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Sic Bo, meaning «dice pair» is an ancient Chinese gambling game. It is very popular in Macau, in my estimation second to baccarat only. In the United States is often found in the Asian gaming rooms, especially in Atlantic City. The large Las Vegas properties will usually have one table in the general casino.
The game uses three dice and a table with a variety of betting options on the roll of those dice. The odds and table layout may also vary from place to place. However, the payoffs are the same across Atlantic City and Macau, but different from each other. In Vegas and on the Internet casinos, anything is possible. In fact, I have a whole page about playing sic bo online.
Following is a list of the bets available. The payoffs vary on some bets, from casino to casino. For those bets, I indicate a range of viable payoffs. Please note that there is no universal acceptance on the titles of most bets. Other sources may use different terminology.
The following list of bets can be found on any self-respecting sic bo game. It is followed by a list of some more uncommon bets.
- Small: Wins on total of 4-10, except for a three of a kind. Probability of winning is 48.61%. Pays 1 to 1. House edge is 2.78%.
- Big: Wins on total of 11-17, except for a three of a kind. Probability of winning is 48.61%. Pays 1 to 1. House edge is 2.78%.
- Total of 4 and 17: Pays 50 to 1 in Macau, 60 to 1 in Atlantic City, and 62 to 1 in Australia.
Total of 4 and 17
Total of 5 and 16
Total of 6 and 15
Total of 7 and 14: Pays 12 to 1 everywhere.
Total of 7 and 14
Total of 8 and 13: Pays 8 to 1 everywhere.
Total of 8 and 13
Total of 9 and 12: Pays 6 to 1 in Macau and Atlantic City. Pays 7 to 1 in Australia.
Total of 9 and 12
Total of 10 and 11: Pays 6 to 1 everywhere. House edge of 12.50%.
Any Triple: Wins on any three of a kind. Pays 24 to 1 in Macau and 30 to 1 in Atlantic City.
- One match: Pays 1 to 1
- Two matches: Pays 2 to 1
- Three matches: Pays 3* to 1
* While 3 to 1 is the usual win for matching three, in Australia they pay 12 to 1.
The house edge under the usual pay table is 7.87%. Under the Australia rules it drops to 3.70%. Internet casinos have a wide range of pays for matching three. See my page on playing sic bo online for more on that.
Domino (one face)
Following are some bets that are rarely found in sic bo, but have been known to exist.
- Odd & Even: Wins on any odd total, except loses with any three of a kind. This bet I have only seen in Macau, never in the United States. Probability of winning is 48.61% and house edge is 2.78%.
- Three-Number Easy Hop: I don’t know the correct title of this bet, so made up my own. The player chooses a three-number combination, using three unique numbers, for example 1-3-5. The bet pays 30 to 1 if all three are rolled. Probability of winning is 2.78% and house edge is 13.89%. I am aware of only Macau offering this bet.
- Three-Number Hard Hops: Again, I don’t know the correct title of this bet, so made up my own. The player chooses a three-number combination, using two unique numbers, and specifying which will be rolled twice. For example 2-2-4. The bet pays 50 to 1 if the roll matches exactly. So, in this example, 2-4-4 and 2-4-5 would lose. Probability of winning is 1.39% and house edge is 29.17%. I am aware of only one Macau casino offering this bet.
- Four-Number Easy Hop: Once again, my own title. The player chooses a four-number combination, using four unique numbers. for example 1-3-4-6. The bet pays 7 to 1 if the roll matches three of the chosen numbers. In my example, 1-3-4, 1-3-6, 1-4-6, and 3-4-6 would be the only winners. Probability of winning is 11.11% and house edge is also 11.11%. I am aware of Macau only offering this bet.
Following are tables summarizing each bet under the Atlantic City and Macau rules.
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Sic Bo — Atlantic City Rules
Following is a table summarizing each bet under the Macau rules.
Sic Bo — Macau Rules
Following is a table summarizing each bet under the Australia rules.
How to Play Sic Bo
Sic Bo (also called SicBo or Sic-Bo) is the Asian version of the classic casino game craps, but as with most ancient pursuits, this game likely spawned the dice games we know today. Although craps has overtaken Sic Bo in terms of overall popularity, the game is making a rebound of late, as Western players gain greater exposure to alternative table games via the online casino industry.
Both Sic Bo and craps utilize a table lined with betting squares and rolled dices, and they both are games of pure chance in the end. The objective of the game is simply to guess the result of three dice being rolled simultaneously.
Just like craps, you’ll find a dizzying array of betting options on an online or physical Sic Bo table, even though as is true in craps, a few basic bets form the game’s foundation. Of course, you can always take a chance and try the more lucrative bets on board, but when you do, Sic Bo odds are tilted in the house’s favor.
