Sic Bo Guide: How to Play This Fun Dice Game

Author:
Joe A.
Date:
11th June, 2022

Sic Bo, an ancient but fun dice game of Chinese origin, is often overlooked in online casinos in Canada, the US and Europe. Although the dice game is hugely popular in China and other Asian countries, it’s not nearly as played as much in casinos in Canada, the United States and Europe.

There are a couple of reasons why Sic Bo is less popular. It may have very well to do with the fact that games like roulette and baccarat have always been the classic casino games in the Americas and in Europe, while card games like blackjack and poker were the ones which captivated the mind of ordinary people. However, a great deal has to do as well with unfamiliarity of the rules.

Although Sic Bo is actually a very easy game to play, the sheer amount of possible bets might look daunting. In this guide we will explain all you need to know about Sic Bo. We’ll look at a bit of Sic Bo history, tell you all the game rules and show you the possible bets. Of course, we will also guide you to some of the best online casinos in Canada where you can play Sic Bo. If you are interested in this great dice game – you should definitely read on!

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About Sic Bo

Sic Bo is an ancient Chinese game of chance which is also known under the names of Dai Siu, Tai Sai, hi-lo or big and small. Traditionally, Sic Bo is played with three dice with the numbers one to six printed on them. In fact, the Chinese name Sic Bo simply means “precious dice” while the alternative name Dai Siu means “big or small”. Together with the game of Craps it is one of the most common dice games you can find in a casino.

Sic Bo is especially popular in China. If you ever look around in the casinos of Macau, you will always find a lot of people standing around the tables of this dice game. However, also in other countries across Asia such as the Philippines this game is very popular.

Although historically Sic Bo has never been as popular as other table games like blackjack, roulette or baccarat in American and European casinos, more and more people are slowly discovering how much fun this dice game actually is. Indeed, once you get the hang of the rules and all the possible bets it’s an extremely easy-to-play game. As there are so many possible bets, it’s also a diverse game which doesn’t easily bore.

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Sic Bo playing rules

The rules of Sic Bo are actually fairly simple and you should get the hang of the game in no-time. The game is played by throwing three dice on a special table. On this Sic Bo table, also all the possible bets are visible just like they are for example on a roulette table.

Before the dice are thrown, you simply put your chips on one of the bet fields. After the dice are thrown, all the winning outcomes will be marked. Due to the nature of the game and the sheer amount of possible bets, there will always be multiple winning outcomes. If you happened to bet on one of them, you receive the corresponding pay-out. You can place as many different bets as you want on the table. By all means, spread out your chips on the table just like you might do when playing roulette. That said, there are also many Sic Bo players who only place one single bet at every round. The choice is yours!

sic bo guide

A typical Sic Bo table in an online casino showing all the possible bets.

Sic Bo bets

As we already wrote before, one of the reasons why so many people like to play Sic Bo is the wide variety of bets you can place. In the overview below we explain each and every bet in the game.

Small

By putting your chips on small, you bet that the total score of the three dice will be any number from 11 to 17. However, there are some exceptions. If a triple is thrown (for example three 5s – with a total score of 15) you don’t win this bet. Odds: 1 to 1.

Big

This is the opposite of a small bet as you predict that the total score of the three dice will be from 4 to 10. Again, any triple (eg. 3-3-3) is excluded. Odds: 1 to 1.

Even

The total score of all three dice is an even number. For example, a throw with a 2-4-4 for a total score of 10 points. Triples (eg. 4-4-4) are excluded and don’t win this bet. Odds: 1 to 1.

Odd

The opposite of the even bet, with the total score of the dice being an odd number with the exception of any triple. Odds: 1 to 1.

Single dice bet

You bet that at least one of the dice thrown will show the number you select. For example, you can bet on number 4. To win the bet, you need at least one of the dice to show a 4 – and will win even more if more dice show this score. Odds: 1 to 1 for one dice showing the number, 2 to 1 for two dice showing the number, 3 to 1 for all three dice showing it.

Three dice total

Usually shown in the middle of the table, for this bet you need to exactly predict the total score of the three dice combined. You can bet on any number from 4 up to 17. For what it’s worth, 3 and 18 are excluded as three dice bets as these are listed under triple bets. The odds differ depending on the total score:

Ten or eleven: 6 to 1 odds
Nine or twelve: 7 to 1 odds
Eight or thirteen: 8 to 1 odds
Seven or fourteen: 12 to 1 odds
Six or fifteen: 18 to 1 odds
Five or sixteen: 3o to 1 odds
Four or seventeen: 60 to 1 odds

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Dice combinations

This bet is similar to the single dice bet, but now you need to guess two of the three dice thrown right! If you bet on 1 and 4, at least one of the three dice must show a 1 while another must show a 4. The odds are 6 to 1.

Four number combination

You bet on a set of four number, of which three numbers have to appear. For example, if  you bet on the set 3-4-5-6 all three dice which are thrown should show one of these numbers. There are four pre-determined sets of four numbers: 3-4-5-6, 2-3-5-6, 2-3-4-5 and 1-2-3-4. The odds are 7 to 1. Note that there are some Sic Bo versions in which this bet is not available.

Specific double

With this bet, at least two of the three dice thrown need to show the same number. For example, you can bet on 4-4, meaning that at least two of the three dice must show a number 4. The odds of this bet are 10 to 1.

