Comfortable and Furious

A Basic Intro to Sic Bo

While Sic Bo is considered a delicacy to be played in person at casinos like Las Vegas or Atlantic City, it is one of the oldest dice games. Dating back to ancient China, Sic Bo, known initially as Tai Sai, or in the case of the Cantonese-speaking world, Dai Siu in reference to big and small wagers that are available wagers. From its origins as a three-dice game made of clay and bricks with painted numbers to having special tables on the pit floor, the legend of Sic Bo is ready for you to enjoy in person in luxury or with a quiet evening at home.

Sic Bo’s Journey to America

Sic Bo came to America through Chinese and other Asian immigrants in the mid-1800s. Also at this time, Sic Bo was introduced to Europe, particularly Great Britain. The three-dice game was such a smash hit among the Brits that they developed their own spin-off known as Grand Hazard. As more Asian immigrants came into American cities, it became en vogue to feature Sic Bo at Asian festivals and carnivals. It didn’t take long for Americans, and especially those who shoot dice or play craps, to catch on to Sic Bo.

However, it wasn’t until the 1930s that Sic Bo received a larger appeal and reach. In the 1930s, Nevada legalized organized casino play, and Americans fell in love with this three-dice game on a larger scale. As the 1950s and 1960s came, so did the love affair for American casinos with Reno and Las Vegas. Hollywood movies featuring the Rat Pack also helped to glamorize dice games like Craps and Sic Bo.

As casinos continued to expand in the 80s and beyond with the rise of Atlantic City and major metros like Detroit, the legend of Sic Bo only continued to grow. However, the biggest stage for the Sic Bo game came with the rise of the American online casino sphere. Following Delaware’s lead in 2012, six states legalized online casinos for their residents to play. With the advent of mobile apps and live dealer play, playing Sic Bo went into overdrive.

Introduction to Sic Bo

Sic Bo isn’t a complicated process. Learning how to play Sic Bo might seem like a challenge at first because it uses three dice. But instead of rolling the dice yourself as you would with Craps, you make your bet, then hand over the dice to the particular dealer. That dealer or casino employee puts the dice in a special box or cage specifically for Sic Bo, shakes it, and then reveals the winning number.

If you’re playing with a live dealer or in person, you might find that the Sic Bo tables relay the results electronically on the table to notch the dice in the box and to prevent misunderstandings. If you’re ready to get into the Sic Bo action, here are some of the common bets you can make:

  • Making a small or big wager means that the three dice either add up between four and ten, or in the case of the big wager, the three dice fall somewhere between eleven and seventeen.
  • A precise triple wager is when you bet on the specific number that each dice rolls on. For example, you win if you place your stake on one dice, hitting a two, the second a six, and the third a twelve. If one of the numbers doesn’t hit, you lose. Of course, you can make the risky bet that all three dice roll on the same number, for example, 4-4-4.

You can make side bets depending on the casino, including live ones. However, special wagers like combination bets always carry a significantly higher house edge. Now that you have the Sic Bo basics under your belt, good luck, and let the dice roll!





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