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Use Google to flip a coin or roll dice

Google's search tool has two new tricks up its sleeve.

Matt Elliott/CNET

I once found myself long ago in a beer hall in Munich with a college friend. We often passed the time by playing backgammon and thought the game would be the perfect accompaniment to our afternoon of enjoying giant mugs of beer. Without a backgammon board or even a set of dice, we'd draw a board on a napkin, split matches in half for the playing pieces and drew scraps of paper from two piles numbered one through six in lieu of rolling dice. Our system wasn't pretty, but it worked.

This was at the dawn of the Internet and before the age of Google. Had it been today, we could have simply used our phones to roll dice. Google recently introduced two new functions to its search tool: flipping a coin and rolling a die.

To get rolling, enter roll die, roll dice or roll a dice into Google's search bar by voice or fingertip and Google will roll a single die. Unfortunately for backgammon players, you can't roll two dice at once. And I'm sorry to report to D&D players that the only die Google offers is a six-side one.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Google's coin flip has the added suspense of an animation of a coin spinning before it lands on heads or tails. Enter flip coin or flip a coin to decide your fate.

Both of these new functions are available on the desktop and mobile devices.

Via Google Operating System Blog.