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Home: Casino: Rules and how to play Sic Bo

Rules and how to play Sic Bo

Sic Bo is a dice game of Asian origin. The name means "two dice" or "dice pair" and refers to the some of the higher paying bets that a player can place. In fact the game uses three 6-sided dice and a variety of betting options are available as marked on the Sic Bo table, all based on predictions of what dice combinations the throw will yield.

Objective

Players place their bets on the Sic Bo table, predicting various outcomes, totals and combinations of the three dice. Multiple bets can be placed and they pay off according to the odds indicated on the table.

Betting and the odds

There are seven different types of bets in Sic Bo:

Dice Face: players may bet that any one of the six dice sides will show. If that number comes up on any one of the dice, the player wins even money. If two of the dice show the selected face, the bet is paid off at 2-to-1. And if all three dice show the same face, the bet is paid at 3-to-1. The house edge on this bet is approximately 8%.

Two Faces: this is a bet that a combination of two particular numbers will appear. If the player bets, for example, that a 1 and a 6 will appear and it does, the house pays off at 5:1. The house advantage here is about 17%.

Totals: players can wager on the total of all three dice. The player selects a specific total from 4 to 17. Since the combination of faces that can result in the selected total varies, so too does the payoff (see chart). The chart gives the corresponding house advantage on that particular totals bet.

Total Payout House
4 or 17 60:1 29.1%
5 or 16 18:1 47.2%
6 or 15 14:1 30.5%
7 or 14 12:1 9.7%
8 or 13 8:1 12.5%
9 or 12 6:1 18.9%
10 or 11 6:1 12.5%

Small or Big: this wager is a bet that the total of the three dice will fall in a specific range. A bet on "Small" is on the total being between 4 and 10. A bet on "Big" is on the dice totaling between 11 and 17. But see the small print that says "Lose on any triple"? If any three-of-a-kind comes up, the house takes your wager. Still, the odds of winning Small or Big are by far the best on the table. Here the house holds about a 3% edge.

Triple: Here you're betting that all three faces will come up with a specific number. The payoff is large, 150:1, but for good reason. The chances are 215:1 against you, giving the casino a 30% advantage.

Any Triple: You're betting that all three faces will be the same. This pays out at 24:1, but the true odds are 35:1. Again, you're fighting a 30% house advantage.

Any Pair: Betting that a pair of any particular number will come up pays 8:1. Believe it or not on this bet is one of the worst on the table. The house holds a 33% advantage.

Payoff

Payoffs in Sic Bo are marked right on the table and vary according to the type of bet you place.

Strategy

Because Sic Bo is a game of chance, the best strategy is to stick with the best odds. Looking back over the numbers you'll see that the house edge on Small and Big bets is a fairly reasonable 3%. If you're going to play smart, that's your bet. If you feel lucky, the table is yours.

Rules
How to play Sic Bo
by Max Drayman

 

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