Simple spin the bottle replacement.

We’re setting up a simple card game for some children that has a “spin the bottle” component. Basically there are cards in a deck, a kid picks a card, and it will have him or her interact with another person chosen randomly from the ring of kids playing (sitting.) These kids have some challenges that make actually spinning a bottle more of a problem than you would think (we tried this before, the bottle ended up across the room, or they weren’t able to actually spin it, etc. - however they didn’t want us to spin it for them.)

We will probably have the kids in circles of 4, so we need to choose from 4 people. I thought I’d get a 4 sided die and have them roll that with each kid assigned a number, but the only 4 sided dice I find are basically D&D style (e.g. they don’t have a single number or color on each side.)

What’s the simple answer to this? They like the random choosing aspect and they want to roll the die themselves or however we do it.


Why do I instantly think that you could make a big button (like the That Was Easy buttons that were floating around a few years ago from Staples?) with a tiny Arduino random number generator and some bright LEDs.

I’m not entirely sure why a D4 wouldn’t work, but what about pulling items (coloured cubes, monopoly pieces, names on paper, whatever) from a bag?

'I think that would be hard for these kids, looking at the pyramid D4 I see - they roll but instead of clearly getting a 1 or 2 or 3 or 4, you get three sides up with something like 1 3 4 on one side, 2 3 4 on another side etc.

We’ve thought about simply a bag and 4 somethings with names on them, but without getting into detail it could be challenging for some of these kids.

I was looking for some kind of electronic something where you push a button and it flashes the lights and stops randomly on one color but don’t even know how to do that search in Amazon.

There a million apps that will roll a die or spin a wheel.

There are many but this one is the best. We use it to choose the start player for board games. Many times choosing the start player was more exciting than the game itself.

If you Android, Chwazi is similar but not quite as much fun.

Yeah there are app based answers. You can search online for ‘electronic dice roller’ and it will give a variety of digital or physical solutions.

However your best bet may be a dice set like these

Or these, if you can find them in stock

The 4 sided dice on amazon are perfect if I can get them by Friday! Game spinner is good also. I searched a LONG time in “4 sided dice” and never saw those, so thanks!

I do a lot of tabletop stuff, so I’ve seen odd shapes floating around besides the caltrop… I mean traditional D4.

You can use regular six sided dice and reroll 5s and 6s.

And maybe there could be M&Ms handed out every time that happens, so it’s a fun thing!

I like the M&Ms idea!

My first idea was to use two regular six sided dice and assign each kid three numbers. Thinking about it some more, that would be rather unfair to the kid that was assigned number 1…

So instead, maybe an eight- or twelve-sided die?

If you used two six sided die, with four kids, the proper mathematically fair split (if you want each kid with 3 numbers) is

Each gives precisely 1 in 4 odds to each kid (1 is a null number, but 8,9 is high probability). However disregarding equal numbers there are any number of distributions


And so ok. But the above is the most ‘compact’ arrangement possible, I believe. Or near to it.

I have no doubt that you are correct. However, explaining this to the kids could be slightly problematic. :-)

If 4 sided dice are difficult to come by, just get a 8 sided one and each kids gets two numbers.

Kid 1 (1,2)
Kid 2 (3,4)

You could try making (or repurposing) a board game spinner for this. Like, if you have an old copy of “The Game of Life”:
The Game Of LIFE (Replacement Pieces) Spinner Common

It’s a 10-partition spinner, but the colors on the back are just a piece of colored cardboard. You could replace it with one split into 4 equal color zones.

Or something like this?

Some of my DnD group have bought “spinner” dice coins, that you spin and slap you finger on to get a number. I have threatened my group with pilfering a spinner from a “life” boardgame, and using that as a d10.

In case anybody else is wondering what this is, I assume it’s this:

The common side of the coin has a knob molded into the metal. Players use one or two hands to spin the coin like a top. Once the coin is spinning at full speed (which just takes a second), the player puts their finger at the bottom of the coin and stops it. The result is the first completely visible number to the left of the player’s finger.


They seem fun, but it also makes it hard to roll those fireballs.