Sic Bo (literally “dice pair”) is a popular game that has roots in ancient China. In some ways, Sic Bo is essentially a dice version of roulette, a game in which players wager on how the roll of three dice will play out. They may make bets on just about anything: how often a certain number will come up, the total of the three dice, whether the total will be high or low, or just about anything else you can imagine.
In live casinos, the fast pace of play, the numerous betting options, and – for those not familiar with the culture – the fact that the game is almost exclusively played by Asian gamblers often make players who don’t know much about the game shy away from Sic Bo. However, the truth is that this game is simple to learn and play, and can easily be picked up in just a matter of minutes. While the odds aren’t the best you’ll find in the casino, some of the bets on the Sic Bo table offer quite reasonable returns, and the fast action makes the game a lot of fun to play.
Online casinos have brought Sic Bo to a whole new audience. The same fast action in this classic dice game is now available from the comfort of your home, making it simple to get a little action any time you want it. There are even some casinos offering live dealer Sic Bo tables that combine the social aspects of the brick-and-mortar version with the convenience of online casino play.
Where to Play Sic Bo Online
Sic Bo falls into a bit of a grey area when it comes to availability at online casinos. While it’s certainly not rare to find Sic Bo in the lineup at most online casinos, it’s not a guarantee like blackjack or baccarat. If you want to be sure that you get a chance to play Sic Bo, it’s best to make sure the game is available at a casino before signing up there to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Sic Bo is especially popular among Asian players, and casino sites that cater to the Asian market are certain to have Sic Bo among their options. A few casinos that offer live dealer games even include Sic Bo in the live games lineup for just this reason – live dealer games have proven to be popular in Asia, so it makes sense to have games like Sic Bo and baccarat in the live dealer lineup.
It’s also worth taking a quick look at the pay table at a casino’s Sic Bo tables before playing. In most cases, you’ll find the Atlantic City odds being used (more details on those below), but this can vary. Some casino sites use the Macau odds, while others may have their own unique paytables. As in any game, finding the best odds available will always improve your results in the long run.
How to Play Sic Bo Online
Sic Bo is a very simple game to play. In the game, players have the opportunity to bet on a variety of different wagers, each of which is described below. After all bets have been taken (or in the case of online Sic Bo, when you choose to trigger the dice roll), the dealer will roll the game’s three dice – each of which is a standard six-sided die. Once the results have been determined, losing bets are collected and winning bets are paid out. Much like roulette, there isn’t much the player is responsible for: simply make your bets, and the dealer or the casino software will do the rest.
The interesting aspect of Sic Bo comes from the wide variety of bets players have the option of making. The following is a list of all the bets that are regularly available in all Sic Bo games, along with the odds offered under the common Atlantic City pay table.
Small: This bet wins if the total of the three dice is ten or less, unless the result is a three-of-a-kind (in other words, all three dice land on the same number), which results in a loss. This bet pays even money.
Big: The opposite of Small, this bet wins on totals of 11 or higher, unless there is a three-of-a-kind. It also pays even money.
Totals: Players have the option of betting on any single number total between four and 17. The odds are highest on the numbers that are very low or very high, while the more common numbers in the middle pay out at lower odds. The payouts on numbers are as follows:
Triple: This bet allows players to bet on a specific three-of-a-kind being rolled – for instance, 1-1-1 or 4-4-4. If the chosen triple comes out, it pays out at 180-1.
Any Triple: This bet wins if any three-of-a-kind is rolled, and pays out at 30-1.
Numbers: This bet allows players to bet on a specific number on the dice, ranging from one to six. Players are paid out based on how many of the dice rolled match that number. If a single die rolls that number, it pays even money, if two dice match that number it pays 2-1, and if all three dice match the number, the player wins at 3-1 odds.
Sic Bo Strategy
Given that Sic Bo is purely a dice game, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that there isn’t much you can do to affect your odds of winning. Of course, you’re welcome to pick your lucky numbers or do anything else that makes you feel better about your bets, but the only thing you can truly do to improve your chances of winning is pick the bets that have the lowest house edges.
The following house edge figures use the same “Atlantic City” odds mentioned above. While the odds (and house edges) may vary depending on the exact payouts being used, generally, the same wagers offer the best odds to the player regardless of what exactly those odds are.
Generally speaking, the best odds are received when playing the Small and Big bets. These pay even money and pay out close to half the time (only losing if three-of-a-kind is rolled), resulting in a house edge of just 2.78%. In fact, these odds are standard across all paytables, and always represent the best odds available to the player in Sic Bo (though some rule sets offer other bets that match this house edge, such as Odd/Even bets).
Other bets offer much higher house edges. The house edge on the “Numbers” bet is next best, at about 7.87%. Betting on 7 or 14 has an edge of 9.72%, while all other bets on the Sic Bo layout have a house edge of at least 12.5%.