Sic Bo is a fun and exciting gambling game that originated in China a long time ago. You place bets on the combination of numbers likely to appear on the roll of the 3 dice that are an integral part of the game. There are different bets you can place for each dice roll and you get paid based on your bets.
Sic Bo is also known as Tai Sai or Dai Siu, which translates to ‘Big Small'. Because of its Chinese roots you find this game very often at casinos in Macau. Before getting into the details of Sic Bo we discuss briefly the game's history.
Top Sic Bo Casino and Bonuses
The following table list casinos that allow play with a bonus. We indicate the percentage of wagers that count towards their wagering requirements.
Sic Bo existed in Chine almost 1900 years ago. Sic Bo literally means ‘2 dice', which could be an indication of an earlier time when the game was played with 2 dice instead of the standard 3 that you see now. The originally game did not have dice to be rolled; instead there were bricks with numbers etched on their sides. Over time the bricks were replaced with 6-sided dice that were easier to handle and roll.
Sic Bo came from China to the USA in the 19th century along with the migrant Chinese labourers who formed part of the workforce for the transcontinental railroad. The game remained within the Chinese community in the USA for quite a while; it reached the other communities in the country only sometime between 1920 and 1940. It became a popular carnival game and had many names, including Chuck-a-Luck and Birdcage (because of the cage inside which the dice were rolled).
Another version of Sic Bo developed in the UK as well, a game that was a mix of Sic Bo and Hazard and called Grand Hazard. The original game of Sic Bo continues to be played with the addition of a third dice to increase both the number of bets possible and the odds of winning. The payout range is vast too, ranging from 1:1 to 180:1 thanks to the ability of players to bet on the dice individually and also in combinations - single, double or triple combinations.
The popularity of Sic Bo has grown since the 1990s with the emergence of online casinos. You also find the game at casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Mississippi and other places. In the UK, Sic Bo was legalized by 2002. Now you get different variants, including live Sic Bo games as well.
Sic Bo Rules
Sic Bo is a relatively simple game once you understand the table layout and the betting options. There is no established betting sequence; you place your bets based on your game strategy. You place your bet in the designated betting area; which part of the table you place your bets on depends on what you are betting on. If you are playing at an online casino you click the chips shown based on the value of your bet and then click on the area you want to bet on. The dealer then rolls the dice and you are paid out winnings based on the outcome of the dice roll.
One of the key factors is to ensure you place your bets in the correct area. Once the bets are placed and the dealer gets the dice ready to be rolled, you cannot change your bet. This is especially important when you are placing multiple bets, and you can place a number of different bets simultaneously to cover various possibilities in Sic Bo.
How to Play Sic Bo
Playing online Sic Bo is quite easy. The game has just a few elements:
Sic Bo table with the numbers and betting areas outlined on it.
Payout chart with the list of payouts for the different bets; you find this item at the bottom left of your computer screen.
Dice bowl containing the 3 dice to be rolled.
Automatic dice shaker, which is hooked to the dice bowl and shakes up the dice before they are thrown out on to the table.
You can play Sic Bo alone against the dealer - like at an online casino, or at a table full of player, like at a land-based casino. The following steps outline the way you play online Sic Bo:
- Place your wagers on the different parts of the Sic Bo table.
- Once the bets are placed click the Roll button.
- The automatic dice shaker shakes up the dice bowl and the 3 dice are then rolled.
- Based on the outcome of the dice roll and the wagers you placed you get paid.
Bet Types in Sic Bo
There are a large number of bets to choose from when you play Sic Bo. You can place just one bet or multiple bets simultaneously for a single dice roll. The different bets available include:
- Small and big numbers
- Matching doubles or triples
- Any triples
- Double combinations
- Single dice
Small and Big Numbers
One of the most used bets in Sic Bo, this bet gives you a 1:1 payout on both small and big numbers. If you place this bet and land a triple you lose.
You find the term Small at the upper left corner of the table and Big at the upper right corner. The numbers 4 to 10 are the small numbers; the numbers 11 to 17 are the big numbers. With this bet you can wager on the possibility of the sum of the 3 dice being either a small or big number.
The totals bet lets you bet on the total of the 3 dice rolled being between 4 and 17. The payouts for this bet range from 6:1 to 60:1. The house edges and payouts for the different totals are listed below.
|Total of Dice Roll||Payout||House Edge|
|10 or 11||6:1||12.5%|
|9 or 12||6:1||18.98%|
|8 or 13||7:1||22.2%|
|7 or 14||12:1||23.6%|
|6 or 15||14:1||30.6%|
|5 or 16||18:1||47.2%|
|4 or 17||60:1||29.2%|
Matching Doubles or Triples
This bet covers the possibility of the total being specific doubles or triples. The following are the payouts for the different doubles and triples that could potentially land:
- Doubles from 1 to 6 - 10:1 payout.
- Triples from 1 to 6 - 180:1.
You place this bet to predict the possibility of the outcome of the dice roll being any triples. This bet has a 30:1 payout.
You bet on the result of the dice roll featuring two-dice combinations. This bet has a payout of a cool 6:1.