Online Sic Bo – The Perfect Casino Game
Online Sic Bo is the perfect casino game for players looking for a good time without taxing themselves mentally. It may appear counterintuitive to play games in which you have little to no control over the outcome, but games of chance have long been a staple of casino gambling.
The reason for this is most players approach casino games as a lark, and they just want to have a little fun while chasing a big score along the way. So if you aren’t too concerned with applying proper strategy, and instead want to savor the thrill of a pure game of chance, Sic Bo is the dice game for you.
The following walkthrough is intended for players who are unfamiliar with the game, therefore, you will learn how to play land-based and online Sic Bo, the rules, basic strategy, Sic Bo’s betting options, terminology, and payouts will be covered.
The goal here is to take Sic Bo novices who may have only discovered the game yesterday into proficient players capable of hitting the table without breaking stride.
How to Play Real Money Sic Bo
After a long session at the blackjack tables, where studying exposed cards and determining the optimal play for each scenario can be mentally taxing, sometimes putting your brain on autopilot for a fun game of Sic Bo can be a refreshing change of pace.
When sitting down to a Sic Bo table for the first time, you’ll likely notice how the table layout resembles that of a craps table. A large grid is lined out on the felt, and various squares featuring words, numbers, and illustrations of dice fill in the grid.
With several dozen distinct betting areas on the table, Sic Bo can seem quite intimidating for beginners, but breaking the grid down into sections is a great way to get started. For a visual tour of the standard Sic Bo table, below is a quick four-minute lesson on Sic Bo betting and Sic Bo betting strategy.
Learning how to play real money casino Sic Bo is relatively straightforward, and all you need to do is place your bets on the betting squares you prefer. Obviously, selecting these bets requires knowledge about the various differences between each bet, but once you’ve mastered those basics, placing your bets is all that will be required of you.
Online Sic Bo Betting Strategy
To play present or online Sic Bo, you’ll need to know what the betting squares and their associated symbols really mean. For starters, we’ll consider the game’s most commonly placed bets: Small and Big.
The upper left-hand and right-hand corner of the betting grid are large squares featuring the words Small and Big. This simply refers to the amount of the three dice that the dealer will roll once all bets have been made.
Other bets to consider include the Double and Triple bets, which require you to guess which (if any) dice will roll out to the same number.
Small and Big Bets in Sic Bo
A bet on Small means you’re guessing that the three dice will total anywhere between 4 and 10, while a bet on Big means you think the total will reach 11 through 17.
Think of this bet like the red and black bets on a roulette table, because both sides offer the same odds of right around 50 percent. Obviously, because the number ranges leave off one possible total for each bet (3 on the Small bet and 18 on the Big bet), your odds of winning are slightly lower than even money. This is much like the 0 and 00 spaces on a roulette wheel.
Odds and Payouts – Sic Bo Small and Big Bets
Most players, from novices to experts, stick to these Small and Big bets because they offer the most favorable house edge. When betting either Small or Big, you’ll always face a house edge of 2.78 percent, and a win probability of 48.61 percent.
Should the dice roll in your favor and reach the total you’ve chosen, either Small or Big, your wager will be paid out at 1 to 1.
Double and Triple Bets – Sic Bo Betting Strategy
Double bets are depicted on the grid directly next to the Small and Big bets, with rectangular shapes featuring images of two dice showing matching totals (1 – 1, 2 – 2, 3 – 3, and so forth). Triple bets are shown in between the Double betting rectangles, and these feature images of three dice showing matching totals.
When betting Doubles, you can bet on any pairing you’d like, or multiple pairings simultaneously, but you can’t bet that any Double will occur. In other words, Doubles bets must be specific (two 1s, two 2s, etc.), but you can bet as many of these as you want. On the other hand, Triple bets work the same way, but a special square is also included allowing players to bet that any triple will occur.
Sic Bo Odds and Payout – Double and Triple Bets
A winning Double bet pays out at 8 to 1, an exact winning Triple bet pays out at 150 to 1, and the any Triple bet pays out at 24 to 1, and while these payout structures are standard online, they can improve slightly in brick and mortar casinos.
The house edge on Double bets is 33.3 percent when the 8 to 1 payout is used, and the house edge on exact Triple bets is 30.09 percent, while the Triple bet carries a house edge of 30.56 percent.
Other Sic Bo Bets
You’ll also notice a horizontal line of squares featuring numerical values running across the center of the table. These are for betting on the exact total of all three dice combined.
