Even if you are a complete newb in the world of online gaming, you have probably heard of online Sic Bo. One thing’s for sure – this popular game is taking India by storm, and everyone who means serious with their casino accounts has tried to play it at least once. But what is it all about? Is it a card game? A roulette variant? Something completely new?
Before you start guessing (and making wrong conclusions), we suggest you read our detailed and comprehensive guide and find out more about this thrilling game full of excitement, fun, and incredible winning potential.
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What is Sic Bo?
Before we tackle history, playing tips, and strategies for this mega-hit, let us tell you what this game really is. Sic Bo, also known as tai sai, dai siu, big and small or hi-lo, is a game of chance that originates from China. It is played with three dice, and all you have to do is place a bet, according to the rules, in a specified timeframe. The dealer will then shake the dice and reveal the winning numbers. One of the most entertaining features of the game is its speed, so if you are more of a chilled gamer, think twice before joining the table.
Sic Bo History
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the game has been around for centuries but has caught Western players’ eye and imagination only in the late 20th century. The name literally means “dice pair” in Chinese, but in the Philippines, it goes by the name hi-lo, yet in India, the original name prevails.
It remains unknown how and when the game was created, but some even go about how it is thousands and thousands of years old. Archaeological findings in China do find dice of ancient dates, but it is impossible to make any claims about how they were used for any of the games we know today, including this one. No matter its past, it remains incredibly popular today, and we can predict the future will bring many great things for casino players, especially those that prefer to play Sic Bo for real money.
Nowadays, this game is one of the most popular in all Asian land-based casinos, including Macau, and often featured in Chinese blockbusters. After all, it can be considered a Chinese national game!
Why is Sic Bo Popular in India?
It will always remain a mystery why some games tend to be more popular in some countries than others. Also, the gaming industry has witnessed several trends when it seems that everyone is playing only one game. Just think of the poker craze of the early 2000s! Now there is a new trend in India, and it is called Sic Bo. One of the main reasons why it is so popular is the increasing presence of online casinos. Online gambling sites for real money serve as platforms that deliver games to players worldwide, including some that are not available in their home country, and this is one of them. Of course, this doesn’t mean that this game is illegal in brick-and-mortar venues. But, as always, things tend to be slightly more complicated than necessary when it comes to India.
Every state in India has its own set of laws and regulations regarding the gambling industry and little to say that the overall atmosphere is not very motivating for business companies, at least when it comes to gaming. For this reason, the number of brands operating under offshore licenses is constantly increasing, and so is the number of punters who register with them. After all, who has time and money to go to Goa every weekend to play games? Understandably, the number of punters who play Sic Bo with real money has gotten bigger because it became available to many players and is incredibly fun!
How to Play Sic Bo Online?
The best way to play this game online is to do so at the best Sic Bo casinos available on our website. But before you ask Lady luck for some help, it’s important to learn all the rules! This part of the article will discuss rules, strategy, terminology, and game variants you can find on the best sic bo sites.
Sic Bo Rules – Betting Process Step by Step
We guarantee that you will be stunned by the way it looks as soon as you open the first game. This game has a very recognizable table, usually in green colour, with red and white markings. From the player’s point of view, there are three rows of dice sides with numbers, followed by the row of Arabic numbers in the middle of the board. At the very top, you will find more images of dice sides. Basically, the images that represent the dice hold every possible combination you can get due to the dice being tumbled. So by now, you are probably thinking you need a college degree to figure this game out, right? Wrong! The table layout might seem complicated, but Sic Bo rules are so simple you won’t even have to rethink your moves.
Another important part of the equipment are dice, usually in red colour. If you play RNG video games, the algorithm will simulate the roll and deliver the results. The dealer will use a special device at a live casino, similar to a glass jar, to tumble the dice. That way, no one can blame the casino the dealer is using fake dice or manipulating the result as the contact is limited to the bare minimum. And that is about it – no cards, no special wheels, pairs, racks, or any other equipment.
The betting process is simple and looks something like this:
- You choose your bet by clicking it with the mouse (or tapping your finger).
- You click the “roll” button.
- Wait for the dice to settle and check the results.
If you play at a live casino, you might notice a time limit within which you have to place your bet, and the real dealer will roll the dice without any instruction by your side. This is also how this game is played at land-based venues, and considering there is always more than a single person at the table, it is obvious how it’s only fair for the dealer to set the tempo.
Types of Bets
If you think all you need to do is throw your chips (or click the mouse) where it feels right, hold your horses for just one second and start reading about the best and worst types of bets, you can place them at this attractive table.
The best bets are basically the most common and most standard bets you can find at any table:
- Big or small bet – these two types of bets have the same chances of winning (48.6) and the same house edge of about 2.8. The big bet can be found in the upper right corner and usually paid out 1 to 1 for numbers 11 to 17. The small bet is located at the upper left corner and pays 1 to 1 on numbers 4 to 10. In both cases, if the dice show triple (three of the same kind), you lose.
- Odd or even – you are betting on whether the result will be an odd or an even number, and considering they have the same odds and house edge as the big and small bets can almost fall in the same category. However, while big and small bets are must-haves, odds and even bets are much more difficult to find as many casinos don’t support them.
- Dice combinations – you are betting on a specific combination of numbers on the three dice rolled during the gameplay. There are 15 combinations on the board, the house edge is again 2.8, but your odds are significantly smaller – only 13.9%, but once you win, you get a 6 to 1 payout.
