Sic Bo is a dice game similar to roulette and craps in some ways. It is a game of chance where players don’t need any skills. As you may guess from its name, Sic Bo has Chinese origins and has been played for centuries in Asia. With general globalization and internet casinos offering a wide range of games, this Asian dice game is gaining popularity fast in the West.
US players can not only play Sic Bo in Atlantic City and Las Vegas casinos but will find numerous virtual and live dealer games available in US online casinos. At first glance, the Sic Bo layout may seem intimidating but in fact, Sic Bo is quite a simple game. Follow our guide on how to play Sic Bo and learn about the odds of different bets. We’ll also tell you where US players can play the game both in land-based and online casinos.
If you are not familiar with this game yet, the table layout and the plastic cylinder where the dice are shaken may look bizarre. The game starts with the betting phase where players can place their chips in the different betting areas. The Sic Bo layout seems complicated because there are so many different bets you can place.
Some of the betting fields resemble dominoes, but fear not, the game has nothing to do with actual dominoes. Once all the bets have been placed, the game presenter shakes the chest/cylinder to randomize the dice. The winning combinations are announced and the players who guessed the numbers right get their payouts. Similarly, to roulette, there are low-risk and high-risk bets one can place and they come with different house advantage figures.
Different dice games have been played in China for nearly 2000 years. Originally, dice were made of animal bones or wood. Many games were invented with dice, and some resemble the original gameplay while others were modernized. The name of Sic Bo translates roughly as ‘Precious Dice’ and it was played with three dice, just like today. The object of the game hasn’t changed either. Players must guess the value of the dice rolled correctly to win.
Sic Bo is still very popular in China and is the second most played game in Macau casinos after baccarat. The game arrived in the United States in two waves. First, Chinese railroad workers introduced it during the 19th century but then it didn’t take off yet with Westerners. When more Chinese immigrants arrived in the US during the 20th century, Sic Bo was noticed by American and European settlers and was accepted as another gambling game. Around 2000, Las Vegas casinos started to offer the game as Chinese tourists started to pour into the country and there was clearly a market for Asian-style games.
When online casinos started to appear on the market in the early 2000s, there was an explosion in the number of games offered. Online casinos quickly recognized the huge need for games that appeal to Asians namely Sic Bo, Dragon Tiger, and Baccarat.
Finding a Sic Bo casino online is much easier than finding the game in a land-based casino. Although the biggest casinos will generally offer one table for Sic Bo, it is not nearly as common in the US as different poker games, blackjack, or roulette. Your best bet to find Sic Bo tables is in Atlantic City and the Las Vegas strip.
In an online casino environment, you’ll have two options for playing Sic Bo and these are:
Game producers have created several virtual versions of Sic Bo. This means that everything is computer-generated. Random number generators are used to determine the outcome of the dice roll and there’s no game presenter involved. You play alone and can dictate the speed of the game the way you want.
Virtual games can be played in demo mode, without having to download anything and often even without registration. This way players can enjoy free Sic Bo without the risk of losing any real money.
Those who prefer the real casino environment can enjoy Sic Bo with a live dealer. Several game studios offer Sic Bo casino games with live dealers. Here, the game presenter takes care of the shaking of the dice, and he/she announces the results. Everything is in real-time, and you can watch the streaming through multiple camera angles. No random number generators are used here, as actual dice are in play.
Several US online casinos offer Sic Bo games. Some of the best-known names are Ceasars Online, BetMGM and 888 Casino.
Sic Bo is played with three dice on a table that has a specific layout. The Sic Bo game rules are easy to understand. Players place their bets on one or many of the different bet options indicated on the table layout. The dice are rolled virtually (or by the presenter in a live dealer game) and the outcome is revealed. We have broken the gameplay down into steps for you.
You must have noticed that the Sic Bo layout has very many fields where you can place your bets. This is because you can bet on several events in Sic Bo. Some of the bets carry more risk and come with a higher payout while others are considered low-risk and give you a nearly 50% chance of winning. We’ve compiled an overview of the different bets below.
These even money bets are placed on the total of the roll dice resulting in an odd or even number. This bet is not always available. Together with Big and Small bets, these bets come with the lowest house edge and the highest probability of winning.
These are also even money bets. The big numbers cover dice totals of 11 through 17 and the small numbers cover numbers 4 through 10. Note, that 3 and 18 are not included in either group, in fact, these numbers give the house its edge on these bets.
When you place these bets, you bet on the total value of the three dice. You can bet on any number between 4 and 17 but the payout is different depending on the number you choose. For example, the possibility of rolling 9, 10, 11 or 12 is much higher than that of 4 or 17 and therefore, the payout is much smaller.
These bets assume that the roll will result in three identical numbers of a specific number. E.g., 3-3-3 or 5-5-5.
Double bets are like triple bets, but here, you’ll only need two matching numbers. For example, 2-2 or 4-4.
With this bet, you predict that a single number (1 to 6) will appear on the roll. If you get it right once you get a 1:1 payout, whereas if your number appears twice or three times your payout is also double or triple.
You win with this bet if any triples are rolled. So, whether it is 2-2-2, 4-4-4 or 6-6-6, you win if you placed this bet.
Betting on any specific pair. The player wins if at least 2 of the chosen number appears.
Betting on a two-number combination. For example, betting on a 3 and 6 to be rolled on two of the three dice.
Now, that we have gone through the different bet types you can make it is time to talk about the odds and the payout of each bet. While the probability of each event is exactly the same regardless of where you play the game, the payouts can differ. Online casinos give you the same payouts as the Atlantic City rules. Punters in Macau get worse payouts and Aussie gamblers get somewhat of a better payout in land-based casinos down under. So, let’s look at the numbers of American casinos.
Sum of 4 or 17
Sum of 5 or 16
Sum of 6 or 15
Sum of 7 or 14
Sum of 8 or 13
Sum of 9 or 12
Sum of 10 or 11
As you can see above, the Sic Bo house edge very much depends on what type of bet you are making. The least risky bets come with a lower house edge which is the same pattern you can observe in roulette or craps.
Players often ask how to win Sic Bo games. Unfortunately, there is no trick that you can use and secure a win. Sic Bo is a game of chance and there’s no skill involved in it. Your Sic Bo betting strategy can help you control your bankroll but can’t guarantee a win. We have put together a few tips for you to help you stay in control of your gameplay and maximize your chances of winning.
Free games are available in most online casinos. Playing free games will help you get to know the rules and learn the differences between different bets.
Sucker bets are bets that come with an unreasonably high house edge. Sic Bo has many bets with a high house edge and you should avoid these. The best Sic Bo strategy is to stick with the even money bets, namely Odd/Even and Big/Small.
Some games may offer lower payouts than others. Check out as many versions as you can and play the ones with the best odds.
It is easy to lose a lot of money during a short amount of time with Sic Bo. Decide how much money you can afford to lose and don’t start chasing losses when all the money is gone. Instead, take a break and come back another day.
Absolutely! There are many online casinos where US players will find virtual and live dealer Sic bo games.
Many online casinos offer a demo or free versions of their virtual games. You can have fun with these games without having to wager money on them. Live dealer games cannot be played for free though.
Legit casinos don’t rig their games. Virtual Sic Bo games use RNG technology that ensures that every dice roll is random. Licensed casinos’ games are independently audited for fairness.
You can play online Sic Bo in six US states in any casino that holds a license from that state.
No, it is not. All you have to learn is the different bets. In the beginning, you can stick to the basic bets such as Big/Small or Odd/Even. With a bit of practice, you’ll get your head around the game easily.