Even if you haven’t heard of Sic Bo previously, you must have heard of three-dice games. Players have always loved these sorts of games, as each roll of the dice could lead to a winner.
Sic Bo is brilliant as it requires very little strategy or planning ahead, and new players can pick up on the game’s rules and play very quickly – and even win some money from their first game! As Sic Bo is a fast-playing luck-based game, players often compare it to Roulette or Craps.
The Sic Bo Table Layout
Sic Bo has an instantly recognisable layout. For one thing, it makes use of bold reds and yellows, with a plastic/glass rectangle in black and white, where players make bets.
Players do this by placing their chips on their chosen numbers, which – if they’re winning numbers – light up underneath once the round is over.
Around the board, you’ll find the table limits, the dealer’s chips rack and – the most important part of all – the three dice, their cage and their shaker.
How to Play Sic Bo Online
As we mentioned earlier, Sic Bo is played with three dice, which are all rolled at once.
Here’s the play-by-play:
- Players place a wager on the betting options they think will win. Similar to Roulette, there are several options to place bets on.
- The dice are given a shake – offline, in a special shaker; online, this will be done on the screen.
- The dice are then tipped out onto the table.
- When the dice’s results are given, the winning numbers and betting options will light up.
- Winning players will receive their winnings, according to the odds listed on the table.
Similar to Roulette, there are several payouts based on probability, and players – depending on the variant’s rules, can place as many bets as they choose to.
Sic Bo vs Craps
While both games involve dice as a central part of gameplay, Sic Bo requires far less strategy than Craps, which is primarily a strategy-based game. In Sic Bo, every roll of the dice is either a win or a loss. With Craps, there are specific bets and specific rolls which determine whether or not a bet wins or loses. Craps is much more reliant on strategy while Sic Bo is entirely luck-based.
Why Play Online Sic Bo?
Unlike other casino table games, which often require a lot of strategy research before starting, and even testing the waters before starting, the beauty of Sic Bo is that absolutely anyone can roll up and get started. Because there’s no real strategy behind it, and the idea is so simple to understand (there are three dice, roll them and bet on the outcome), it means that anyone can play and win.
Sic Bo Online Strategy
Sic Bo plays pretty similarly online as it does offline: with the help of a Random Number Generator (RNG), you can be assured that any ‘rolls’ of the dice are fair and randomly generated.
Before getting started, here’s a quick guide to the bets in Sic Bo:
- Big and Small bets: you can bet on ‘big’ numbers (11-17) and ‘small’ numbers (4-10), with winning wagers paying out according to the table below.
- Odds and Evens bets: Sic Bo – like in Roulette – has the chance for odds and evens bets, where you guess on the total of the dice’s numbers totalling an odd or even amount, and the receiving the according payout if you win.
- Triple bets: bet on individual dice showing the same numbers, e.g. 111.
- Double bets: similar to Triple bets, you need to predict that there will be two similar numbers, e.g. 44.
- Single Number bets: you can make a bet on a single number appearing on any of the three dice, and your payout will rely on how many times that number appears across the three dice.
With Sic Bo, as we mentioned, there’s not much strategy to be had, although you do need to consider the house’s edge, which can run anywhere between 2.7% on the small bet and 18.98% on big bets.
Here’s a reference table of the types of bets, expected payouts and their respective house edge:
|Single number bets||1:1||7.87%|
|Two number bets||5:1||16.67%|
|Three number totals: 10 and 11||6:1||12.5%|
|9 and 12||6:1||18.98%|
|8 and 13||8:1||12.5%|
|7 and 14||12:1||9.72%|
|6 and 15||17:1||13.67%|
|5 and 16||30:1||13.98%|
|4 and 17||60:1||15.28%|
|Small||1:1 (Lose on triples)||2.78%|
|Big||1:1 (Lose on triples)||2.78%|
From the table above, it seems that the two best value bets a player could make is either the ‘small’ bet or the ‘big’ bet, with a love house edge of 2.78%. Of course, there are also those single number bets, which are harder to guess, but could also be worth a player’s while, with a payout of 1:1 and a house edge of 7.87%.
If it’s big rewards you’re after, then the Specific Triple bet will pay out a whopping 180:1 payout, as well as the three number totals of 4 and 17, with a payout of 60:1.
Sic Bo Online Betting Strategy
Although it’s easy to get carried away, doing so is not going to protect your bankroll for very long!
If you plan on playing Sic Bo for the long-term, then the best bets to make are those with the lowest house edge. Yes, they don’t have the biggest winning payouts, but over the long-term, you’re likely to win more often.
If, however, you plan on winning as much as possible in some short-term play, then you should do the exact opposite to the above long-term strategy; look for those bets with the highest payouts, and try to win! The bets you should be looking at are the Specific Triple and Any Triple.
Sic Bo Online Variants
It might be strange to think that a game which consists of only three dice could have variants, but Sic Bo does!
There are two main variants of Sic Bo, which play similarly to standard Sic Bo:
A game with historical English roots, Grand Hazard is also played with three dice. These are put into the ‘hazard chute’ and tumble out one by one. If a player bets on three of a kind, and wins, they can expect a massive payout of 180:1.
Also known as ‘sweet cloth’, ‘birdcage’ and çhuckaluck’, this is the American version of Grand Hazard. In this variant, the three dice are kept in a wired bird cage, with the dealer twisting the cage until the dice fall to the bottom. Chuck-a-Luck usually allows for only single number wagers, but occasionally players, when instructed by the dealer, can make wagers for Triples, for odds of 30:1.
The History of Sic Bo
Similar to Keno, Sic Bo comes from Ancient China and the ancient Chinese words for ‘Big and Small’ or ‘Hi-Lo’: Tai Sai and Dai Su. The literal meaning of ‘Sic Bo’, however, is ‘Precious Dice’.
Sic Bo is incredibly popular in Macau casinos, and Asia in general, but is less well-known in the United States and the rest of the world. It was introduced to the United States and Europe in the early 20th century, thanks to Chinese immigrants – and funnily enough, was only introduced to UK casinos – legally- in May 2002.
Tips for Playing Online Sic Bo
Even though it’s a game of luck there are several things you might want to know about playing Sic Bo online:
- There are no minimum bets in Sic Bo – so start as low as you’d like, and test the waters.
- You can bet on as many outcomes as you want – it’s a fun way to play, but watch your bankroll – betting on everything and anything will quickly drain it!
- Don’t be fooled: this is a game of luck, though and through. What was rolled last has no bearing whatsoever on what will be rolled.
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