From the bustling harbours of Shanghai to the contemporary casinos of Montreal, Sic Bo has always captivated players. Globally, Sic Bo wears many hats. Some call it Tai Sai, while others label it Chinese Dice or Big & Small.
But in the East, it’s revered as the ‘Dice’s Treasure’. We will explore what this game has got for real-money players in this day and age. It starts off by explaining the rules of this ancient game of chance.
Origins & History of Sic Bo
Let’s take a journey back in time. Sic Bo, with roots in ancient China, has been a game of chance for over 2,000 years. Historically, it was known as “Dai Siu” or “Big Small”.
It is believed that Sic Bo was played on the streets of ancient China, with players using a porcelain plate and a tumbler to shake the dice. The results were then revealed, and bets were settled.
It’s fascinating how this game, deeply embedded in Chinese culture, found its way into the heart of Canadian casinos. But the fact of the matter is that, nowadays, retail casinos are dying to have multi-coloured Sic Bo tables somewhere central.
Rules of Sic Bo
Sic Bo is straightforward. It revolves around three dice and a myriad of betting options. You predict the outcome, place your wager, and then, fingers crossed, watch those dice roll. The dealer gives the cage a good shake, and the results dictate if you win.
Bets can be placed on specific totals, single numbers, combinations, doubles, or triples. Here is how the game is played, explained step by step:
- Players begin by placing their chips on the areas of the betting table that correspond with their predicted outcomes.
- Once all bets are placed, the dealer shakes the dice in a mechanical cage or using an electronic shaker.
- After the shaking, the result of the three dice is revealed.
- The dealer then pays out winnings based on the results and the bets placed.
- The game then restarts, and players can choose to place bets again.
Types of Bets in Sic Bo
The possible wagers are akin to the options in roulette. You get a fair number of betting lines you can take, each of which has its own odds of success. Let’s take a good look at the traditional bets in Sic Bo in Canada:
- Small and Big Bet – A Small Bet is when you predict the total score of the three dice will be between 4 and 10. A Big Bet is when you predict the total score of the three dice to be between 11 and 17.
- Triple Bet – You win if the three dice show a specific number (like three 3s). You can get pretty good payouts with this one, but it’s not very likely to nail it.
- Double Bet – This bet wins when two of the three dice show a specific number (like two 5s).
- Total Bet – Betting on the exact total of the three dice, which can range from 3 to 18.
- Single Number Bet – You are betting on a specific number to appear on one, two, or all three dice.
- Combination Bet – Betting on a specific combination of two numbers appearing among the three dice.
Understanding Sic Bo Table Layout
The Sic Bo table isn’t just a place for bets; it’s a visual guide to how the game operates. Around the table’s perimeter, you might notice labels or instructions. These aren’t just decorations. They give players critical information about game rules or betting limits.
Every section is meticulously laid out, showing various betting options. The grid format simplifies things. Instead of remembering all possible wagers, you can see them at a glance. Numbers 1-6, for instance, are clearly represented.
In modern casinos, some Sic Bo tables incorporate electronic displays. These offer real-time insights, game history, and sometimes even payout percentages. You interact with the electronic tables via a touchscreen.
Simply tap the desired section on the screen to place your bet. The screen often displays +/- signs, allowing you to adjust your bet amount with ease. After selecting your bets, there’s typically a “Confirm” or “Place Bet” button. Press it to lock in your bets.
In essence, the table is more than a betting surface. It’s a roadmap for newcomers and a strategic planner for the seasoned. Knowing how to read this guide equips players with the foundational knowledge required to navigate the exciting world of Sic Bo.
Automated & Semi-Automated Tables
An important distinction to make is the gameplay at automated versus semi-automated tables. Automated Tables use an automatic dice shaker to randomise the dice roll.
- Players place bets on electronic touchscreens, and the game’s outcomes are digitally displayed. Payouts, bet histories, and game statistics are all managed electronically. It’s a fully automated experience, reducing the need for human intervention.
- With semi-automated tables, an electronic betting interface is still present, but there might be a live dealer at the table to engage with players and oversee the game. The dice might be rolled manually by this dealer or automatically, depending on the setup.
Sic Bo Variations
One of the popular variations of Sic Bo is Grand Hazard. This English variant uses three dice and a cup or chute to shake them. It shares many similarities with the original Sic Bo but has distinct betting options.
Chuck-a-luck is a variant originating in the US. Chuck-a-luck, also known as “birdcage“, uses three dice contained in a wire cage. While it’s simpler than Sic Bo, the house edge is typically higher.
A typical Chinese version is Yee Hah Hi. In this one, the dice have symbols (like fish or scorpions) instead of numbers. Players bet on the outcome of these symbols, which bear significance in Chinese mythology.
Sic Bo Strategy & Tips
- To maximise odds in Sic Bo, start by understanding the house edge for each bet. Generally, bets like ‘Big’ or ‘Small’ offer better odds compared to specific triples. Familiarise yourself with the payout table to recognise bets with higher probabilities.
- When it comes to managing bets, it’s crucial to set a budget and stick to it. Avoid chasing losses, as this often leads to bigger losses. Lastly, informed decisions come from practice.
- Spend time playing free versions or observing others to grasp the game’s nuances. Remember, while strategies can enhance enjoyment, Sic Bo remains a game of chance. Stick to the bets that feel comfortable and have fun.
Sic Bo Probabilities & Odds
Different bets have different payout rates. For instance, a winning Triple bet might offer a 180:1 payout because it’s much harder to predict than a Small or Big bet. This is why an ancient-old game still holds Canadians captives with its unique action.
While a specific triple pays 180 times your bet, predicting the value of a single dice gives an even payout. There’s a middle ground, too: certain dice totals can yield 62 times the wager, while specific doubles offer 11 times the payout. The basic wagers:
|Bet||Payout Odds||Probability of Success|
|4 or 17||62:1||1.4%|
|5 or 16||31:1||2.8%|
|6 or 15||18:1||4.6%|
|7 or 14||12:1||6.9%|
|8 or 13||8:1||9.7%|
|9 or 12||7:1||11.6%|
|10 or 11||6:1||12.5%|
Unique to this game is the Super Streak bet, which is a challenge to guess consecutive outcomes. If you dare to predict a 12-game winning streak and succeed, you could earn an astonishing 500 times your initial bet!
Playing Sic Bo Online
Playing Sic Bo online offers unparalleled convenience, eliminating the need to travel to a land-based casino. Online platforms are just better at giving you what you want when you want it because they are right there on your mobile device.
Moreover, once you find an online casino you like, you get a number of games to choose from at your fingertips. You can control the game’s pace, benefit from promotional bonuses, and even practice without wagering real money!
The graphics feel, and sound effects have been perfected to a tee in the games of the best providers. It is fair to say that going fully online comes at the cost of no tradeoff.
Famous Sic Bo Moments
The majority of success stories revolve around pokies and poker – another two obsessions of Canadian gamblers. There aren’t that many stories of big Sic Bo winners in Canada worth talking about.
However, a well-established British entrepreneur in the tech sector secured an impressive win of 2.5 million British pounds at a Sic Bo table in the heart of London.
According to casino floor staff, Ashcroft began his evening at the Sic Bo table with a starting bet of 10,000 pounds. Over a span of two hours, and with a series of bets that often defied conventional strategy, he managed to amass his substantial winnings.
The game doesn’t quite share the same storytelling limelight. The tales of triumphant Sic Bo players tend to be more low-key. Rather than making headlines or becoming viral anecdotes, these success stories are shared in hushed conversations over a drink or two.