Chequers Book Reviews
The Professor, Michael Knapp
The Dice Man Speaketh: Casino Dice Book and Catalog, Las Vegas Edn., Jeff Laudeman (1996)188 pages; looseleaf bound; $45 ($3 shipping); Jeff Laudeman, P. O. Box 9293, Canoga Park, CA 91309
Many of us who began by collecting casino chips or tokens have managed to expand our collections to include other kinds of casino collectibles: dice, matchbooks, ashtrays, swizzle sticks, coin buckets, even napkins and room keys! Dice collecting (although not necessarily solely casino dice) may well be an older hobby than chip collecting. Jeff "The Dice Man" Laudeman has concentrated on dice for many years, and is one of the outstanding experts on American casino dice. His book has been long-awaited by those of us who have caught the dice bug.
Published in looseleaf form so that it can be updated easily, TDMS is an outstanding and ground-breaking work. The Introduction is an excellent course in how to collect casino dice, what distinguishes them, what to look for, and how to care for them.
The main body of the book is a series of enlarged computer scans of actual dice, showing logos and spots in terrific detail. In addition, each pair of dice shown is described, the name and address of the club are provided, the approximate time period of use of the dice, the rarity and the collectors' value of the dice are shown as well.
TDS is the first book that has attempted to list values for casino dice, and the price guide has certainly been a welcome addition to the hobby. Jeff's guidelines received immediate acceptance, and seem to be withstanding the test of time. A year after its publication, the values he shows appear to be as valid as when the book was first released. Many dice are still available for prices substantially below the values shown in the book, but for trade purposes, the relative values are an excellent guide. And those of us who do collect dice are quite pleased that some bargains are still available!
We hope that Jeff is currently working on other Nevada jurisdictions (this book covers only Las Vegas casinos) and eventually will expand to jurisdictions other than Nevada as well.
If you are interested in collecting casino dice, The Dice Man Speaketh is required reading!