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Collecting Casino Dice

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Photo Courtesy (Nevada Casino History)

Valuable Nevada Casino Dice

Photo Courtesy (Nevada Casino History)

Casino dice are a fun and inexpensive collectible with a rich history. Dice made in the early 1900's were often a hard plastic or Bakelite. They absorbed punishment, but to ensure security, casino dice needed to be transparent or translucent. They also needed to be precision made, and early manufacturers such as TK Specialty and Rigdon guaranteed their manufacturing to 1/20,000 of an inch to insure quality and security.

Today's casino dice are usually made with cellulose acetate, which allows them to be sanded, polished, and milled to very precise standards. The numbers are drilled into the sides of the dice and then filled in. The see-through clarity of the dice keep cheaters from tampering with the dice by such nefarious methods as using lead paint or implants to make certain sides of the dice come-up more often than by pure chance.

Collectability

The rarer a pair of casino dice are, the more valuable they are. Dice from favored Mobbed-up casinos such as the Flamingo casino in Las Vegas also command higher prices. Unfortunately, older dice made with cellulose nitrate eventually begin to break down and some become heavily crystallized. The most valuable dice from the Flamingo are those where the crystallization has yet to happen. These dice have a flamingo (the actual bird) logo and are from 1947, before "Bugsy" Siegal was gunned down in his Beverly Hills mansion.

Collectors like dice from clubs they have heard of, so a pair from the Desert Inn in Las Vegas that had six crap games might sell for $100 while a pair from the Sonoma Inn in Winnemucca that only had one crap game might sell for only $50, although they are much rarer.

Dice Point Scale - Start at One

Dice from existing casinos are often available in vending machines or the casino's gift shop. They usually run $1 to $2.95 a pair. Individual dice are not nearly as valuable.

  • Add a point if your dice are not canceled and otherwise in perfect shape.
  • Add a point if your dice are from a closed casino.
  • Add a point if your dice are from Las Vegas.
  • Add a point if your dice are from Lake Tahoe or a tiny town like Ely or Lovelock.
  • Add a point if your dice are a color other than standard red.
  • Add a point if your dice have an old, fancy logo like a cowboy or cactus
  • Add a point if your dice are pre 1950
  • Add a point if your dice are from the Dunes, Desert Inn, Flamingo, Sahara or Sands
  • Add a point if your dice are quite rare

A pair of vintage dice from the Flamingo in Las Vegas with a logo, in a red color, from 1947, would be an "8" since the casino is still open and they are standard red dice. However, such a pair of dice from the Flamingo would command about $200. A nice pair from the Las Vegas Club with cursive writing sells for about $150 while a pair of Sahara dice from the 1950's with a logo might go for just $50 due to the greater availability of them.

Value

  • 1 to 4 points - $2 to $10
  • 5 points - $11 to 25
  • 6 points - $26 to $51 points
  • 7 points - $50 to $99
  • 8 points - $100 to $200
  • 9 points - $201 to $350
  • 10 points - $351 to $500
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