Any triple

You are betting that all three dice will show the same number. It doesn’t matter what the number is, it could be 1-1-1, 2-2-2 or perhaps even 6-6-6. The odds are 30 to  1.

Three single number combination

The dice have to show a specific combination of three different numbers. For example, you bet that the numbers 1, 4 and 5 will be thrown. The odds of this bet are 30 to 1. Just like the four number combination, you will not always find this bet at every Sic Bo version you encounter.

Specific double and single number combination

You bet on a specific double and also predict the third dice correct. For example, you predict the throw to show a 2-2-5. The odds are 50 to 1. Also this particular bet is not always available and chances are that most online casino Sic Bo versions won’t have it included.

Specific triple

All three dice must show the same number. Unlike the ‘any triple bet’, you need to guess exactly what number this will be. For example, you can bet on 5-5-5 as the outcome of the dice throw. The odds are 180 to 1 – the highest in the game of Sic Bo.

sic bo casino

Sic Bo house edge

Not every bet in the game of Sic Bo is equal. Not only the odds of the bets differ but also the house edge – the mathematical advantage which the casino has over the player. Let’s first of all say that all bets have such a house edge and no matter what you bet on, you will always lose more money than you will win if you play on a long-term basis. Of course, on a short-term basis you can still win. After all Sic Bo is a game of chance and with a bit of luck winning is possible.

It depends on your own tactic, intuition or simply on your preference on which numbers you want to bet. However, you should definitely know that some bets are considered to be awful choices as they have a much higher house edge than others. Therefore it’s the best to avoid them. These are all the Sic Bo bets and their house edge:

Small: 2.78%
Big: 2.78%
Even: 2.78%
Odd: 2.78%
Single dice bet: 7.9%
Three dice total: 12.5% (for a bet on 8, 10, 11 or 13), 7.4% (for a bet on 9 or 12), 9.7% (for a bet on 7 or 14), 12% (for a bet on 6 or 15), 13.9% (for a bet on 5 or 16), 15.3% (for a bet on 4 or 17).
Dice combinations: 2.8%
Four number combinations: 11.1%
Specific double: 18.5%
Any triple: 13.9%
Three single number combination: 13.9%
Specific double and single number combination: 29.2%
Specific triple: 16.2%

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Sic Bo tactics

It depends on your personal preferences which bet or which number(s) are the best for you when playing Sic Bo. After all, each casino player has a different preference and makes a different risk assessment. Betting on small/big, odd/even or dice combinations is relatively low-risk as the house edge is the lowest. However, because of the exact same reason also the pay-outs are smaller. The pay-out for a triple is huge, but then again the chances of this happening are much lower.

In the end, many players opt to use their intuition while betting. Others might go for a betting tactic or try to cover the table with multiple bets per round. The choice is entirely yours. We aren’t here to give you advice on what you should do exactly as this is purely a personal choice. On the internet you can find lots of examples of betting patterns and tactics if you want to know more about this topic. Just remember that not a single tactic or betting pattern can guarantee you a win given the fact that the casino has a house advantage in Sic Bo. In the end, it’s all down to sheer luck!

If you do however want to try out different tactics and betting patterns we recommend that you first play Sic Bo in test version. Almost all casinos allow you to try out a game for free without actually having to wager your money. This is a great way to get more familiar with a game and to try out new tactics!

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The best Canadian online casinos

If you want to play Sic Bo and throw some dice, there are a couple of great Canadian online casinos where you can do so. On our page of the best online casinos in Canada we have made an overview of the hottest online casinos in Canada. All of the casinos listed on our website are fully licenced, so you can rely on these casinos to be honest and reliable. Both your money and personal data will be safely stored and you always have a fair chance of winning when you play Sic Bo or another casino game. If you want to read more about any of the casinos in our list, check out the reviews we have written about all of them!

When you sign up at an online casino, you can claim a fantastic welcome bonus if you want. Some Canadian casinos have a welcome bonus reaching C$1500 or even more! You can use the bonus money to play Sic Bo or any other casino game. However, make sure you read the bonus terms and conditions so you know exactly what you need to do to cash out the bonus money or any winnings derived from it.

Almost all the top online casinos allow payments and betting in Canadian dollar (CAD) and have convenient payment methods such as Interac or accept VISA and MasterCard credit cards and all kinds of e-wallets. Most of these casinos are also known for fast pay-outs and quality customer service. It’s not without reason that these online casinos are such a hit among gamblers from Canada and many other nations across the world!

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Conclusion

Sic Bo is a fun dice game of Chinese origin which can be played at almost every online casino in the world. Although the game is not as popular in the West as table games like blackjack or roulette, it’s one of the most played games in Asia. However, also more players in Europe, the US and Canada are now discovering the joys of Sic Bo.

There is lots to like about Sic Bo. First of all, the game is incredibly diverse as there are lots of different betting possibilities. Second of all, the pay-outs can certainly be great as well. The highest pay-out (triple) is 180 to 1.

If you want to play Sic Bo, there are a couple of great Canadian online casinos where you can try out this game. Check out our list of recommended online casinos if you are looking for a safe and fully licenced online casino. Good luck and may the dice be with you!

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