A dice tray is simply a tray with a lip or edge around it that is designed to catch the dice as they are rolled. They come in all shapes and sizes, and are made from a variety of materials like wood, metal, plastic, and cloth. While they may seem like an unnecessary luxury item, trust me when we say that a dice tray can be worth its weight in gold when it comes to maximizing your gaming enjoyment.
In this guide, we’ll discuss what a dice tray is, why you probably need one, and how how to choose the right one for your needs. So whether you’re a RPG gamer, e.g., DnD, wargamer, or play board games, read on for all the info you need to know about choosing and using the perfect dice tray!
What is a Dice Tray?
A dice tray is a simple tool that can make a big difference in your gaming experience. Put simply, it’s a tray with a lip or edge around it that is designed to catch the dice as they are rolled. This way, you don’t have to worry about losing any dice under furniture or knocking over glasses and bottles on your gaming table.
Dice trays come in all shapes and sizes, and are made from a variety of materials like wood, metal, plastic, and cloth. While they may seem like an unnecessary luxury item, trust me when we say that a dice tray can be worth its weight in gold when it comes to maximizing your gaming enjoyment.
Benefits of a Dice Tray
There are several benefits of using a dice tray during your gaming sessions:
- Contains the Dice: As mentioned, one of the main advantages of using a dice tray is that it helps to contain the dice as you roll them. This means that you don’t have to worry about losing any dice under furniture or knocking over glasses and bottles on your gaming table.
- Protects Surfaces: Another benefit of using a dice tray is that it can help to protect surfaces from being scratched or damaged by the dice. This is especially important if you’re rolling on a glass or wooden table.
- Reduces Noise: If you’re someone who hates the sound of dice rolling around on a hard surface, then a dice tray is definitely for you! The tray will help to muffle the sound of the dice, making for a more pleasant gaming experience.
- Makes Rolling Easier: If you have difficulty rolling the dice with precision, a dice tray can help. By containing the dice within the tray, you’ll be able to roll with more control and accuracy.
- Adds Aesthetics: Let’s face it, dice trays can simply look cool! They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors, so you’re sure to find one that fits your gaming style. Plus, they make a great addition to any gaming table.
Limitations of a Dice Trays
Of course, dice trays are not perfect and there are a few limitations to keep in mind:
- Cost: One of the biggest drawbacks of dice trays is the cost. They can range from $10-$500 USD (yes, hundreds), which may be too pricey for some gamers. However, you can often find cheaper versions or you can make a DIY dice tray.
- Space: Another potential downside of dice trays is that they can take up quite a bit of space on your gaming table. If you’re short on space, you may want to opt for another option such as a dice cup or box.
- Weight: Dice trays can also be quite heavy, especially if they’re made from materials like wood or metal. This can make them difficult to transport if you’re planning on taking your tray to gaming conventions or meetups.
- Not Necessary: Some gamers simply don’t see the need for a dice tray and prefer to roll without one. Ultimately, it’s up to you whether or not you think a dice tray is worth the investment.
So, is a Dice Tray Worth it?
Well, I listed some pros and cons of a dice tray. They are places and times when you’ll want to make your dice roll in a secure place to avoid losing them, or having your dice bump into things.
Dice rolling is also the most important activity in many tabletop games, and it begs the question of why not make the dice rolls as efficient, and aesthetic as possible.
Are dice trays worth it? For playing a board game, you may find that a tabletop dice tray will make your experience better. They can protect surfaces, reduce noise and make rolling easier with more control and accuracy. Some gamers also simply like the way they look as an addition to their gaming set up.
So if you are looking for a way to upgrade your dice rolling, or want to add something new and different to your board game set up, then a personal dice tray may be worth the investment for you.
The Different Types of Dice Trays Available on the Market Today
Now that we’ve gone over the advantages and disadvantages of using a dice tray, let’s take a look at the different types of dice trays available on the market today.
Are you tired of trying to make a dice tray with found materials that seem to fall apart too easily?
The best dice trays are more than a rolling surface; they’re designed to protect your gaming surface, reduce noise, and make your dice rolls more precise. You can find all sorts of different materials, shapes, sizes, and colors to fit your gaming style.
Here are some popular types of dice trays you can find today:
Wooden Dice Trays
Wooden dice trays are classic and elegant. They’re often made with high-quality wood like cherry, maple, or walnut. If you want a luxurious feel for your dice tray, then wooden dice trays are a great option.
For example, Wyrmwood dice trays are a bespoke, custom dice tray choice made primarily of exotic woods and leather. But, they aren’t a cheap dice tray and you may find going this route totally optional.