You bet on getting at least one of the dice values correct. There are different payouts for the different scenarios possible with this bet:
- 3 correct - 3:1
- 2 correct - 2:1
- 1 correct - 1:1 or even money payout
Sic Bo Strategy
Sic Bo is completely a game of chance. The game depends on the outcome of a 3-dice roll; there is no strategy that can help you construct for yourself a winning strategy. Despite Sic Bo being a game of chance, there are a few things you can do right to ensure minimal loss and a possible upside to your winning abilities. We list below for you some of the basic strategies you can adopt while playing Sic Bo:
- Play in practice mode: Playing in practice mode doesn't cost you anything; at the same time you get a feel of the way the game would play in a real money environment. You can fine tune your responses for the different dice rolls and enhance your game skills.
- Choose your bets wisely: It is better to play bets that pay out even money or slightly higher as these bets come with higher odds of winning. That way, even if you win less you are still winning.
- Avoid bets with high payouts: High payout bets are the ones to stay away from, as a rule of thumb. This is because they come with a high house edge. You could go for these bets if you are in the middle of a hot streak, for instance, but advisably not during regular game play. For instance, a bet on a Three of a Kind comes with a 150:1 payout, but the odds of this bet winning are very low.
- Play within your bankroll: It is important to be able to play within your bankroll. Plan your bankroll and play strategy so your bankroll doesn't get blown away in a couple of rounds. If you have lost a hand you may be better off placing an even money bet than a bet with a high payout.
Sic Bo Variants
There are some cool Sic Bo variants that you can check out at land-based and online casinos. We list some of them below:
- Grand Hazard: This game is an English variant of Sic Bo that mixes the game with Hazard. This game is also played with 3 dice. The objective is the same: to predict the outcome of a 3-dice roll and wager on the possible result. The dice in this game are rolled into a specially designed chute that comes with inclined planes. The dice rolls down these planes as they descend.
- Chuck-a-Luck: This is an American variant of Sic Bo that is also referred to as Birdcage. The game has 3 dice in a wire cage much like a bird cage, which is where it gets its name from. The dealer rotates the cage and allows the dice to settle down and land at the bottom of the cage. This game used to be popular in Nevada casinos once upon a time.
Sic Bo Glossary
The following is a glossary of commonly used terms in Sic Bo.
|Any Double||This bet covers the probability of two dice landing and showing the number you bet on. It is also called Any Pair and offers 8:1 odds on winning.|
|Any Triple||This bet covers the probability of all the three dice landing and showing the number you bet on. It offers 24:1 odds on winning.|
|Betting Limit||This term is commonly used in table games and refers to the minimum and maximum bets permissible for a game in a single round.|
|Birdcage||A term used to refer to the break-even point in the American version of Sic Bo. If it were possible to play the game indefinitely, this is the point when all your bets made would be equal to the payoffs that you would get in the event of win.|
|Cage||The device in which the dice are placed before they are rolled.|
|Combination bet||A bet on the possibility of 2 of the dice showing the numbers that the player chooses.|
|Chuck-a-Luck||This is the American version of Sic Bo.|
|Double||A bet on the possibility of the chosen number appearing on two of the dice. The chances of this happening are 5-1.|
|Even Bet||A bet that assumes that the total of the dice would be an even number.|
|Grand Hazard||The UK variant of Sic Bo.|
|Hi-Lo||A Sic Bo variant commonly played in the Philippines.|
|Layout||The pattern on the Sic Bo table including the different betting areas.|
|Lose On Any Triple||A scenario where you lose on small and big bets when all three dice show the same number on landing.|
|Lucky Dice||Another name for Sic Bo.|
|Odd Bet||A bet on the total value of the dice roll being an odd number.|
|Re-Bet||A feature that lets you repeat your previous spin bets.|
|Small Bet||A bet on the possibility of the total amount of the dice roll being between 4 and 10.|
|Spin||This term refers to shaking the cage prior to rolling the dice.|
|Three Single Number Combination||A specific three number combination announced by the player. If all three dice come up with exactly that combination, the player wins that round.|
|Triple||A bet on the possibility of all three dice showing the same number after a roll. The payout for this bet is 150-1.|
|Two Faces||A combination bet wherein the player predicts two of the numbers that will appear on the dice. The payout for this bet is usually in the range of 6-1 and 60-1.|
Sic Bo FAQs
The following are some FAQs about Sic Bo.
Sic Bo is a popular casino gambling game that you can play at land-based as well as online casinos. The game is very popular at the casinos in Macau. However, it is also equally popular in different parts of the USA and also UK. And if you are an online casino fan there are countless high-quality online casinos offering Sic Bo nowadays.
Strategy does not have any role in Sic Bo, because this is a total game of chance. Regardless of the type of bets you place or the amount or the combinations you place them in, the house edge remains unaffected and so do the odds.
Sic Bo may not exactly be mainstream compared to high-profile games like slots, but it sure does pack a punch when it comes to the payouts. The payouts in this game range from a sober 1:1 (even money) to a massive 180:1, depending on the bet(s) and the outcome of the dice roll. This makes it a great game for those who like to play safe as well as those who like to play big.
Sic Bo has some exciting variants. The English variant of the game is called Grand Hazard, while there is also an American variant called Chuck-a-Luck or Birdcage. Both the games are essentially Sic Bo, with some local adaptations thrown in.
You can use the welcome bonus and other bonuses available at online casinos to play Sic Bo. Do remember to go through the terms and conditions carefully before using a bonus, and ensure you fulfill the terms before trying to withdraw any winnings.