Die in the Wood

What is Die in the Wood?

‘Die in the Wood’ a phrase heard in craps which describes an invalid roll where one of the dice leaves the table (usually ending up in the chip rack). The roll will not count and the player will have to roll again, ensuring that both dice land on the table this time. The full phrase is ‘die in the wood, roll no good’, and it might be called by the stickman or declared by the player.

Die in the Wood Explained

Craps is a popular dice game in which players take turns to control the dice and throw numbers, aiming to hit certain totals and betting on how the dice will read during each roll. A legal craps throw requires both dice to be thrown at once, preventing attempts to cheat and manipulate the outcome. To further ensure that each roll is fair, casino craps players usually need to throw their dice against the backboard, which alters the rotation and therefore limits the risk of cheating.

When throwing against the backboard (especially when a beginner takes their turn), there is always a risk that the shooter could use too much force or the dice could hit at an odd angle – causing one or both to bounce off the playing surface. Any die that leaves the table is deemed invalid, along with its partner on the table, and the throw must be taken again.

When a die bounces off the table (where it usually falls into the chip tray at the side of the table), the phrase ‘die in the wood, roll no good’ might be heard. This is a common slang phrase used by casino staff – and players – to call off a roll. The shooter is usually allowed to take that roll again, with all bets held until the dice are thrown. However, a series of misrolls could see the shooter’s turn ended prematurely by house staff.

Don’t want to Die in the Wood in craps? Read our guide for getting the most out of the game, and where best to play online.