Sic Bo is an ancient Chinese dice game. The name Sic Bo literally means “dice pair”; the name is somewhat of a misnomer since the game is actually played with three dice.
How to play Sic Bo
The great thing about online Sic Bo is the wide variety of different bets you can make. There is a correspondingly wide variety of odds and payouts, ranging from even money to 180-to-1, for winning Sic Bo bets.
These are some of the possible online Sic Bo bets
The easiest bet on the Sic Bo board is the bet on the three dice total. This ranges from 4 to 17 (3 and 18 are covered by Triple 1 and Triple 6)
The payouts on each of these bets differs, based on the probability of each score occurring. These are clearly displayed on the betting squares.
For example, a total of 4 pays around 60 to 1 (ie win 60 units per unit staked) whereas a total of 10 or 11 pays out at 6 to 1 (win 6 for every 1 staked).
Small and Big
You can bet on the total of the three dice being Small (ie 4 to 10) or Big (11 to 17).
The payout on Big and Small is 1 to 1 i.e. it’s an evens chance bet, like Red / Black in Roulette, making these bets the basis of our Lower risk Sic Bo strategy.
An important rule to note is that Big and Small both lose if any triple appears. This explains why a total of 3 and 18 is not included in these bets.
The ‘triple rule’ works in a similar way to the zero in Roulette i.e. it makes the 50/50 bets slightly less than evens chance, and keeping the house edge in the casino’s favour.
The Combination bet is a bet on any two specific numbers showing on the three dice. For example, you could bet on a Combination of 4 and 6, whcih would win if the three dice show 3, 4, 6.
The payout on a Combination bet is 6 to 1 (ie you win 6 units for every 1 unit bet, giving a total return of 7 units), regardless of which combination you bet on.
This differs from the Total bet (see below), which pays different amounts depending on the specific total.
The Single bet is a bet that a specific number will show on any of the three dice.
The payout on a Single bet depends on how many occurences of the chosen number turn up on the three dice.
If the number chosen turns up on one dice, you get paid 1 to 1 (1 unit won per unit staked). If it turns up on two dice, you get paid 2 to 1 and if it comes in on all three you get paid 12 to 1.
This latter payout differs wildly from the Triple bet (see below), which pays 180 to 1 for a specific triple. But these different betting options are what make Sic Bo so fascinating!
The Double bet is a bet that two of a specific number will show on the three dice.
For example, a bet on Double 2 would win if the three dice show 2, 6, 2.
You can bet on any double from 1 to 6 and the payout is 10 to 1 (ie you win 10 units for every 1 unit staked, giving a return of 11 units).
Unlike the Triple bet (see below), there’s no option to bet on any double – you have to bet on a specific double, though you can bet on as many doubles as you like, in combination with any number of other bets.
The Triple bet is a bet that all three dice will show a specific number.
You can bet on any specific triple from 1 to 6 and also bet that any triple (ie non-specific) will occur.
The payout on any triple is 30 to 1 (ie you win 30 units for every 1 unit staked), but the payout on a specific triple is a whopping 180 to 1, making it the biggest payout on the board, and a far larger payout than the measly 35 to 1 on a single number in Roulette!
Probability of Sci Bo
The following list of bets can be found on any self-respecting sic bo game. It is followed by a list of some more uncommon bets.
- Small: Wins on total of 4-10, except for a three of a kind. Probability of winning is 48.61%. Pays 1 to 1. House edge is 2.78%.
- Big: Wins on total of 11-17, except for a three of a kind. Probability of winning is 48.61%. Pays 1 to 1. House edge is 2.78%.
- Total of 4 and 17: Pays 50 to 1 in Macau, 60 to 1 in Atlantic City, and 62 to 1 in Australia.
Total of 4 and 17
- Total of 5 and 16: Pays 18 to 1 in Macau, 30 to 1 in Atlantic City, and 31 to 1 in Australia.
Total of 5 and 16
- Total of 6 and 15: Pays 14 to 1 in Macau, 17 to 1 in Atlantic City, and 18 to 1 in Australia.
Total of 6 and 15
- Total of 7 and 14: Pays 12 to 1 everywhere.
Total of 7 and 14
- Total of 8 and 13: Pays 8 to 1 everywhere.
Total of 8 and 13
- Total of 9 and 12: Pays 6 to 1 in Macau and Atlantic City. Pays 7 to 1 in Australia.
Total of 9 and 12
- Total of 10 and 11: Pays 6 to 1 everywhere. House edge of 12.50%.
- Double: Bet on any specific pair (for example two 1’s). Player wins if at least 2 of the number chosen appears. Pays 8 to 1 in Macau, 10 to 1 in Atlantic City, and 11 to 1 in Australia.
- Specific Triple: Player may bet on any specific trips (for example three 1’s). Player wins if all 3 dice match the number chosen. Pays 150 to 1 in Macau and 180 to 1 in Atlantic City.
