Master Sic Bo Poker: Rules, Strategies & Tips for Big Wins

Play Sic Bo Online

Originating in ancient China, Sic Bo is a thrilling dice game that offers high stakes and exciting gameplay. With its unique table layout reminiscent of Roulette, Sic Bo has captivated players for centuries.

Sic Bo is often called the ‘best casino game most people know nothing about’. And if you’ve never heard of Sic Bo, we’re not surprised, as it is often in the shadow of other casino games like Slots, Blackjack, Roulette, Video Poker, and Baccarat.

But alongside these favorites, when you browse an online casino, you can often find some hidden gems and lesser-known games that still offer great entertainment. Just like the game of Sic Bo.

What is Sic Bo?

Sic Bo is a game of chance played with three dice. It’s originally from China and sometimes gets referred to as Dai Siu, Tai Sai, Hi-Lo, or the Big and Small game. It’s also one of only two casino games played with dice.

The original Sic Bo game is most popular in Asia and Macau Casinos. But with the power of the internet, you can play it online no matter where you are, and this includes variants such as an English version called Grand Hazard and the US version Chuch-a-luck.

The PokerNews Sic Bo guide will help you to start playing the game and to avoid common mistakes that beginners make.

How to Play Sic Bo Online

Games of chance are usually easy to learn, but one look at a Sic Bo table might make you feel very lost. Similar to the table layouts of craps and roulette, the layout of a Sic Bo table can look complicated but it’s not that difficult to learn the Sic Bo rules. And it’s even easier when you play online as you’ll see in this guide.

The main goal of this game is not that different from other casino games. It involves betting on specific dice outcomes, similar to craps.

Playing a Game of Sic Bo

A game of Sic Bo typically goes like this:

  • Place a bet by putting chips on the areas that depict the outcome you want to bet on.
  • The dealer shakes three dice closed in a tiny chest (in the online version, the game software does a virtual dice “roll” and shows their random outcomes).
  • You win for every number or sum you have predicted, and lose if your predictions are wrong.

Sic Bo Betting Options

As you can guess, the betting options are the important (and fun) part of the game, and you can see from the table below there are plenty of choices when it comes to placing a bet.

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Small and Big Bets on Sic Bo

The most basic bets to know are the Small and Big bets.

Small and Big Bets on Sic Bo

  • The Small bet is when you bet on any dice sum between (and including) 4 and 10.
  • The Big bet is when the sum is between (and including) 11 and 17.

Both these bets usually pay 1 to 1 and have the smallest house edge. Thus, these are the best odds you can have in a Sic Bo game.

You may notice the sums of 3 and 18 are missing. That’s because when you bet Small or Big, any triple sum (three dice with the same numbers, e.g., 1-1-1, 6-6-6) makes you lose.

Thus, these bets are not exactly 50/50 but have a probability of 48.61 percent.

Other Sums Bets in Sic Bo

Don’t feel like betting on specific dice numbers and their combinations? You can always choose one specific sum and bet on it.

It can be anything between (and including) 4 and 17, but it’s worth noting that different sums have different possibilities of winning.

Other Sums Bets in Sic Bo

For example, you can get the sum of 4 only three ways: 1+1+2, 1+2+1, and 2+1+1. The same goes for 17. Thus, these sums have the biggest payouts and the biggest house edge.

You can see the payouts of sum bets in the table below:

Single Dice Bets in Sic Bo

If you make Single Dice Bet, you predict that a specific number will appear on one, two, or all three dice.

Single Dice Bets in Sic Bo

You can choose any single number – from 1 to 6, and it means that:

  • If your number appears on one dice, the payout is 1 to 1.
  • If it appears on two dice, the payout is 2 to 1.
  • If it appears on three, it’s 3 to 1.

Double and Triple Bets in Sic Bo

You can make a Double Bet when you think that two of the dice will come up having the same number. This bet pays 10 to 1, but you only have a 7.4 percent chance to make the right prediction.

Double and Triple Bets in Sic Bo

Like the double, there are also Triple Bets, which means you bet that all three dice will have the same numbers, and if you are right, the payout is 30-1.

