Sic bo is based on an ancient Chinese dice game that is one of total chance, with no player strategy required at all. Although it has often been compared to the western game of craps, in reality Sic bo is much more similar to the English game known as Chuck-a-Luck. It’s now played in casinos around the world, from Macau to Las Vegas, and this game can make for a lively round of wagering, no matter where it is found.
Sic bo’s Background
Sic bo is also known in Asia as either tai sai or dai siu, which means “big and small” or “high-low” in Chinese. Sic bo actually translates into “precious dice,” indicating the importance of the game pieces to its players and their winnings. It is believed that the game dates back to as much as 1,900 years ago, when it was played using tiles, painted stones and an early form of dice. Chinese immigrants who were working on the transcontinental rail-road brought the game to the U.S. in the early 1900’s, but it only had a small following until relatively recently. Sic bo has, however, seen a particular rise in popularity over the past few years due to the increased number of Asian tourists who are regularly visiting American casinos these days.
Traditional sic bo tables offer gamblers up to fifty potential bets, though there are newer versions that give players the chance to wager on up to 106 different combinations. This expanded table model offers bets on all three-dice combinations, as well as some four-dice line-ups. The standard game is played using three dice that are controlled by the dealer, so there are a higher number of possibilities than players will find in craps, which is played using only two dice. Gamblers place their bets before the dealer shakes the dice in a special container and then reveals the results to show who will win and who will lose.
Low-Paying Wagers in Sic Bo
The main bets in sic bo are the big and small, or high and low. These are wagers that are found on the upper corners of the board and that pay players even money. Small numbers are 4 through 10, while big numbers range from 11 up to 17. Players win if they bet on the small numbers and the rolled dice total is any number between 4 and 10 or if they bet on the big numbers and the rolled dice total falls between 11 and 17. A rolled dice total of 3, or three 1’s, doesn’t pay on either of these bets and both of these wagers feature a house edge of 2.78%.
Bets on whether the roll will result in an even or odd total will also pay out evenly in the event of a win. Players bid on the face values of the dice adding up to either an even or an odd number and they win if their prediction is correct. The only exception occurs when the dealer rolls three-of-any-kind. In this case, anyone with a wager on an even or odd turnout will automatically lose their bet, regardless of the number thrown. Even and odd bets also have a 2.78% house edge.
A wager on a single number appearing in the roll is paid out based on how many of the three dice land on that number. A player who has bet that a 4 will appear in the next roll will obviously lose if a 4 isn’t showing on at least one of the dice. One 4 in the line-up will pay even odds. Two 4’s pay out at 2 to 1 odds and three 4’s would payout at 3 to 1 odds. These bets are placed on the numbered blocks that run along the bottom of the table’s layout. All single number wagers have a house edge of 7.9%.
High-Paying Wagers in Sic Bo
For better payouts, players can turn to the bets that offer a reduced chance of winning with an increased house edge. The sum of the dice is one such wager, with gamblers betting on the total value of all three dice, from 4 to 17. These bets are place on the large, individually-numbered blocks that cross the center of the table. The payoffs on these bets run the gamut, from 6 to 1 on the inside numbers to 50 to 1 on the less likely outside numbers.
Triple bets can be placed on either a specific number, or on the probability that three of any kind will strike on a roll. If you’re betting on any triple hitting, most casinos offer 30 to 1 odds and the house edge comes in at around 13.9% for this wager. Placing a bet on a specific number hitting a triple, you can expect odds that offer closer to a 180 to 1 payout and a house edge of 16.2%. Triple bets are found in the top central portion of the table layout.
Players can also bet on combinations of only two dice, in exchange for a smaller win. Bets on two different numbers hitting, like a 1 and a 3 or a 2 and a 5, will usually pay 5 to 1 odds with an 18.5% house edge. When a player bets on a pair of the same numbers hitting, however, the jackpot is automatically tripled. If you win on a bet that two 3’s or two 6’s will strike, for example, most casinos will pay out that win at 30 to 1 odds. These wagers can be placed on the row of dice images that run across the half of the Sic-bo table.
This game has long been one of the most popular casino attractions in Asia, thanks to a wide range of betting options that keeps everyone at the table excited and on their toes. Players can either play it safe and win small, or they can risk a lot and hope for a big payout. This means that Sic bo is one dice game that is truly able to offer a wager for any player.