Just as there are the best bets, some of the bets give the house (meaning – your online casino) a much bigger advantage. Here are some of the worst bets you can place before the dice are rolled:
- Specific dice combinations – this time, you bet that two dice will show a specific combination and the third one a certain number. The payout may be 50 to 1, but don’t pop up the champagne quite yet – your odds are only 1.4%, and the house edge is 29.2!
- Specific Doubles – you bet on two or three dice featuring specific numbers. The payout of 10 to 1 is as far as you becoming the next maharaja, considering the odds are only 7.41 and the house edge is an impressive 18.5.
- Specific Triple – think that three of the same kind will show up on dice once they settle? Good luck with that! Even though the payout is massive 180 to 1, you only have 0.46% chances to get it right!
- 4 or 17 – another type of bet reserved only for the bravest and the boldest because you bet the total sum of numbers will be either 4 or 17, with odds of only 1.4$. You get a 60 to 1 payout if you are right, but the chances are – you aren’t.
Sic Bo Types and Variants
Let’s set the record straight – every software provider (the company that supplies the casino with games) will do their best to deliver as many types of this game as possible. Still, considering this is a particular type of casino game, such variations need to be taken with a grain of salt, as they, more often than not, mean that the provider used different colours to design the table, while the rules remain the same. Still, here are some games so similar to sic-bo, they can be considered variants of it.
The birdcage is a game named after the entrapment used to roll the dice. The odds in this game are far worse than in Sic Bo, and it has become a rare sight not only in online but land-based casino venues. Very similar to it is Chuck-a-Luck, an American version of this popular dice game. Chuck-a-Luck is much simpler than the original and is most commonly played for charity. It usually features single-number wagers with an additional wager for any triple. Another game from the same family is Grand Hazard, a British take on the game with a more basic table. In this game, the house keeps the margin, and the payout is calculated differently.
There is also Dai Siu, a variant that is extremely popular in Macau. It features tight payouts and tends to be more aggressive. Yee Hah Hi or Fish Shrimp Crab, as funny as it sounds, is a game with images instead of numbers. Every animal has a dedicated colour, and you can wager on all the same colour, two of colour and one colour.
Despite all this, it is important to mention these games had fallen into obscurity since the late 1990s when the first online casino brands started to take over the market.
Sic Bo Glossary
Unlike poker, which has a very complicated and extensive lingo, this game is simpler and straightforward. Yet, there are still some terms and expressions you oughta know, especially if you want to chat with the dealer or our peers at the live casino table. Keep in mind that this glossary doesn’t cover all terms used, as they may vary from community to community, but it will do for most people who play Sic Bo online.
- Any double – a bet on two dice having the same number
- Any one – a bet that one dice will have the chosen number
- Any triple – a wager on all dice will show the same number
- Cup – the device that holds the dice, most commonly a glass dome with wooden bottom
- Dice face – bet on any one
- House – casino operator
- House edge – the advantage of the house, compared to you
- Live game – played at the live online casino
- Lucky dice – slang name for the game
- RNG – a part of the software that generates outcomes, randomly and unpredictably, to be totally fair
- Roll – the action of tumbling dice
- Winner – not the player, but the combination of the number on the dice
The Best Sic Bo Tips and Strategies
Before we proceed, keep in mind how this is a game of chance, meaning there is no skill involved. And unlike in blackjack, where you can count cards and try to figure out what is left in the deck, with Sic Bo, it all comes down to gravity and how the dice will end up after being rolled. Some players will have their favourite bets or numbers, but the only way to handle this game is by using some math and common sense. For this reason, the tips we are about to deliver shouldn’t be considered strategies but more guidelines that can help you take advantage of the nature of the game.
- Play at higher odds – big, small, odd, and even are the best bets, at least chance-wise, for you to play. They have the smallest house edge, and your odds are basically 50:50.
- Find the right casino – casinos with higher payouts will usually have a higher payout on this game as well.
- d’Alembert – every time you lose, increase your bet for one unit. If you are on the winning streak, do the opposite, lower your bet. That way, you can manage your losses better.
- Keep a cool head – it is so easy to forget everything while you watch those dice roll under the dome. However, play responsibly, and never more than you can afford.
Where to Play Sic Bo Online?
This game can now be found in almost any gaming library of any casino, no matter how big or small. It is simply so popular! There are hundreds of online casinos on the Indian market only, and we are sure you will find the brand that works for you. Before you sign up, please make sure a legit regulatory authority licenses it. It has an incredible portfolio stacked with games, payment methods you love and use, and customer support you can trust. It sounds like quite a hassle.
We have an amazing alternative to it! Sign up with one of the casinos listed on our website, claim generous bonuses. We did all the research for you, so you can even skip the research part, read reviews and find the one you’ll love in years to come. We take your safety very seriously and apply the highest standards when it comes to rating casinos.
- 1️⃣ Is Sic Bo legal in India?
- It is not explicitly mentioned in any Indian laws, and you can play the game legally at any of the licensed online casinos. You never even have to leave your room!
- 2️⃣ What is the maximum bet I can place?
- The maximum bet will depend on the operator that provides the game. However, we can say how the range of bet sizes is impressive, usually from $0.50 to thousands of dollars.
- 3️⃣ Can I play Sic Bo at a live casino?
- Yes, as it is one of the most popular games at any live casino. Just keep in mind that the dealer is in charge of the game’s tempo, so you better keep up!
- 4️⃣ Is Sic Bo a profitable game?
- This is one of those games where the house can have a small or huge edge, depending on the bet you want to place. Of course, if you have higher odds, the payout will be smaller, and if you are willing to take a risk, the payout will be much more lucrative. Before you make the final call, check out the paytable and figure out what works best for you.