Sic-Bo uses three dice, although the term “sic-bo” actually means “dice pair.” A lavishly lit Sic-Bo table can be found in most casinos that have Asian Game rooms. There are many bets, all of which are explained on the gaming table.
Each number from four to seventeen is a point and after all the bets are made, the dealer “shakes” the dice container. No one in this game actually touches the dice themselves, and each game begins on a new “shake,” after all the bets are placed.
In Sic-Bo you have 14 point numbers (4 to 17). Besides betting on the 3 dice totals that form the points you can also bet the following –
THREE OF A KIND – (like 6, 6, 6) (must specify which number)
TWO OF A KIND – (like 6, 6) (must specify numbers)
DUO – Two different numbers (like 4, 5) (must specify numbers)
ANY THREE – (like 5, 5, 5) (will win on any three of a kind)
SMALL – The sum is ten or less (excludes any 3 of a kind)
BIG – The sum is 11 or more (excludes any 3 of a kind)
ONE – Any specified number that appears on 1, 2, or 3 dice
These seven basic bets plus the 17 point numbers and more are all graphically illustrated on the beautifully lit Sic Bo table. When a decision is reached, the dealer lights up the winning combinations, removes the losing chips and pays the winners at the house odds.
Unfortunately the house odds are not standardized and may be slightly different from casino to casino.
The two bets with the lowest casino advantage are the “Big” bet and the “Small” Bet. These both provide a 2.7% house edge, which is the best you’ll get in Sic-Bo.
Sic Bo is a fast moving, exciting game, but it is usually called in Chinese. Also you must exchange your chips or money for Sic Bo chips, which are similar to roulette chips. The table minimums and maximums are posted. Most people play flat bet systems on the Big and Small numbers. An easy system is to increase your bet by one unit when you win and decrease your bet by one unit when you lose.
Although the odds are better in craps, Sic-Bo is a lot of fun to play – if you can find it!
The Crapshooter © 2006 by Larry Edell