Metal Dice Trays
Metal dice trays are more modern and tend to have a sleek, minimalist design. They’re often made with aluminum or steel and can be powder-coated in different colors. If you want a sturdier dice tray that will last for years, then metal trays are a great choice.
Of course, a soft surface will prevent the clacking dice from producing a racket on metal rolling surfaces. A rolling mat could help or a simple liner of pu leather or green felt like you see in billiard tables.
Plastic Dice Trays
Plastic dice trays are the most affordable option and tend to be the lightest weight. They’re often made from polycarbonate or acrylic plastic. If you want a budget-friendly dice tray that’s easy to transport, then plastic dice trays are a great choice.
On any given game night I’ve been to for roleplaying games, the one dice tray we always have is a plastic Ultra Pro. It’s generic, but functional. It keeps dice from rolling away and fits in almost any sized gaming bag.
Cloth Dice Trays
Cloth dice trays are becoming more popular as an eco-friendly option. They’re often made with cotton or linen and can be printed with all sorts of designs. If you want a reusable, sustainable dice tray, then cloth dice trays are a useful accessory for rolling dice.
Cloth dice trays also come in all sizes. If you’re looking for a large dice tray or want to conserve table space for your guests with a small rolling area, then cloth may be your best bet to play games without hassle.
How to Choose the Best Dice Rolling Tray
In general, you’ll want to find a tray that’s big enough to fit all the dice you need for your game. You don’t want to be stuck picking up wayward dice off the floor or having them interfere with glasses and drinks.
If you’re looking for cloth options, then I really like the selection from Forged Dice Company. They have a variety of colors and styles to fit any Tabletop RPG game. I also like that they’re machine washable, in case of spills or crumbs.
If you want something a little more flashy, then the Wyrmwood tray might be up your alley. It’s a little spendy, but it’s handmade from exotic woods and looks downright regal on any gaming table.
They also make dice towers. A dice tower is a separate accessory that allows for dice to be rolled inside and cascade down into a waiting tray. It’s fun to watch and saves you the trouble of having to shake a cup or bag of dice.
Finally, if you’re looking for a cheap, plastic option that will get the job done, then I recommend the Ultra Pro tray. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s durable and fits in most gaming bags. Of course, then there’s the whole custom dice tray crowd on Etsy.
How to Care for and Clean Your Dice Tray
Once you’ve decided on the best dice tray for your needs, it’s important to know how to take care of it. Here are some tips for cleaning and caring for your dice tray.
- Wooden dice trays can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners as they can damage the finish. If your tray is made from solid wood, you can also use a furniture polish to keep it looking shiny and new.
- Plastic dice trays can be cleaned with soap and water or a glass cleaner. Avoid using abrasive cleaners as they can damage the finish.
- Cloth dice trays can be machine-washed on a gentle cycle. Hang to dry or tumble dry on low heat.
- For those dice trays lined with felt or leather, you can spot clean with a damp cloth. Avoid getting the lining too wet as it could damage the material. If you must, use a mild soap and water solution.
- For real leather, a conditioner can help retain the natural moisture to keep the rolling surface supple. This is particularly important for more expensive options like the Wyrmwood tray.
- In general, it’s best to avoid getting your dice tray wet as it could damage the finish or cause mold to grow. If you do get it wet, be sure to dry it off as soon as possible.
The Best Ways to Use Your Dice Tray for Optimal Gaming Enjoyment
Did you know that a dice tray functions as more than a simple rolling surface and dice protector? You can use your dice tray as a dice cup, a screen to hide your dice rolls from prying eyes, or even a place to store your game pieces when they’re not in use.
If you’re having your favorite beverage or snack, you can use a dice tray as a coaster (if it’s properly protected against moisture) or as a poor-man’s food carrying tray.
Dice trays also make great game pieces themselves. I’ve seen people use them as card holders or miniature terrain pieces (in an emergency) in all sorts of tabletop RPGs. Do you need a hill or elevated surface? Flip that wooden dice tray upside down.
The options are really only limited by your imagination. Any tabletop game can benefit from a good head on your shoulders and the bravery to try anything.
A Few Tips on How to Get Started with Tabletop Gaming if You’re New
Dice games are as varied as the number of dice in your local game store. From simple children’s games to multi-faceted role playing experiences, there’s a game out there for everyone to enjoy.
