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Sic Bo

How to Play Sic Bo

Sic Bo is a popular casino dice game, played with 3 dice. This is huge in Macau, though can be found in most US casinos and online too. The basic idea is that you are betting on the outcome of the rolls of 3 dice. There are complex bets and combinations which make this game a lot more interesting than just watching the dice fall.

This page takes you through the basics of Sic Bo so you will be ready to hit the tables and play a game right away. Since the game flow involves betting, rolling dice and repeat – the focus here is on the types of bets that you can make. These range from high probability bets on odd / even, right through to big payout but lower likelihood bets. The house edge varies widely between the different bets you can make.

Sic Bo Rules

The board for betting in Sic Bo looks extremely crowded and confusing when you first see it. What you will find is that the bets are grouped into just a few general types- with some specialty bets around the edges.

Small and Big Bets

In this bet, players are betting on the size of the overall total, with 10 and under counting as small, and 11 and up counting as big. 3 and 18 are excluded from this bet, this is what makes up the house edge of just-under 3%. It is rare to hit those numbers, so most times players will get the 1-to-1 payout on small or big.

Odd and Even Bets

Another bet which has a low volatility is the odd or even. Players are simply betting on whether the total of the 3 dice will be an odd number or an even number. When a triple is rolled, this bet loses. Since this is relatively rare, this is a dependable bet and often one which is used as a ‘banker’ while smaller chips are added to the more exotic long-shots.

Number Totals

There are different probabilities of rolling the different number totals that three dice can produce. For example there is only one way to roll 3 (three ones) while you can roll 12 using several different combinations of numbers from different dice. The totals bets have different odds (with 3 and 12 not counted in this particular bet). The exact amounts paid for each number will vary at different casinos. As a rule you can expect the hardest numbers to roll to offer around 50-to-1 and the easiest to offer 6-to-1.

Single Number Bets

This one seems simple, though it does have a twist. Players can bet on any number appearing on one of the three dice. The payout is dependent not just on that number appearing, but on the amount of times the number appears. For example if you bet on 5 and end up with 3 of them showing, you’ll bet a big pay out. With none you lose and 1 and 2 get smaller returns on your stake.

Triple Number Bets

These are higher paying bets which have a lower probability of coming in. You are betting that all 3 dice will show the same number. The odds you’ll get if your number comes up are a huge 180-to-1. You can also take a bet on any triple, which covers all the numbers, this also has a high payout, though not quite as good as the exact number, 30-to-1 would be a welcome return in itself.

Two Dice Combination Betting

This could be called ‘2 out of 3’ since you do not specify which two dice for this bet (they are identical anyway). You can bet on your combination of numbers coming up on 2 of the 3 dice. An example might be to bet 5 and 6, if these appear on any 2 dice, the total on the 3rd one does not matter- and you’ll get a 5-to-1 payout. This is popular when players have a favorite combination, or even two favorite numbers. You can also bet on a pair appearing on 2 of the 3 dice, you’ll need to specify which pair you are betting on, and will get 10-to-1 on your money for a correct guess.

House Edge in Sic Bo

This game has a variable house edge depending on what bets you take. Many players scorn it as a ‘bingo’ type game as you are essentially guessing the outcome of the dice. When you play, you’ll find that this game is surprisingly entertaining. The many combinations of bets with vastly different odds add a strategic element which makes the outcome of the rolls a lot more interesting. If you are lucky, you can stack up some short-term streaks when your lucky numbers to come in – and turn these into a welcome payday.