What is the meaning of a dice tattoo?

Updated April 17, 2017

Across many cultures around the world, dice are used in games of chance or gambling. In an instant, the random toss of dice determines the unpredictable outcome of a game or wager. The symbol of a pair of dice enjoys continued popularity as a tattoo.

You're a Risk-Taker

Choosing a tattoo of dice shows your inclination to take risks in life and leave the outcomes up to fate.

A Charmed Life

Dice tattoos can represent a belief that you consider yourself lucky. It can symbolise the fact that you rely on luck rather than on inherent talents or learnt skills.

A Metaphor for Life

Dice tattoos can be seen as a metaphor for life. The tattoo may imply a belief that we can no more predict the future than we can predict the roll of the dice.

A Heedful Warning

When incorporated into a larger motif consisting of gambling vices, often known as the "Man's Ruin" tattoo, dice in the tattoo can serve as part of a warning against the pitfalls of gambling. Dice in these tattoos are often united in a design containing images of alcohol, playing cards, women and weapons.

Prison Meaning

As a prison tattoo, dice can be the symbol of a gambler. Alternatively, if you dispense with the full boxed structure of a die and choose five dots arranged like the five seen on a die head, it means to be "alone within these four walls."

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About the Author

Michael C. is a freelance writer and actor who lives in New York. He has provided research articles for Harvard University / Massachusetts General Hospital, online content for Fly Communications and copy editing for Actors' Equity Association.