- Any Triple: Wins on any three of a kind. Pays 24 to 1 in Macau and 30 to 1 in Atlantic City.
- Any One Number: Many sources call this bet “one of a kind,” but I think that is an awful name. This is actually six bets, one for each face on a die. It pays according to how many of the dice land on the die face bet on. Following is the pay table:
- One match: Pays 1 to 1
- Two matches: Pays 2 to 1
- Three matches: Pays 3* to 1
* While 3 to 1 is the usual win for matching three, in Australia they pay 12 to 1.The house edge under the usual pay table is 7.87%. Under the Australia rules it drops to 3.70%. Internet casinos have a wide range of pays for matching three. See my page on playing sic bo online for more on that.
- Domino (two faces): The player chooses a two-number combination, using two unique numbers. This bet is called a “domino” because the area on the table felt for these bets look like dominoes. For example 2-5. The bet pays 5 to 1 if the roll contains both numbers. For example a bet on 2-5 would win on a rolls of 1-2-5, 2-2-5, 2-3-5, 2-4-5, 2-5-5, and 2-5-6. Probability of winning is 13.89% and house edge is 16.67%.
- Domino (one face): This is similar to the two-faced domino bet, except both numbers on the domino are the same. For example, 4-4. To win, in this case, the dice would need to land on at least two fours. Winning combinations would be 1-4-4, 2-4-4, 3-4-4, 4-4-4, 4-4-5, 4-4-6. I have seen pays on this bet ranging from 8 to 11. The following table shows the house edge at each win. The most common win is 10 to 1
Following are some bets that are rarely found in sic bo, but have been known to exist.
- Odd & Even: Wins on any odd total, except loses with any three of a kind. This bet I have only seen in Macau, never in the United States. Probability of winning is 48.61% and house edge is 2.78%.
- Three-Number Easy Hop: I don’t know the correct title of this bet, so made up my own. The player chooses a three-number combination, using three unique numbers, for example 1-3-5. The bet pays 30 to 1 if all three are rolled. Probability of winning is 2.78% and house edge is 13.89%. I am aware of only Macau offering this bet.
- Three-Number Hard Hops: Again, I don’t know the correct title of this bet, so made up my own. The player chooses a three-number combination, using two unique numbers, and specifying which will be rolled twice. For example 2-2-4. The bet pays 50 to 1 if the roll matches exactly. So, in this example, 2-4-4 and 2-4-5 would lose. Probability of winning is 1.39% and house edge is 29.17%. I am aware of only one Macau casino offering this bet.
- Four-Number Easy Hop: Once again, my own title. The player chooses a four-number combination, using four unique numbers. for example 1-3-4-6. The bet pays 7 to 1 if the roll matches three of the chosen numbers. In my example, 1-3-4, 1-3-6, 1-4-6, and 3-4-6 would be the only winners. Probability of winning is 11.11% and house edge is also 11.11%. I am aware of Macau only offering this bet.
Sic Bo House Edge Comparison
|Domino (two faces)||33.33%||18.52%||11.11%|
|Domino (one face)||16.67%||16.67%||2.78%|
Sci Bo Strategy and Tips
Online Sic Bo is a game of chance in which you bet on the outcome of the roll of three dice. There is no Sic Bo strategy that can help you make the dice come out the way you want them to, but there are Sic Bo strategies that can help you choose your bets wisely and have more fun at the virtual Sic Bo table.
SMALL & BIG BETS
If you choose to make small and big bets, you will generally be able to win more often with them. So what are Small and Big bets? A Small bet is when the player predicts that the sum total of the roll of the three dice will be between 4 and 10, while a Big bet revolves around the player predicting the sum total of the dice to be between 11 and 17. When it comes to a Big bet, the odds are 1 is to 1 which means that you do risk winning less money than you would if you made a Small bet, however, you also have a greater chance of winning something.
If one were to look closely at the Sic Bo rules, one would realise that betting on a single number can actually win you more money than you would averagely be able to, however, unfortunately, while the payout rate is decidedly higher for a single number, the chances of winning are decidedly lower. If you do however opt to bet on a single number, you really should concentrate on a single die and try to predict which number of the six is going to come up. Indeed, it is not unheard of to bet several times on the same number to get a favourable result.
When it comes to the combination bet (which is a specific bet on two numbers), players have a small advantage of around 2.77%. Now, while this might not seem to be much (which is the main reason why beginners tend to overlook this kind of bet), it would be pretty foolhardy to ignore this method as the chance of winning in combination bets is 6 to 1 which means that players can expect to win one in every seven bets. For the best results, combination bets should be used frequently and ultimately, if you manage to master this Sic Bo strategy you will be assured of the kind of consistent payouts than other bet types which are far riskier will not be able to offer you.