Sic Bo is a dice game that originated in ancient China and is now enjoyed at both land-based and online casinos everywhere. While the game of SicBo itself is simple, players have a wide variety of ways to bet on it, and that can make things look a lot more complicated than they really are. Here at CasinoGuide, we've come up with an in-depth article explaining the game including, how to play Sic Bo online, what types of bets you can make, which variations of Sic Bo are particularly worth playing and why SicBo is a great game for everyone. You'll also find tips to help you enjoy the best chance of winning, so read on and all will be revealed.
Best Casinos to Play Sic Bo
Online Sic Bo - Basic Rules and Objective
Sic Bo is a game that requires you to bet on the roll of three dice. The dice are usually housed within an hourglass-shaped cage, which prevents them from rolling all over the table. That isn't a problem when playing online, but the cage is usually retained for purposes of authenticity.
Your aim in this game is to bet on the outcome when the three dice have been rolled. Bets are placed on a table layout, much as they would be in a game of roulette or craps. Another similarity that Sic Bo has with those games is that there are betting opportunities to suit all risk thresholds, as you can see from the table layout illustration below.
If you have a low tolerance for risk, you can simply bet on whether the total of the three dice will be Big or Small. At the opposite extreme, those with a high tolerance for risk can bet on all three dice showing the same number - and predicting which number it will be. We'll look at the full range of betting opportunities later.
When you've placed your bet (or when all players have placed their bets if you're taking part in a multi-player game) the dice will be rolled by the dealer. The winning result will be called and if you've bet on that result you'll be paid accordingly. The amount you'll win depends on what kind of bet you've made. Again, we will look at payouts a little later, but for now, we'll simply say that bets with a lower chance of success pay more than bets with a higher chance of success.
Sic Bo is an ancient game of dice and the name's literal translation is 'precious dice'. Although it's origins began in Asia, it is now a popular game all over the world. Depending which country it's played in, it's also known as tai sai, dai siu and hi-lo.
As you can see, playing Sic Bo is a lot easier than its detailed table layout might suggest. We will now make it even simpler by taking you through a game step by step. As we do so, we will also explore the full range of bets that can be made, and provide the odds that will be paid for success in each case.
1. Select Your Stake
Your first task in any online casino game is to determine how much you want to bet. You can stake as much or as little as you want, depending on the limits of the Sic Bo game you happen to be playing, so this is a game that can be enjoyed by all players irrespective of the size of their bankrolls. Selecting your stake is a simple matter of choosing the corresponding casino chip symbol from the range available at the bottom of the SicBo screen by clicking on it.
2. Choose Your Bet - Available Bets & Odds Paid
Having selected your stake, you can now choose what kind of bet you want to make. Each area of the table layout represents a different betting opportunity. The odds paid for success in each case will vary, and will depend on the chance of your chosen outcome succeeding. The available bets and odds paid are as follows:
Small – Pays 1:1
When you bet on Small you are betting that the total of the three dice will be, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10. You should note that you won’t win if all three dice have the same value – something that is referred to as a triple. A Small bet gives you a 48.61% chance of success.
Big – Pays 1:1
This is the opposite of the Small bet, and you are betting that the total of the three dice will be 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, or 17. You won’t win with a triple, and your chances of success are 48.61%.
Odd – Pays 1:1
Here you are betting that the total of the three dice will be any odd number. However, you won’t win if a triple occurs, even if the total is odd. The chances of success are 48.61%.
Even – Pays 1:1
This is the opposite of the Odd bet, so you are betting that the total of the three dice will be an even number. Triples are once again excluded, and the chances of you succeeding are 48.61%.
Specific Triple – Pays 180:1
This is the most challenging bet in a standard Sic Bo game and allows you to bet on a specific triple, such as 3-3-3 or 4-4-4. It will give you a slim chance of success (0.46%) but pays handsomely if you get lucky.
Specific Double – Pays 10:1
Here you are betting that two or more of the three dice will have the same value. Triples are not excluded, so if you bet on 2-2, both 2-2-5 and 2-2-2 would win. Your chances of success are 7.41%.
Any Triple – Pays 30:1
This is a bet that the three dice will all show the same number, but you don’t have to predict which number that will be. That makes it easier to win with than the Specific Triple bet, and here you will have a 2.8% chance of succeeding.
Three Dice Total
Here you are betting on the total of the three dice, and you can bet on anything from 4 to 17. The total you bet on will determine the odds you will be paid and the chance of you winning, as follows:
|TOTAL||PAYS||CHANCE OF SUCCESS|
Dice Combinations - Pays 6:1
This is a bet that a particular two-dice combination will occur, such as 1 and 2 or 1 and 3. The value of the third dice is irrelevant. The chances of you succeeding with this bet are 13.9%.
Here you are betting that a particular number (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6) will show on at least one of the three dice. The odds paid will depend on how many of the dice show your chosen number, as follows:
|Number of Occurrences||Odds Paid||Chance of Success|
4 Number Combination – Pays 7:1
This is a bet that the three dice will show any three of four numbers. The four-number combinations that you have to choose from are as follows:
- 6, 5, 4, 3
- 6, 5, 3, 2
- 5, 4, 3, 2
- 4, 3, 2, 1
For example, if you bet on the first combination and the three dice show 6-4-3, your bet would win. You have an 11.1% chance of succeeding with this bet.
