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Last updated on 2nd Mar 2018
How to Play Sic Bo
Fans of dice games don’t really have too much to choose from when it comes to what one can play in casinos. In fact, some casino enthusiasts are actually hard-pressed to name a dice game other than craps. To be fair, craps is a very intriguing game that players can spend a lifetime with, but there’s also the game of Sic Bo to check out – and this article should give you a good overview about what it’s all about.
Sic Bo is an ancient game that originated in China, so it’s hardly surprising that it remains to be one of the most popular games in Asia. If you want to get the true Sic Bo experience, you should probably head to Macau, where the game is so popular that only baccarat can rival it.
The betting table is the most important thing to care about, as that’s where players make their decisions by placing chips on the bets they want to play. It’s just like roulette in that very respect, the only thing that differs is how the game proceeds after the bets are placed. Instead of using a roulette wheel to decide the outcome of the game, the dealer places three dice into a container. After closing it, the dealer shakes it and opens it to reveal the winning combination. After determining which bets are won and which are lost, chips are re-distributed accordingly and a new round of betting can start.
As you can see, Sic Bo is arguably more like roulette than like craps, a game that comes with a slightly more complicated set of rules and that also allows the players to take a bigger role in deciding the outcome. In craps, it’s one of the players that usually gets to roll the dice, while that role is reserved for the dealer in Sic Bo. Players that are trying to get some sort of an advantage over the house will therefore flock over to craps in the hope of being able to affect the outcome in a meaningful manner, while players that place simplicity and speed over everything else are likely to prefer Sic Bo.
With the basics out of the way, let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular bets that one can place and the mathematics behind them.
The most popular duo of bets is the Big-Small one. When betting on Big, you’re betting on the total score being within the range between 11 and 17 (the extremes are included) without coming from a triple (like three fours). The probability of that outcome is 48.6% and the bet pays out at even odds, with the house edge standing at 2.8%.
Betting on Small is betting on the total score being within the range between 4 and 10 (the extremes are included) without coming from a triple (like three twos). The technicalities are the same as above – the chances of the bet landing are 48.6%, it pays out at evens odds and the house edge is 2.8%.
The house edge in Sic Bo can be as low as 2.8%
Apart from the Big-Small duo, there’s also the popular Odd-Even duo. As the name suggests, you’re betting on the total score being either odd or even, with scores coming from triples not counting once again. Interestingly, the mathematics are exactly the same as with the previous pair of bets despite it not being all that obvious at first glance.
The aforementioned bets carry the lowest house edge of all the bets that you can place in Sic Bo, but chances are that the game will get a bit boring after some time if you’re going to stay just with those two pairs of bets. So, which exciting bets are there to be taken if you’re feeling lucky?
Well, one of the more popular bets is the so-called Double bet, which is a bet on any specific pair appearing on the next roll – and yes, it does win if a triplet of that number appears. The probability of that happening is 7.41%, while the pay (and, in turn, the house edge) varies depending on the casino you’re playing at. In Europe, the payout tends to be 10:1, which translates into a house edge of 18.5%.
To round things off, let’s also mention the Any Triple bet, which is a bet on a triple appearing on the next roll. It’s a risky choice, of course, as the chances of it hitting are just 2.78%, but the payout is typically set at 30:1 in European casinos (which translates into a house edge of 13.89%), so you’re going to get a very nice stack of chips if it lands.
Where to Play
If all the above sounds interesting, there’s only one thing to do – to head over to the nearest casino and give Sic Bo a go. What if you don’t have a solid casino nearby or if you just don’t feel like going out, however? Well, there’s always the world of online casinos to seek refuge in – and we can guarantee that you’ll be in for a thrilling ride if you decide to jump into it.
We’re going to suggest the Sloto Cash online casino as a very solid alternative that even players from the US can play at. It doesn’t have a live casino, so that’s something you’ll have to do without, but the Sic Bo game it offers is quite intriguing in its own right. And yes – there are also some juicy promotions to take advantage of.