexagon with all sides and angles equal could be a card, rotating it, but just 1 card alone would essentially be like using a spinner. Back to the drawing board…
I still like going with a card system, but not a deck of cards; too many to shuffle. So then I thought about 3 hexagons, they would be easy to shuffle while rotating. The corner that points to you is the random dice roll. It’s that simple and fast to use. Draw or print out the hexagons with numbers in each corner, cut them out and you have random dice rolls for 1, 2, or up to 3 six-sided dice using only 1 sheet of paper. Next, what I designed to play using this system for Baseball Classics with 1 binary die and 3 six-sided dice with 1 sheet of paper.
Dice Cards: Playing Baseball Classics Baseball Game With No Dice
The binary die adds a wrinkle here, but one that was easily attainable to iron out. By adding a ZERO or ONE to each hexagon card; that would make for an uneven distribution of the binary roll availability on the 3 cards.
Adding a 4th hexagon card would work, but as long as that needs to be done it’s an opportunity to add a bit more into the mix in the spirit of random dice roll generation. By switching to an octagon and going with 6 cards, that would still be a very small number of cards to shuffle and rotate to determine each roll, while adding additional numbers equally distributed across all 6 cards. They fit on a single sheet of paper, about size of your palm, a perfect fit! Baseball Classics Dice Cards are born.
How To Use Baseball Classics Dice Cards
To use: hold or place cards face down, next shuffle and rotate them. Pick 3 dice cards, turning each one face up. Each point on the 3 Dice Cards facing you is the number of the “dice roll”. Add the 3 numbers and use the 3rd card for the result of the binary roll ZERO or ONE).
Example – Shuffle and rotate all 6 Dice Card face down. Then pick and turn face up as follows: 3, 6, and 6 are the points facing you, this adds up to 15. The 3rd card has a “ZERO” on it, that is the binary roll. Refer to the pitcher card Roll 15 for the Result. For the next “dice roll”, place the 3 cards back and repeat
Recommend printing your Dice Cards on 100 or 110 lb card stock, though heavy printer paper is fine too.
Playing with Baseball Classics Dice Cards is a fast and convenient way to play anywhere, anytime! An added bonus is the build up of what the final roll will be as you reveal each card. Definitely a lot faster than if you were to roll one die at a time to achieve the same type of suspense.
Check out Baseball Classics Print & Play format. Choose any MLB teams or seasons from 1901 to the present, includes everything you need, just print and play! Perfect match with Baseball Classics Dice Cards.
Let us know what you think, this system can be used to generate random dice rolls for your favorite board games too!