Chequers Book Reviews
The Professor, Michael Knapp
Collecting Casino Dice, Donald D. Spencer (1998)120 pages, perfect bound, $20 plus $3 postage, Camelot Publishing Company, 39-B Coolidge Ave., Ormond Beach, FL 32174
It is tempting for the dice collector to try to choose between Spencer's Collecting Casino Dice and Laudeman's The Diceman Speaketh (reviewed here as well), but the books are not at all alike, and each has its value for the collector.
As he has done with each of his guides, Spencer begins with a history of dice and dice games. Even for seasoned players and collectors, there is something to be learned from the narrative which constitutes the beginning of Collecting Casino Dice. The book discusses not only the games in which dice have been used, and the origins of the modern game of craps, but the types of dice as well. The manufacture of casino dice, common sizes, styles of dice spots, logos, and use by casinos are also discussed.
Rather than the catalog approach which Jeff Laudeman took in the Diceman book, Don Spencer has written an introduction to collecting dice, essentially written for those who would like to know more about what they collect, or have not yet begun to collect but would like to do so.
The book is well-illustrated, as all of Spencer's books are. Much of the fun of the book is looking at the dice Spencer has photographed next to postcards or photographs of the casinos themselves, to provide the historical and provenential connection between the dice and the casinos that used them. This may not be a post-graduate course, but it's certainly a good introduction for collectors who are thinking of expanding their chip collections to include other kinds of casino collectibles.