Three Single Number Combination – Pays 30:1
Here you must specify the three numbers that the dice will show after being rolled, such as 5-3-1. Your chance of you being successful is 2.8%.
Specific Double and Single Number – Pays 50:1
This bet allows you to select a particular double and a single number, such as 5-5 and 2. The three dice must show that exact combination for your bet to win, and you have a 1.4% chance of succeeding.
3. Place Your Bet
When you have decided on the kind of bet that you want to place, all you have to do is click to put your casino chip on the corresponding area of the table layout. For example, to bet $5 on Small, you would select the $5 chip and then click on the area of the layout marked Small. If you would like to bet on two or more outcomes for a particular roll of the dice, you are perfectly free to do so.
4. Watch the Roll
All that remains now is for the dealer to roll the dice. If the outcome of the dice roll matches your prediction, your bet will win and you will be paid automatically. The result will be highlighted on the table layout so that you're never in any doubt about the outcome, as shown in the image below:
How to Get Started Playing Sic Bo
At this point, you will realize that the table layout in Sic Bo looks a lot more complicated than the game really is. In fact, Sic Bo is just as easy to play as roulette or baccarat, and when you boil everything down to basics, it involves just three simple steps:
- Decide how much you want to bet and select a suitable casino chip.
- Decide what you want to bet on.
- Place your casino chip on the relevant area of the table layout.
The rest of the game will take care of itself. The dealer will roll the dice, the result will be highlighted on the table and any winnings that you are due will be paid automatically. There is no skill involved, so it's impossible to make any kind of mistake.
We have just said that Sic Bo is a game of luck and that it isn't possible to make a mistake, but that doesn't mean that there aren't ways of playing that are more sensible than others. Here are our Top 3 Tips for playing the game in a way that will give you the best chance of enjoying a win or two:
Tip 1. Focus on Even Money Bets
You have learned already that different Sic Bo bets will give you different chances of winning. One of the easiest ways to improve your odds of landing a winning bet is by focusing on those that give you the greatest chance. This means focusing on even money bets, such as Big, Small, Odd or Even.
Tip 2. Play Free Online Sic Bo
If the online casino allows you to play its games in demo mode (and many do) you should consider spending some time playing free online Sic Bo. This will allow you to get to grips with the game and the various betting options without risking any real money. Then, when you are happy that you understand the game fully, you can progress to the real money tables.
Tip 3. Manage Your Money Wisely
Online gaming should be about having fun, so be sure to manage your money in such a way that you enjoy the maximum amount of fun possible. For example, use modest stakes so that you can play more games for the same outlay. Making 10 bets of $5 each is fun, but making 50 bets of $1 each can be even more so.
The game that we have been discussing so far is the standard form of SicBo that you will find at casinos for New Zealand players and around the world. However, there are a few Sic Bo variations available that are worth pointing out:
- Live Sic Bo - This is the online variation of the Sic Bo game that is operated by a human dealer, with the game being streamed live by video to your computer or mobile device. Live Sic Bo is the most authentic form of the game available online, but because it involves real people and gaming equipment, it is played at a slower pace than the more common automated games.
- One or More Side Bets - Other variations to look out for will allow you to place one or more side bets. For example, you might be able to bet on getting a series of winning rolls in succession.
- Random Multipliers - another variation of Sic Bo is where random multipliers are assigned to enhance the payouts for certain outcomes. Players place their bets, then the multipliers are assigned and if your bet happens to be multiplied, you will win more than the normal payout should your bet succeed.
There are many online gaming providers that have released Sic Bo titles, but a few are particularly well known for giving us some of the best Sic Bo games around. Here are three of New Zealand's favourite titles that we highly recommend checking out at some point.
Sic Bo Deluxe (Playtech)
This game was released by Playtech in 2020. It plays just like the classic Sic Bo game but it can also add up to six random multipliers to the table after all bets have been made. The value of the multipliers can be as high as 1,000x, so if you get lucky in this game you could win big even by betting on Small.
Super Sic Bo (Evolution)
Super Sic Bo is a live game from Evolution. It was released in 2019, and it is the go-to Sic Bo option for many Live Casino enthusiasts in New Zealand. That’s because it offers an authentic gaming experience hosted by a professional Sic Bo dealer. This game also adds random multipliers of up to 1,000x to the table, making things even more exciting.
Mega Sic Bo (Pragmatic Play)
This is Pragmatic Play‘s version of live Sic Bo, and it has a lot in common with Evolution’s offering. Mega Sic Bo was released in 2020 and features Mega Multipliers that can help you to win up to 1,000 times your stake.
The history of Sic Bo is rather vague. All we really know is that a version of the game was played in ancient China and that it was popular across Asia long before it reached the West. Most commentators agree that Sic Bo arrived in casinos in Europe and North America in the latter decades of the 20th century.
Online Sic Bo: CasinoGuide Summary
Sic Bo is a game of chance that involves betting on the outcome of a roll of three dice. It can be found in the table games section of online casinos (or in the Live Casino area for live versions) and it offers a wide variety of betting opportunities. These range from simple bets on whether the total of the dice will be odd or even, all the way to bets on the three dice showing a particular triple. The fact that it is a game of chance makes it suitable for beginners as well as more experienced players.