09 Jul, 2020

What Does “Snake Eyes” Mean, and How is it Used? 

Snake Eyes, is defined as the outcome of rolling the dice and getting just a single pip on each one. The two pips apparently look like a pair of eyes, which was then appended to the word ‘snake.’ While the exact origins of the name are unknown. However, we know that it has often been associated with the game of craps. The etymology dictionary states that the term dates back to 1919 owing to earlier references to the term. The assumption that the term has been used since Ancient Roman times is baseless. Back in Ancient Roman times, the term ‘dogs’ was used for a throw of doubles that resulted in ones, which gave rise to the term “the dog throw.”

Publicerad: 27 May, 2020

Snake Eyes Means You’re a Loser 

Snake Eyes is a term often used outside of the casino industry and loosely for people who are losers or people with bad luck. However, the term’s association with losing has to do with casino games wherein ‘Snake Eyes’ is the lowest possible roll, which means that the person has lost at least that dice roll and possibly the game. Also, because dice are associated with games of luck, the person is said to have bad luck if they end up with snake eyes. 

It is important to distinguish board games like Monopoly from casino games. Inboard games like Monopoly, the house may rule that snake eyes earn the player a bonus, like getting a free turn when a double is rolled. One reason for the bonus is because drawing snake eyes is rare but disadvantageous. Mathematically speaking, the odds of anyone rolling snake eyes or 2x six-sided dice is 1 in 36, which is 1/6 x 1/6. To put things into context, it is very rare. So, your luck needs to be exceptionally bad to end up with snake eyes. 

Use of the Term Outside of the Casino 

Many people may use the term Snake Eyes when referring to certain individuals or situations where they ran out of luck. Generally, as noted above, if someone says that they had snake eyes, or if you have snake eyes, it means that they had bad luck, or you have bad luck. In some cases, it may also refer to someone who is a consistent loser in life. 

Snake Eyes, when used outside of a casino setting, isn’t necessarily seen as being offensive. However, it may appear offensive to some people who have not achieved much in life and blame the situation of them having snake eyes. Regardless, it is still a predominantly casino and dice game-related term. 

Conclusion 

Snake Eyes or doubles are commonly used across the casino industry, and the term has made its way to everyday language. The term perhaps took off outside of the casino industry after a movie by the same name starring Nicolas Cage was released in 1998. Regardless, today is amongst the most popular casino terms used outside of the casino.