Sic Bo has its roots in the Far East where the game is sometimes called Hi Lo. It's similar to craps and requires players to predict the outcome of a dice roll.
When you first see it, you might think you've clicked the wrong button and ended up at a virtual disco. The table is an elaborate affair and let's say just a little over the top, with the winning bets highlighted by the bright illuminated sections.
Sic Bo Headlines
- Sic bo is a colourful Chinese dice game that's similar to craps and roulette.
- Players predict how the dice will land by placing bets on the sum of the dice, doubles, triples or exact combinations.
- Odds can vary between different software providers. For example, Microgaming offers better odds than Playtech.
- The house edge ranges from 2.78% on the small and big bets to 16.2% on a triple.
In spite of the lavishness, sic bo isn't quite as complex as it first appears. Players are able to place their bets by clicking on the appropriate sections and after all of the bets have been made, a cage containing three dice is spun.
After the dice have been shaken, the results are entered into the results table (in the same way as roulette), which lights up in the winning pattern. Winning bets are then paid out, while losing bets are taken away automatically.
How to Play Sic Bo
Once you've got past the complexity of the sic bo table itself, the game is pretty simple. Essentially all you're doing is guessing how the dice are going to end up.
Having said that, there are a few different types of sic bo bets to get to grips with. They are:
- Single number bets
- Select 1-6 to bet on that number to appear on one of the dice.
- Two numbers
- Payout of 5:1 for players who select two numbers to appear on any of the three dice.
- Three numbers
- Selecting the sum of all three dice. Odds and payouts vary on your selection. Nine and twelve have the lowest edge at 7.41%.
- Small or big
- The bets with the lowest house edge of 2.78%. This is betting that the sum of the dice will be between four and ten (small) or eleven and 17 (big).
- Betting on a specific pair such as 2 and 4 to be rolled. House edge is pretty high at 18.5% for this bet.
- Odds range from 120:1 to 180:1 and can be won by betting on the exact three numbers to be rolled.
Keep it Simple by Playing Online
At first sight, a row of sic bo tables in a land-based casino could be quite daunting due to the number of flashing lights and betting options. Fortunately, playing sic bo online allows you to go at your own pace, meaning that you can take your time to learn the game first.
Another considerable advantage of playing online sic bo is that you'll actually be able to find it. While the game is quite common in Asian land-based casinos, this isn't the case in the US and certainly not in the UK, where you'll really struggle to find a sic bo table.
Sic bo? Or tai sai? Or dai siu?
Confusingly enough, in Asia where the game was created, sic bo is also called tai sai or dai siu. The name of the game depends on what part of Asia you happen to be in.
Regardless of which name you choose, they all mean pretty much the same thing in English - which happens to be big and small or high and low. However these words were never needed until the game arrived in North America in the 1990s as Chinese settlers introduced the game to those in the US.
Due to the presence of craps, sic bo has never really been as popular in the US as it might have been and it's even harder to find a sic bo table in the UK and Europe.
Now that the game can be found online, it has been diluted down slightly in order to make it easier for Western users to play it. This has included using pictures of the dice combinations on the table as well as the Western numbering system.
However the game still remains true to its roots in online casinos with Chinese symbols littered around the board to give it an oriental feel.