Sic Bo

If you like craps, you'll love sic bo!

How to play Sic Bo online

When most people think of betting on dice in a casino environment, they tend to think about the game of craps, but that isn’t the only dice game around by any means. Whilst it is less well known, the game of Sic Bo has been around for even longer, and it offers just as much entertainment value as craps. Although the online version of Sic Bo can be said to offer slightly less direct interaction than the version that is played in traditional casinos (because you don’t actually get to shake the dice) that tends to be the case with most online games. When judged on its own merits, online Sic Bo has plenty to offer the average player, which is probably why it has been able to attract quite an enthusiastic following.

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Sic Bo in a nutshell

Sic Bo can trace its roots back to ancient China, although it is very likely that the original version of the game was at least a little different to the one played in casinos around the world today. It focuses on three dice and the aim of the game is for players to place bets on what they predict the outcome will be when those dice are shaken. When all bets have been placed, the dice are shaken inside a closed container called a chest. The chest is then opened so that players can see whether or not their bets have won, and winning bets are settled accordingly.

Sic Bo layout and betting options

Sic Bo is a table game that uses a betting layout which isn’t a million miles away from the kind of layout used in a game of Roulette. The layout is marked with multiple different betting opportunities and players make bets by placing their chips on whatever part of the layout represents their chosen bet.

Like Roulette, the outcome of a game of Sic Bo is completely governed by chance, and skill plays no role whatsoever. The odds available for any betting outcome are therefore reflective of the chances of that outcome occurring, less a certain amount that gives the house its profit, and as you might expect, not all outcomes are equally good for the player from a house edge perspective.

The main betting opportunities available in Sic Bo are summarised below:

  • Big is a bet that the total of the three dice will be anything from 11 to 17, inclusive, but that no triple will appear. The odds paid for success are 1:1, and the house edge is 2.78%, but if you land three dice of the same number, the bet will lose.
  • Small is a bet that the total of the three dice will be anything from 4 to 10, inclusive, but that no triple will appear. The odds here are 1:1 and the house edge, once again, is 2.78%, but if you land three dice of the same number, the bet will lose.
  • Odd and Even bets work in a similar way to Big or Small, but here you are betting that the total of the three dice will either be odd or even. The odds paid for success are 1:1, and the house edge is 2.78%, but any triple that appears will cause the bet to lose.
  • Triples bets - also known as Alls - allow you to bet on any specific triple, such as three 2’s, three 3’s, three 4’s, and so on. If you land a winning bet here you will be paid odds of 180:1, but this bet is also one of the best for the house, giving it a considerable edge of 16.2%.
  • Doubles allow you to bet on any specific double, which means that at least two of the dice must show the number you bet on. You will be paid at odds of 10:1 if you succeed, and the house edge here is 18.5%.
  • Any Triple is a bet that the three dice will all show the same number, but it can be any number. You will be paid odds of 30:1 if your bet wins, and the house edge is 13.9%.
  • Total allows you to bet on the three dice totalling a specific figure, and you can select any total from 4 to 17, inclusive. The odds and house edge here vary according to the total selected, and that’s simply because some totals are easier to land with three dice than others.
  • 2 Dice Combos allow you to bet on a specific combination of two numbers appearing, such as 1 and 2 or 4 and 5. This bet pays odds of 5:1 and gives the house an edge of 16.7%.
  • Single Number bets allow you to bet on one specific number, from the range 1 to 6. Should your chosen number appear on just one die, you would be paid odds of 1:1. Odds of 2:1 are paid for the number appearing on two dice, and odds of 3:1 are paid for the number appearing on all three dice. The house edge here is 7.9%.

The best and worst Sic Bo bets

As you can see from the above breakdown of Sic Bo bets, the very best Sic Bo bets are Big, Small, Odd and Even. All of these pay odds of 1:1 for success and all give the house its lowest advantage, so those are the ones to concentrate on if you want to give yourself the best chance of winning.

At the opposite extreme, the worst bet in Sic Bo is the bet on a specific double occurring. Whilst this pays odds of 10:1, it gives the house a whopping 18.5% edge, making it one of the worst bets not just in this game but in the whole casino.

Whilst the odds and house edge percentages specified here tend to be the most common, you should always bear in mind that they can differ from venue to venue. As with all games, you should familiarise yourself fully with the odds and rules at the venue you are considering before you sit down to play.

Live Sic Bo

Most Sic Bo games at online casinos are software-driven simulations of their offline cousins, but you can also find Live Sic Bo games at an increasing number of live casinos. These are operated by human dealers, and the action is streamed live to your desktop or mobile device, giving you the closest thing possible to a traditional Sic Bo experience.

An enjoyable game of chance

Sic Bo is an enjoyable game of chance that has been around for centuries and will no doubt be around for a long time to come. It is easy to play and has betting opportunities for everyone, so be sure to check it out the next time you’re in the mood to bet on the roll of a few dice.

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