Sic Bo Betting Combination
You can bet that the dice will render a total of:
- 4 or 17 (50 to 1 payout, house edge 29.17%)
- 5 or 16 (18 to 1 payout, house edge 47.22%)
- 6 or 15 (14 to 1 payout, house edge 30.56%)
- 7 or 14 (12 to 1 payout, house edge 23.61%)
- 8 or 13 (7 to 1 payout, house edge 22.22%)
- 9 or 12 (6 to 1 payout, house edge 18.98%)
- 10 or 11 (6 to 1 payout, house edge 12.50%)
A combination bet involves guessing that a single two number combination will occur among the three rolled dice.
Example Combination Bet
You can bet that a 1 – 2, 1 – 3, 1 – 4, 1 – 5, 1 – 6, 2 – 3, 2 – 4, 2 – 5, 2 – 6, 3 – 4, 3 – 5, 3 – 6, 4 – 5, 4 – 6, or 5 – 6 will show up when the three dice finish rolling. If your chosen combination appears, your bet is paid out at 5 to 1.
These bets are also called domino bets because the two dice symbols on the betting grid resemble dominoes. Combination bets carry a house edge of 16.67 percent.
Sic Bo Individual Bets
Underneath the combination betting line, you’ll see six squares featuring each of the individual dice faces. You can bet that a number will show up among the three dice rolled, and if it shows up once you’re paid out at 1 to 1.
When the number shows up twice, however, you’ll be paid out at 2 to 1, and the payout climbs to 3 to 1 for all three numbers. The house edge on the single number bets stands at 7.87 percent.
Sic Bo Rules & Tips
The Sic Bo casino game is Chinese in origin, but Sic Bo is popular around the globe. It has a number of variants or regional name, so you’ll find the Sic Bo game called “Dai Sui” in Macau and Hi-Lo in the Philippines. Sic Bo variants like Grand Hazard (UK) and Chuck-a-Luck (USA) are also popular games in their own rights. Sic Bo means “Big or Small” or “Precious Dice”, which are good clues about the game. Unlike the other popular dice game in casinos, craps, Sic Bo produces a result on every single roll.
The guide below provides the complete Sic Bo rules, along with tips for how to win Sic Bo games both online and in land-based casinos. This includes the odds and house edge of Sic Bo, as well as Sic Bo payouts. Few dice control experts claim Sic Bo cheats exist because the dealer rolls the dice, which are contained in a box prior to the roll. It would be next to impossible to control Sicbo dice, which has a good side; it means the casino is not likely to cheat you or other players.
Sic Bo Rules – Dice Roll
Sic Bo uses three dice to produce results. Players bet on a table layout full of betting options, not unlike craps. While the Sic Bo layout might look complicated, once you play a few hands, you’ll see the betting options are self-explanatory and easy. Once bets are made, the dealer places the 3 dice in the roll box, gives them a good shake, and rolls the dice on the table. Bets are paid according to strict rules. Below are the Sic Bo bets, with UK payouts listed. If alternate payouts are common, we’ll discuss that later in the Sic Bo tips section.
Sic Bo Bets Explained
- Big Bet – Wager that the dice total will be anything between 11 and 17. The payout is 1:1, while the house edge is 2.8%.
- Small Bet – Wager that the dice total will be anything between 4 and 10. The payout is 1:1, while the house edge is 2.8%.
- Odd Bet – The total score will be an odd number, besides any triple (1-1-1, 2-2-2, etc.). The payout is 1:1, while the house edge is 2.8%.
- Even Bet – The total score will be an even number, besides any triple (1-1-1, 2-2-2, etc.) The payout is 1:1, while the house edge is 2.8%.
- Triples Bet – Also called “Alls”, this is a bet that a specific number will appear on all three dice. You must bet on triple-1, triple-2, and so on. This pays out 180:1, but has a house edge of 16.2%.
- Doubles Bet – A bet on whether a specific number will appear twice among the three dice (example: 1-1-2 or 2-2-1). You must bet on double-1, double-2, and so on. This pays out 11:1, but has a house edge of 11.1%.
- Any Triple Bet – Also calls “All Alls”, this is a bet than any triple will appear. This pays out 30:1 in the UK and has a house edge of 13.9%. See the “Tips” section below for more on the “Any Triple” bet.
- 3 Dice Total Bet – Players can place bets on the total of the three dice, which include a range of payouts and house edges. I’ll discuss this in the three-dice total table below, but payouts range from 6:1 to 60:1, while the house edge ranges from 7.4% to 15.3%.
- Dice Combination Bet – A specific 2-number combination appears among the 3 dice. For instance, 2-4. This pays 6:1, while having a house edge of 2.8%.
- Single Dice Bet – A wager that a single number will appear one, two, or three times. 1 pays 1:1, 2 pays 2:1, and 3 pays 3:1. This has a house edge of 7.9%.