If you’re new to tabletop gaming, then I recommend starting with something simple like Yahtzee or Farkle. These are both easy to learn and can be played with just a handful of dice.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, then give Dungeons and Dragons a try. It’s the grandfather of all role playing games and has spawned countless imitators over the years.
Board games, e.g., Arkham horror, Zombicide, or other tabletop games are also an amazing ways to get a group of friends together for some light-hearted (or competitive) fun.
Whatever you choose, just make sure to have fun and don’t take things too seriously. Tabletop gaming is all about using your imagination and spending time with friends (or family).
Whatever game you choose, make sure to find a group of friends who are willing to teach you the ropes. The best way to learn is by playing with someone who knows what they’re doing.
If you don’t have any friends who are into tabletop gaming, then there are plenty of online resources to help you get started. Check out websites like Board Game Geek or Reddit’s r/boardgames for beginners for some recommendations.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What should I look for in a dice tray?
When choosing a dice tray, the most important factor is material. You want a tray that’s made of durable materials that will protect your dice and keep them from rolling off the table.
Other factors to consider include size, portability, and price. Dice trays come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to choose one that will fit your needs.
If you plan on traveling with your dice tray, then portability is an important factor to consider. Some dice trays can be folded up for easy transport, while others are too bulky to be carried around.
Finally, price is always a consideration when choosing any gaming accessory. Dice trays range in price from $2 to $300 (yes, obscene), so it’s important to find one that fits your budget.
How do you make homemade dice trays?
Making a homemade dice tray is easy and only requires a few materials. All you need is a piece of wood (preferably something sturdy like plywood), some sandpaper, a saw, and some paint or varnish.
First, cut your piece of wood into the desired shape and size. Then, sand down the edges to make sure they’re smooth. Once the wood is sanded, you can paint or varnish it to your liking.
If you want to get really fancy, you can add felt lining to the bottom of the tray to help protect your dice.
You can even skip all the construction steps and get a picture frame from an art store. Line the bottom panel with something soft to dampen the noise of rolling dice and you’re ready to play!
What are some other uses for dice trays?
Dice trays can be used for more than just rolling dice. They make great tray tables for holding drinks and snacks, or you can use them to store small items like keys and coins.
Wooden dice trays, for example, are also great for organizing your game pieces. If you have a lot of small pieces that are easy to lose, then storing them in a dice tray will help keep them all in one place.
Finally, dice trays make great gift ideas for gamers. If you know someone who loves to play board games or role-playing games, then a dice tray would make a great gift!
How do you use a dice tray?
Wow. This question does come up more frequently than I expected. But, here it goes.
A dice tray is a simple device that is used to roll dice. It typically has a raised lip around the edge to keep the dice from rolling off the table.
To use a dice tray, simply place the dice in the tray and roll them as you would normally roll dice. The tray will help contain the dice and prevent them from rolling off the table.
Do I need a dice tray?
No, you don’t need a dice tray to play tabletop games. However, they can be helpful in preventing your dice from rolling off the table or getting lost.
Dice trays also help protect your dice and keep them from getting damaged. If you’re looking for a way to keep your dice in good condition, then a dice tray is a good investment.
Finally, some people simply enjoy the aesthetics of dice trays. They can be beautiful pieces of craftsmanship, and they make a great addition to any gaming setup.
Do you need a dice tray for D&D?
Are you a TTRPG gamer who loves the adventure in games of Dungeons and Dragons? Do you have a group of friends who you love to play with, but often find your dice rolling off the table or getting lost? If so, then a dice tray might be a good investment for you.
What is the best surface to roll dice on?
The best surface to roll dice on is a flat, level surface. A dice tray can help provide a flat, level surface for you to roll your dice on.
If you don’t have a dice tray, then any flat, level surface will do. A table, countertop, or even the floor can work as long as the surface is flat and level.
For those wondering about the best dice material to avoid dice bounce, you can try neoprene or felt as part of a rolling mat. Any dice game can use a rolling area that keeps your dice from getting away from you.
What are the best dice trays for tabletop games?
There are many dice trays on the market! It’s impossible to say what would work best for someone. Here’s a review of some of the most popular dice trays on the market today!
So, is a dice tray worth it? I think so! They make for a great addition to any gamer’s toolkit, providing both protection for your dice and a way to keep them organized.
Plus, they can be a lot of fun to use and add an element of style to your game. Whether you’re looking for a simple dice tray or something more elaborate, there’s sure to be one out there that’s perfect for you.
Do you use a dice tray? What do you think of them?
Thanks for reading! I hope this guide was helpful in deciding whether or not a dice tray is right for you. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.