Sic-Bo uses three dice, although the term “sic-bo” actually means “pair of dice”. A luxuriously lit Sic-Bo table can be found in most casinos that have Asian game rooms. There are many bets, all of them explained at the card table.
Each number from four to seventeen is one point and after all bets are placed, the dealer “shakes” the dice container. In this game, no one actually touches the dice, and each game begins with a new “shake”, after all bets have been placed.
In Sic-Bo you have 14 point numbers (4 to 17). In addition to betting on the 3 total dice that make up the points, you can also bet on 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 the same kind)
LARGE: the sum is 11 or more (excludes any 3 of the same kind)
UNO – Any specific number that appears on 1, 2 or 3 dice
These seven basic bets plus the numbers 17 points and up are 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 out the winning ones based on the house odds.
Unfortunately, the house odds are not standardized and can be slightly different from one casino to another.
The two bets with the lowest casino edge are the “big” bet and the “small” bet. Both provide a 2.7% house edge, which is the best you’ll ever get in Sic-Bo.
Sic Bo is a fast and exciting game, but it is usually called in Chinese. You must also exchange your chips or money for Sic Bo chips, which are similar to roulette chips. The minimums and maximums of the table are published. Most people play flat betting 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 at dice, Sic-Bo is a lot of fun to play, if you can find it!
The Dice Shooter © 2006 by Larry Edell