Sic Bo

The game of Sic Bo (pronounced See Bo) is a dice odds game played using a board. Sic Bo has been very popular in Asian countries. In China, Sic Bo has grown to be one of the most popular, if not the most popular game and has spread its way around the world to major countries like the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom where it has gained even more popularity.

While Sic Bo may look like a tough game to learn, it is actually quite simple and easy to learn. If you enjoy the style of game play in games like Craps or Roulette, Sic Bo may be a good match for you. Similar to craps Sic Bo uses dice, however Sic Bo has 3 compared to the 2 used in craps. Similar to Roulette you bet on a certain outcome happening. Sic Bo also offers one of the smallest house edges in a casino, giving you a much better chance to win and make money.

Sic Bo has two main parts to it: the board and the dice.

The Board

Sic Bo boards are often what make new players shy away from the game as they look complex at first sight. In reality the board simply shows what bets you can place and usually the payout for each bet.

The Dice

Translating to “pair of dice”, Sic Bo is actually played with 3 dice. The dealer handles the dice, which are kept in a small cage. Once you place your bet the dealer will roll the dice, deciding whether your bet won or lost.

How to Play

The first step in Sic Bo is the bets. In a Sic Bo game you place bets on what the combination of the dice will be. After you have placed your bet the dealer rolls the dice inside of a small cage. The outcome of the roll will decide which bets win and which lose. Different types of bets will have different payouts depending on the probability that the dice will land on the combination.

Types of Bets

Sic Bo has a few different kinds of bets. The different types of bets include:

• Big and Small
• Odd or Even
• Doubles
• Two Dice Combination
• Triple
• Any Triple
• Any Number
• Totals

Different casinos have varying payout prices for bets so the payouts may be slightly different. The payout rates listed below are common payouts. It is very important that you make sure what the payouts are for the specific casino you are playing in. Knowing exactly how much you can get payed out will help you decide what bets you want to take.

Big and Small

One of the most common bets in Sic Bo is the big or small bet. When betting big or small you are betting on whether the total of the three dice will be big (total = 11 to 17) or small (total = 4 to 10). If a three is rolled then either bet will lose. You can expect a 1 to 1 payout for this type of bet. Big and small bets have the highest probability of landing with a 48.6% chance of being rolled.

Odd or Even

This bet is pretty straight forward. You will bet on the whether the total of the three dice is an odd or even number. If a 3 is rolled either bet will lose. A 1 to 1 payout is normal for this bet although it is not offered on all tables. Odd or even bets are also the highest probability of landing at 48.6%.


Betting on a double means that you are betting on two of the three dice having the same number on them. Possible combinations: 1 and 1, 2 and 2, 3 and 3, 4 and 4, 5 and 5, and 6 and 6. These bets generally have an 8 to 1 payout. Double bets have a 7.41% chance of being rolled for any of the double bets.

Two Dice Combination

When betting on a two dice combination you bet on two of the three dice containing two specific numbers. Combinations include: 1 and 2, 1 and 3, 1 and 4, 1 and 5, 1 and 6, 2 and 3, 2 and 4, 2 and 5, 2 and 6, 3 and 4, 3 and 5, 3 and 6, 4 and 5, 4 and 6, and 5 and 6. A normal payout is 5 to 1. Two dice combination bets are higher than doubles with a 13.9% of any of the combinations being rolled.


The triple is a bet that all three dice will roll the same number. To win a triple bet you must have a 111, 222, 333, 444, 555, or a 666. Triples usually have a 150 to 1 payout rate. Specific triples have a very low probability of landing which coincides with the higher payout. The chance of one being rolled is 0.46%.

Any Triple

If you bet on any triple you are betting that the dice will roll any triple compared to a specific triple. As the odds odd any triple being rolled are higher than a specific one, the payout for this bet is generally 24 to 1. Any triple bets have a better chance of being rolled at 2.8%.

Any Number

Any number bets are when you bet on a single number being rolled on any of the three dice. You can win these bets if the number you bet on is rolled. The payout for these bets depend on how many of the number you bet on are rolled. If one die reads your bet the payout is 1 to one. If two dice read your bet the payout is 2 to 1. If all three dice read your bet the payout is 3 to 1. Any number bets vary in probability, with the probability decreasing depending on how many of the dice display the number. One die being rolled the same as the number has a 34.1% chance of landing. Two dice reading the number bet on have a 6.94% chance of being rolled. Three dice reading the same number has the lowest probability at a 0.46% chance of being rolled.


Total bets are placed on what the sum of all three dice will be. Payouts are different for differing totals. A total of 4 or 17 has a 50 to 1 payout. A total of 5 or 16 has an 18 to 1 payout. A total of 5 or 15 has a 14 to 1 payout. A total of 7 or 14 has a 12 to 1 payout. A total of 8 or 13 has an 8 to 1 payout. Totals of 9, 10, 11, or 12 all have a payout of 6 to 1. Payouts on Totals bets generally vary the most from casino to casino. 4 and 17 both have a 1.4% chance of being rolled. 5 and 16 have a 2.8% chance. 6 and 15 have a 4.6& chance. 7 and 14 have a 6.9% chance. 8 and 13 have a have a 9.7% chance of being rolled. 9 and 12 have a 11.6% chance. Finally 10 and 11 have a 12.5% chance of landing.


