Sic Bo is a very old game, dating back hundreds and possibly thousands of years. It was originally played in China and brought to the States by Chinese immigrants during the 19th century. The game which is played with 3 dice is also known as Tai Sai or Dai Siu, the latter meaning Big (or) Small. Unlike Craps, in Sic Bo every roll of the dice results in a winning or losing outcome which makes it purely a game of chance. Don’t get daunted by the layout of the board; this game features simple rules and is fairly easy to learn.
The Basic Rules of Sic Bo
The objective of Sic Bo is to correctly predict the outcome of the dice roll. The game involves several kind of bets, each of which comes with a probability-based payout, and similarly to Roulette, more bets than one can be placed at the same time. Once the dealer throws the three dice, based on the outcome you’ll either collect your win or lose your stake. Simple, right?
Sic Bo Bet Types
- Single: By playing a Single bet, you’re betting that a specific number will show on any of the three dice. If only one delivers it, you’ll get paid 1:1. Should your number turn on two dice, you’ll receive 2:1, and if all three show it, your win will equal 12 times your stake.
- Double: Similarly to the above, you’re choosing one specific number from 1 to 6, only you’re betting it will turn on two dice simultaneously instead of one. Respective payout is 10:1.
- Triple: For the Triple bet to be won, all three dice have to display the same number. You’ve got the option to bet on any Triple (payout 30:1), or a specific Triple (paying 180:1). The latter is the biggest possible payout in Sic Bo, but before you get too excited, be informed that the odds against you are at high 216:1.
- Total: A very simple option is to bet that the sum of numbers on the three dice will be anything from 4 to 17. Total of 3 and 18 are excluded as they’re covered by two Triple bets, one involving 1’s and the other 6’s. Respective payouts are based on probability for each of the scores, and you’ll see them clearly marked on the table.
- Small and Big: This one is kind of similar to Roulette even-money bets, such as Red/Black, Odd/Even and Hi/Lo. In Baccarat you can either opt for Small, which is 4 to 10, or Big, which is 11 to 17. Once again 3 and 18 are excluded because of Triple bets, and should the dice deliver any of these two results, your Small/Big bet will lose.
- Combination: When placing a Combination bet, you’re choosing two different numbers and betting that both will be delivered in a single dice roll. The respective payout is 6:1.
Sic Bo Strategy
Actually, “strategy” might not be the best word to use when talking about a game which is all luck and no skills. Still, there are different ways to play depending on how much risk you’re willing to take.
Small/Big and Combination bets are considered to be low-risk options and therefore ideal for beginners. As they’re simple and have relatively good odds, you’ll be able to limit your losses even if it means the winnings will be accumulated at a slower pace.
If you’re ok with taking medium risk, spread the risk by combining bets to cover a number of results. An advisable option is to place Double and Total bets at the same time, starting with a Total bet of either 9 or 12. Why? Because their payouts are the closest to their odds. Then combine that Total with 3 Double bets which will win if the chosen Total loses. For example, if you bet Double 1, the sum of the three dice can be between 3 and 8; in case of Double 2, the total can be between 5 and 10, and with Double 6, between 13 and 18. This is therefore a good combination of Double bets to place alongside the Total 12 bet.
High risk strategy involves placing multiple bets simultaneously and going for risky ones such as a specific Triple, but you should not try it unless you’re a professional or have significant budget at your disposal.
Final Word of Advice
If you’re new to Sic Bo, use the opportunity to practice before risking real cash. Virtually any online casino will have a Free Play option which plays with demo credits, and while obviously also paying funny money, free games are a great learning tool. When you feel you understand the game well enough, switch to real play and start by choosing lower risk bets and placing modest stakes.
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