You can also bet on a specific set of triples, but your odds are worse here.

Two Dice Combination Bets in Sic Bo

If you look further Sic Bo table layout, you’ll see 15 domino-like areas for different two dice combinations, e.g., 1-2, 2-3, 3-5, etc.

Two Dice Combination Bets in Sic Bo

These are for additional bets you can make, sometimes referred to as a Domino Bet or simply a Two Dice Combination Bet.

This bet predicts the outcomes of two dice at once rather than all three or the sum of these, and the payout odds are 5 to 1.

Betting Options Recap

To simplify all these Sic Bo betting options, here’s a table with all the bets, payouts, possible winning combinations, and house edge.

Make sure to use it the first time you play Sic Bo, and you’ll have a better understanding of which bets to make.

How to Get the Best Chances to Win at Sic Bo

When it comes to the optimal way to win at Sic Bo, there is good and bad news…

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Bad news first: there is not a single solid Sic Bo betting strategy that would help you to win every single time.

This is unfortunate, but it is a game of chance after all, and there is no way to predict the exact outcomes of the dice.

There is some good news, however: if you want to get the best chances of winning at Sic Bo, there are some strategy tips you can rely on, and we’ve detailed these below.

1. Don’t Get Tempted to Bet on Too Many Areas

When playing Sic Bo online, you can place multiple bets at once. Online casinos usually allow betting on up to 16 areas per one roll, but we wouldn’t recommend betting on that many.

Sure, you’ll win multiple bets, but you may end up losing a lot more. Instead, analyze all the betting options, and ask yourself:

  • What are the chances of winning for each of them?
  • Are the payouts even worth it?

Then you’ll have your own Sic Bo strategy, and you’ll be able to manage your bankroll better than when playing the game randomly.

2. Place Most Bets on Big or Small Area

This may be an obvious choice by now. The Big and Small bets have the best odds and the smallest house edge.

If you play at a land-based casino, you can find some players betting only on Big and Small bets.

However, it could be argued that this is a boring way to play the game and removes the fun element that is important in casino games. Thus, don’t forget to explore other betting options while still keeping most (and highest) bets on the Big or Small areas.

3. Don’t Fall for the Gambler’s Fallacy

As in if the dice have been rolling Big sums for a long time, it will definitely roll a lot of Small ones now.

False.

The outcomes of the dice are not dependent on what happened before, so don’t follow this blindly. Not in Sic Bo, not in Craps, and not in any other game of chance.

Where to Play Sic Bo Online for Real Money

So you should know how to get started playing Sic Bo online – but where to play for real money?

Luckily there isn’t a huge list of online casinos to research for this, as many casinos don’t offer an online version of Sic Bo. However, you can find a simplified version from Evolution Gaming called Lightning Dice, which is provided by many reputable online casinos.

Play Real Money Sic Bo in the US

In the US, if you are lucky enough to be a resident of a state that currently allows legal online gambling (currently NJ, PA, WV, and MI), then you can play Lightning Dice at some of the big names like PokerStars Casino, BetMGM Casino, and Borgata Casino.

Our top choice of these would be BetMGM Casino where you can play Lightning Dice in their live dealer casino and take advantage of their casino bonus when you register for a casino account as a new player.

Play Real Money Sic Bo in the UK

No matter whether you’re a beginner or already had experience playing Sic Bo, UK players should try the games at 888casino.

The 888casino site features two Sic Bo platforms:

  • Sic Bo by Habanero
  • Sic Bo by BGAMING

BGAMING’s platform is a bit simpler and clearer, so you won’t get confused even if it’s your first time playing the game. All the payouts are written on the layout already, and you can use the same platform for both free and real money gambling.

If you want to feel the Chinese roots while playing the game, go for a Habanero platform. It’s more traditional and has that Oriental feel to it.

We’d also recommend bet365 Casino, who provides a couple of Sic Bo games, including a live dealer ‘deluxe’ game.

Sic Bo Online FAQs

This article was originally published in July 2019, it was last updated in November 2023.

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