While Sic Bo is completely random and one strategy will never work all the time, a few strategies can help increase your chances of winning. These strategies also make the game easier to play because you will know what spots you want to bet on as soon as the current roll is over.

Generally people use one of three different strategies to play Sic Bo. These include small risk betting, medium risk betting, and high risk betting.

Small Risk

The small risk strategy gets its name because you will place small simple bets. Using this method you place bets that are not a large percent of your bankroll on parts of the board that have a high chance of being rolled. Try to use small or big bets for a large portion of these as they have the best odds. This method is good if you don't have a lot of money on hand and want to slowly build on what you have. Another benefit of this strategy is that it minimizes loss by giving you the best odds to win.

Medium Risk

The medium risk method is the most complex and involves many bets at one time. When using the medium risk strategy you have the potential to make more but also the potential to lose more. This method is best for those who have used the small risk method to build up their bankroll. In the medium risk strategy you place multiple bets on the parts of the board that have the highest probability. For the first part of the bet using 9 and 12 for totals offers the best odds. The second part of the bet is using doubles bets to hit combinations that can still win even if a 9 or 12 is not totaled. When betting place bets in a 3:2 ration with total:doubles. If you bet 3 chips on a 9 total, bet 2 chips each on a double one, a double 5, and a double 6 as these can't reach 9 when adding the third die. If you bet 3 chips on a 12 total, bet 2 chips each on double 1, double 2, and double 6.

High Risk

The high risk method is the most risky of the three strategies. Using this strategy you place bets on parts of the board that can overlap if you win. This method is generally done by betting on totals of either 8 or 13 and trying to win other bets that line up with that total. The same 3:2 ratio is used in this method. If you place a bet on an 8 total you also place bets on the dice doubles that are still possible while having a total of 8. If you bet 3 chips on an 8 total then you bet 2 chips on a double 1, 2, and 3, as well as 2 chips on a 2 and 3 combination. If you use 13 then you would bet 3 chips on a 13 total, 2 chips on doubles 4, 5, and 6, and 2 chips on a 4 and 5 combination. This would give you 27 chips if you get the total, 22 if you get a double, and 12 for the combination, for a total of 61 chips possible.

Using strategies can help increase your odds of winning or decrease your odds of losing, but if you are just starting out with the game try it without strategies at first. Get a feel for the game and begin to employ these methods. It is very important to remember that the house always has an edge. Using the same strategy or betting on the same numbers will eventually cause you to lose all of your money.

History of Sic Bo

While the direct origins of the game are unknown, Sic Bo came from China hundreds to thousands of years ago. As Sic Bo grew older it spread and became popular across Asia. Chinese immigrants, who were moving from China to the United States as well as the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe, brought the game into the countries they immigrated to. Immigrants taught the game to people already living in the country at the time and planted the seed for the game to grow.The first versions of Sic Bo were thought to have used painted bricks inside of a chest for dice. Slowly the pieces and the cage got smaller to the three dice and cage we use today. Other names for Sic Bo include: tai sai, dai sui, hi-lo, and big small. As the game has gotten older a few different variations have stemmed from the original.

The Positives of Online Sic Bo

Online play also generally moves at a faster pace than in a land-based casino. A large number of online casinos also offer bonuses depending on how much you deposit when you sign up.

Online casinos allow you to enjoy your games from the comfort of your own home. You can also easily switch between games without even having to move from your chair. Many land-based casinos allow smoking which can be a bother to some people. Playing online is better for beginners as they learn the ropes of the games. Time is also an advantage of playing online. Online casinos allow you to log on in seconds without any drive to enjoy your games right away.

Basic Casino Etiquette

While land based casinos have many strict rules, online casinos don't have as many rules and generally don't allow situations where rules will be broken to happen. Make sure you check the rules of any site you plan to play on. Many casinos offer players the chance to try out games without betting real chips so they can learn the ins and outs before trying against real players. When you switch to actually playing with chips you will be able to keep up with all of the players who know the game already. It is important to be respectful of any other players that you might be able to chat with in table chatrooms. If a player does not want to chat or respond to your messages leave them alone and give them the freedom to choose to stay anonymous. Restrain from using caps lock. Typing in all capital letters can seem like you are yelling at them. If players break the rules or insult other players in the chat report them to the site. This helps keep the chat rooms clean and makes the site administrator's job easier. Never spam or use the chatroom to advertise this is almost definitely against the rules on any site.


Two variants of the game have become popular. One known as Grand Hazard originates in England. In Grand Hazard the dice are shaken up in a cup and then dropped down a chute called the “hazard chute” that tumbles the dice. Another popular variation of the game, that stems from the United States, is known as Chuck-a-luck. Chuck-a-luck is actually a variation of Grand Hazard. In Chuck-a-luck bets are only placed on only the singles.

While Sic Bo is a centuries old game, it seems it will only become more widespread. As time goes on this game will increase in popularity and grow a large base of players. Using a combination of strategy and luck you can have the edge while playing Sic Bo.

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