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While researching the SOMA Cube a few years ago, I ran across this Gambler’s Die Puzzle that can be made from nine rectangular blocks of wood. These nine blocks can be arranged to make a regular gambler’s die (singular of dice).
The dots must appear in the correct pattern on each face. To be a correct solution, opposite faces must also add up to seven.
I didn’t have nine rectangular blocks, so I decided to use 27 one inch wooden cubes. I had some of these leftover from crafting my SOMA Cube, 3 Immovable Pentablocks Puzzle, DIY Instant Insanity Puzzle, and Genius Blocks.
This puzzle can be found in a collection of Enrichment Student Projects from 1968. They were published by CILAMP – Central Iowa Low Achiever Mathematics Project.
I just used the abbreviation CILAMP when citing the source on the instructions since I don’t think anyone would use a name like this for any teaching project anymore.
To start building my gambler’s die puzzle, I arranged my 27 wooden cubes into a 3 x 3 cube. The original instructions suggested using notebook ring reinforcements to create the dots on the die. I chose to use dot stickers instead.
I used an actual die to keep myself from making any mistakes while creating my jumbo die puzzle.
I did have to get a bit of help from my husband to add the stickers to the bottom of the die.
Next, I used Mod Podge to seal down the dot stickers and water-proof my puzzle.
After the Mod Podge dried, I reassembled the cube and used wood glue to glue the pieces together into strips of three.
In retrospect, I probably should have done this FIRST before I put the stickers on!
While I waited for everything to dry, I typed up a set of instructions to put out in my classroom with the Gambler’s Die Puzzle.
Here’s my finished product:
It was a relief when I was able to rebuild the puzzle and verify that it worked!
Free Download of Gambler’s Die Puzzle
Gambler’s Die (PDF) (686 downloads)
Gambler’s Die (Editable Publisher File ZIP) (335 downloads)
I intentionally do not make answers to the printable math puzzles I share on my blog available online because I strive to provide learning experiences for my students that are non-google-able. I would like other teachers to be able to use these puzzles in their classrooms as well without the solutions being easily found on the Internet.
However, I do recognize that us teachers are busy people and sometimes need to quickly reference an answer key to see if a student has solved a puzzle correctly or to see if they have interpreted the instructions properly.
If you are a teacher who is using these puzzles in your classroom, please send me an email at email@example.com with information about what you teach and where you teach. I will be happy to forward an answer key to you.