Die (plural, Dice) - A die is usually a small six sided cube, made of bone, ivory, or most commonly plastic, that is marked with one to six dotes on each of its faces. The cubed dice have the advantage of being balanced in such a way that any side should have an equal chance up landing face up.
The oldest known dice where probably divining sticks made from twigs that where rounded on one side and flat on the other. These divining dice or sticks where used to tell your future depending on what way the land. Pyramid-shaped dice where found in the royal burial tombs of Ur more then 5,000 years ago. Both four-sided, stick, and cubic dice in both ivory and bone flavors have also been found in Egyptian tombs.
Sometimes a was used instead of dice. A teetotum is a four or six sided top that is spun with your fingers, the sides are marked with numbers or dots so that the number that lands down when the top stops spinning determines the value of the dice. its shape is similar to a dreidel. The teetotum probably originated in Germany during the middles ages and was used to predict the future.
Sometimes in medieval England, dice where thrown on a dice board. The board was divide in to six spaces and a funnel was mounted above the board that the dice where dropped in to it. Instead of using the value found on the dice, they used the value of the squares where the dice landed.
Dice are a essential part of many game, and are needed for everything from Boxing to Yahtzee. A pair of misplaced dice can destroy your plans for the weekend, I know its happened to me many times.
Next time you are stranded without a pair of dice and your guests are already on there way, try printing off a few of these origami paper dice. A little glue or tap and a printer is all you need.
I have heard good things about Does God Play Dice by Ian Stewart it might be worth checking out.