Are dice trays worth it?

Square dragon dice trays

When playing tabletop roleplaying games like Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), you quickly realise that rolling dice is an integral part of the game. Whether you’re attempting a daring attack, navigating a treacherous dungeon, or negotiating with non-player characters, the outcome often hinges on the roll of the dice.

However, dice can be unpredictable, both in terms of the roll they produce and where they end up! Many beginner players tend to roll their dice directly on the gaming table, which may cause the dice to roll off the table and get lost. This is where a dice tray comes in.

What is a dice tray?

dice tray is a specially designed container or surface used for rolling dice in tabletop games. It provides a controlled area, preventing dice from scattering across the table during gameplay.

Hexagon dragon dice trays

Above: our hexagonal dice trays.

Dice trays come in various shapes, sizes, and designs, but all feature a shallow, enclosed area with raised walls or edges to keep dice contained.

Why should you use a dice tray?

There are several benefits to using a dice tray, whether you play D&D or another tabletop game like Pathfinder, Call of Cthulhu, Pokemon DND, Warhammer 40k, or something else.

Keep your dice safe

With a designated area for rolling, you can prevent dice from rolling off the table, knocking over miniatures, or disrupting over game components.

It also means you have a safe place to keep your dice, ensuring you always know where to find them when you need to make that all-important roll. In that sense, a dice tray helps keep the gaming area organised and tidy.

Enhance fairness and randomness

By confining dice rolls to a controlled space, the chances of biased outcomes due to bounces, dice falling off the table, or someone accidently knocking the dice after being rolled are reduced.

You can also eliminate potential arguments about whether a dice roll should stand if the dice have fallen off the table.

Protect table surfaces and dice

Using a dice tray offers protection for both your gaming table and your dice. Rolling dice (especially metal dice and gemstone dice) directly onto the tabletop can lead to scratches and dents on the table and can even damage the dice themselves.

With the soft surface provided by a dice tray, the impact is cushioned, preserving both your table and dice from wear and tear. Most dice trays feature PU leather, felt, or other soft materials to provide a safe landing point for the dice.

Show off your interests

Dice trays come in a variety of designs, materials, and themes, allowing you to personalise your gaming experience. Prices for dice trays can range from the cost of a standard set of plastic dice to considerably more for an elaborate or hand-made design.

Others are designed for convenience, such as our dice scrolls of rolling which can be folded up into a scroll that is easy to store in your backpack.

What’s the best way to roll dice?

There's no definitive way to roll dice, but ensuring randomness is key. Avoid simply dropping dice straight down. Instead, aim to toss them into a dice tray with enough space and weight to allow for proper tumbling.

The way you roll dice isn't the only factor that affects their randomness. Some dice, such as those poorly manufactured or with defects, could be unbalanced. That's why some people use the saltwater dice balance test to ensure their dice are fair.

Square dragon dice trays

Above: our square dragon dice trays.

Do you need a dice tray for D&D?

Dice trays are useful but not essential for playing D&D. While you can roll dice directly onto the table, dice trays come in handy, especially if you have lots of dice, as is common in D&D. Each player typically has seven dice, so things can get chaotic without a designated rolling area.

Alternatives to using a dice tray

If you’re an adventurer strapped for coin, there are some alternatives you could try. A shoe box or plastic container might work. However, nothing will be as safe and stylish as using a proper dice tray, and some dice trays are very affordable.

Scroll Of Rolling

Above: our dice scrolls.

Is a dice tray or dice tower best for DND?

Some people prefer using a dice tower because it enhances the randomness of their dice rolls. While this can be true, neither a dice tray nor a dice tower is necessary to play D&D.

Many enjoy the feeling of rolling dice and observing the outcome. There's a unique thrill in watching your dice nearly land on a 1 or a 20, for instance. That’s why some avid dice enthusiasts, often dubbed ‘dice dragons’, prefer a dice tray; they see and hear their dice as they roll.

Where can I buy dice trays from?

Our range of dice rolling trays offers the perfect companion for your tabletop gaming needs. Paired with a set of our tabletop gaming dice, these accessories not only add flair to your setup but also ensure that your dice rolls are fair and safely made.

Now that you're acquainted with the importance of dice trays, explore our guide on different dice sizes. We explore the most common types of dice used in tabletop gaming, providing insights into their industry-standard sizes and answering frequently asked questions.

FAQs about dice trays

What is the best surface for rolling dice?

Dice trays come in a variety of designs, but the most popular material is PU leather. This provides a smooth, cushioned surface for rolling your dice. It protects your dice from wear and tear and is strong enough to cushion even metal dice, protecting your tabletop from unwanted scratches or chips.

What are dice trays lined with?

The most common type of material used in dice trays is PU leather. This is a type of synthetic leather, also known as ‘pleather’. It is smooth and cushioned, allowing you to roll your dice without worrying about them getting lost or damaged.

How big should a dice rolling tray be?

The ideal size of your dice tray depends on the number of dice you have to roll and the available space on your gaming table. At a minimum, we recommend our square dice trays, which offer a 14cm x 14cm area for rolling your dice.

What are some other uses for dice trays?

You could use a dice tray in various creative ways, such as holding other small items like miniatures and coins or organising your game pieces. Additionally, you can use them to prop up cards or other small notes, such as condition cards, quest cards, or game cards, depending on the tabletop game you're playing.

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