- Four Number Combination Bet – This is a bet that any three of a 4-number combination will appear. The bet options are either 1-2-3-4, 2-3-4-5, 2-3-5-6, or 3-4-5-6. The payout is 7:1, while the house edge is 11.1%.
- Three Single Numbers Bet – This is a bet that any specific combination of three numbers will appear. This bet pays out 30:1, while the house edge is 13.9%.
- Specific Double & Single Bet – This is a wager that a specific double combo (example: 1,1) and a specific number (example: 2) will appear. This pays out 50:1 while having a 29.2%.
Online Sic Bo Game
Sic Bo played online is essentially the same game as brick-and-mortar Sicbo. Players should be aware of a few factors that change when playing in an online casino, as well as the existence of live dealer Sic Bo games provided by some casinos.
Online Sic Bo uses a random number generator to determine the result of dice rolls. This eliminates any conceivable dice control techniques which might exist because the results are determined electronically. Even in live Sic Bo games streamed live to your computer or smartphone, the live dealer rolls the dice, so results are determined by factors beyond your control.
Despite those limitations, there are many reasons to play online Sic Bo. Online players receive more deposit bonuses, no-deposit bonuses, free bonus chips, and reload bonuses. This increases your odds by lowering the house edge because a certain percentage of your Sicbo bets will be risk-free.
Some online casinos provide game-specific bonuses either for table games, Asian games, or Sic Bo specifically. While these are rarer, they increase the advantage with a 100% contribution rate while betting on Sic Bo. Mobile Sicbo is also an option, giving you the chance to bet on Chinese dice anytime and anywhere.
Proper Casino Sic Bo Strategy
As a pure game of chance, there’s no preset strategy for excelling at playing online Sic Bo. When it’s all said and done, the randomized roll of three dice will always determine winners and losers, and you can never control that level of randomization.
Fortunately for players looking to win, however, online Sic Bo resembles another game of chance predicated on guessing; baccarat. And when you adapt proper baccarat strategy (sticking to the most favorable bet on the board at all times, in this case, the Small and Big squares), you can reduce the house edge on Sic Bo to just under 3 percent making it one of the more favorable games in any casino.
Present and Online Sic Bo Betting Strategy
The trick is exercising discipline and resisting the urge to splash chips around on the various bets begging to be made all across the board. And sure, you’ll occasionally watch a player hit the perfect roll and win big, but nine times out of ten these alternate bets just won’t hit pay dirt.
By sticking to the Small and Big bets when playing Sic Bo, you should be able to extend your bankroll into several hours of enjoyment without fear of going broke.
If you simply must try your hand at some of the more disadvantageous bets, the best Sic Bo strategy you can employ is selective aggression. Don’t become attached to certain bets, and always keep in mind the gambler’s fallacy. Just because the previous rolls didn’t show any Triples doesn’t mean a Triple is due to arrive.
Every roll of the dice is a wholly independent event, and the odds are always the same each time the dice hit the felt. If you keep that maxim in mind, online Sic Bo can provide an enjoyable entertainment experience, and perhaps even a little profit to boot.
Best Online Casinos to Play Sic Bo
Non-US online Sicbo players should have no trouble finding the game, because global online casino operators want to attract Asian players. US online players might have a harder time finding a good Sic Bo game, nevertheless, remember you can play craps if you want to gamble on dice.
Always remember to check a site’s live casino for Sicbo, because even US-friendly live casino design companies like Vivo Gaming have studios in the Philippines or Laos, and thus might off online live Sic Bo.
For US Players: BetOnline and Slots.lv
Is not easy to find online Sic Bo in a legitimate online casino available to US players. However, players who enjoy dice games can always play online craps in a US online casino. BetOnline Casino has two versions of online craps, which includes dice rollers with many similar bets to Sic Bo. Like Sic Bo, the pass/come bets have small payouts, but a lower house edge than Sicbo’s Odd/Even or Hi/Low bets.
Like Sic Bo, players who want the big payouts on wagers with high house edge have plenty of betting options. BetOnline’s craps bet minimum is $1 and bet maximum is $250. US online casinos like Slots.lv, Bovada and Ignition Casino also have “Roll the Dice”, a new Asian-themed dice game based on (some figures in) the Chinese Zodiac.
For Non-US Players: Betway Casino
BetWay Casino has online Sic Bo. Betway has a £1,000 Welcome Bonus and payouts according to the Sic Bo rules and Sic Bo UK payout tables above. The betting limits at Betway Casino range between £/€/$1 and £/€/$1,000 per spin, so penny players and high rollers alike should enjoy their online Sic Bo betting at Betway.
Play Sic Bo for Free in Demo Mode by Habanero
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