Depending on where in the world you are playing, Sic Bo could either be a game you have never heard of, or the most popular game on the casino floor and anywhere in between! Sic Bo has a huge following in Asia, and in Macau, the biggest gambling market on the planet, Sic Bo is amongst the most popular games available.
The game has yet to gain that same level of popularity in the United States, despite many casinos adding it to their floors in the last couple of decades. And personally, I think the only reason that the game isn’t wildly popular stateside, is because of the confusing layout!
If you have ever even glanced at a Sic Bo table layout, you will know immediately that there is a LOT going on!
There are big bets, small bets, odd bets, even bets, bets on single dice, and bets on combinations. There isn’t any combination that the dice can roll, that isn’t on the layout for you to bet. With so many betting options, a lot of new players can be intimidated when they first encounter a Sic Bo table.
If you are looking to learn more about Sic Bo, you are in luck, as we here at TheSportsGeek pride ourselves on offering best-in-class gambling advice, and we are going to tell you everything that you need to know to walk up to a Sic Bo table and leave a winner!
First, we will get you up to speed on what Sic Bo is and how it is played and then we will dive into that confusing layout by reviewing all of the various betting options. Let’s get started by taking a look at what is Sic Bo?
What Is Sic Bo?
Sic Bo is an ancient Chinese dice game, that vaguely resembles a modern-day craps table. While the game does look somewhat like a craps table, the games are quite different, with the biggest difference being that at a Sic Bo table, you are wagering on 3 dice, not 2, like you would on a craps game.
The other main difference is that the dealer rolls the dice at a Sic Bo table, not the players. Usually, the dice are rolled in a glass dome by pushing a button, but we do occasionally still see old-school dice shakers where the dealer shakes the dice by hand.
Sic Bo Payouts
Players can wager on nearly endless options at Sic Bo, with the payouts varying depending on the odds of the potential outcome occurring. Those odds-based payouts range from a 1-1 payout for a single number bet, all of the way up to a whopping 180-1 payout for a triple number bet.
Unlike craps, where there is an established point, and some roles don’t end in winning or losing, when you are playing Sic Bo, the game starts over every roll, and every roll is either a winner or a loser depending on the roll of the dice! Now that you know what Sic Bo is, let’s start breaking down that confusing Sic Bo table layout!
Sic Bo Table Layout
There isn’t a more complicated layout anywhere on the casino floor than at the Sic Bo table. But once you learn what these bets represent, you will see that the game is actually very simple.
In a nutshell, each of these betting options represents a potential outcome from a single roll of the dice. There are lots of betting options because there are lots of combinations of the dice.
Every potential outcome of the roll is represented on the Sic Bo table layout, as you can bet on the dice landing in any possible combination. Let’s take a look at these various bets below by starting out with the even money bets.
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Even Money Bets
There are multiple even money bets that you can make at the Sic Bo table. These are the equivalent to your red or black bets on a roulette wheel in that they are essentially coin-flip types of bets that pay out 1-1.
Big Or Small
If you add up the value of all 3 dice the lowest number you can roll is a 3 (all ones), and the highest number you can roll would be an 18 (all sixes). The big or small bet is a bet on that total, and you can either take the bottom half of the totals 4-10 (small bet) or the top half of the totals 11-17 (big bet).
For those of you out there that are paying close attention, you may notice that a couple of those possible totals are missing from this bet. That is because if the dice land on triple 1s or triple 6s, you lose your bet.
This is how the house makes its money, as there is no other house advantage on either side of the bet. From a house advantage perspective, there isn’t a better bet that you can make at a Sic Bo table than the big or small bet, as the house advantage is only 2.8%.
Odd Or Even
The odd or even bet is basically the same bet as the big or small bet, but instead of betting on how high or low the total will be, you bet on whether that total will be odd or even. Just like the big or small bet, you lose on triple 1s and 6s and the game offers the same attractive house advantage of just 2.8%.
Single Dice Bet
This final even money Sic Bo bet is one of the more popular bets available. When you make the single dice bet, all you are betting is that any one of the 3 dice will land on the number that you selected. For example, if you make a single dice bet on a 6, all you need to do to win is have one of the 3 dice lands on a 6, and you get an even money 1-1 payout.
Where this bet starts to be a lot of fun is when you make a single dice bet and your number comes up multiple times. Using that same example above, where you bet on the 6, if a 6 comes up on 2 of the dice you get paid out 2-1 and if the roll ends up in all 6s, you get paid out 3-1!
From a statistical standpoint, this bet has a house advantage of just under 8%, making it worse than the other even money bets, but significantly better than the odds-based bets that we are going to talk about next.
Odds-Based Payout Bets
As a former casino operator, I can tell you that anything that pays out in odds, is going to be a bet that is tough to win. But the majority of players playing Sic Bo aren’t attracted to the game for even money bets, they come for the jumbo odds-based payouts. These are your high-risk, but equally high-reward bets, that add a lot of excitement and fun to the game.
The specific triple bet is the Sic Bo version of swinging for the fences. In order to win this bet, you have to bet on the dice all landing on the exact same number. If we are sticking with our bet on the 6 from above, you would need the dice to all land on 6 to win.
Now, if that sounds tough, it is because it is!
But the casino makes up for how hard it is to hit this bet, by paying out a whopping 180-1 when it comes in! That is the single largest potential payout on the Sic Bo table layout. The true odds of rolling a specific triple is right around 215-1.
That gap between the odds of hitting it, and the odds that the casino pays you out when you win, creates a house advantage of just over 16%, making it one of the worst bets that you can make from a casino advantage point of view. But I will tell you there is no more exhilarating feeling at the Sic Bo table than connecting on a specific triples bet and getting paid out huge!
Are you looking for a gamble but don’t quite have the stomach for the specific triples bet? Then you should give the any triples bet a shot! The any triples bet is fairly self-explanatory, as you are betting that the dice will land on any set of triples, not just one specific one.
The odds that the dice land on all the same number are 35-1, so you are going to see this happen far more often than the riskier specific triples bet. But the casino knows that, and only pays you out at 30-1 when you hit.
That still makes it a big payout when compared with the rest of the bets available on Sic Bo table layout. And the house advantage is actually quite a bit better for the players than the specific triples bet, as the any triples bet holds just 14%, compared to 16% for the specific triples bet. Of all of these odds based bets, the any triple bet is my personal favorite, as it offers a nice payout and a reasonable chance of actually winning.
Well, when you have so many different bets available, one of them has to be the worst, and it just so happens that the worst bet on the Sic Bo table layout is the specific doubles bet. Similar to the specific triples bet, you are betting that your number will come up on exactly 2 of the dice.
While that would seem easier than nailing all 3 dice, and it is, the reason that this bet is such a bad one for players is that even when you nail your specific double bet on 2 dice, you can still lose your bet! That is because if your number comes up on all 3 dice, not just 2 of them, you lose!
The specific doubles bet only wins if your number comes up on exactly 2 dice, no more, or no less.
This bet pays out 10-1, which isn’t terrible, but when you do the math and see that a bet on the specific doubles bet holds over 18%, you may as well swing for the fences and go for all 3 dice if you are looking for a gamble. An 18% casino advantage makes this bet one of the worst you can find on the entire casino floor, and I suggest that you stay away from it!
3 Dice Totals
The three dice totals bet is just that, a bet on specifically what the total of all 3 dice will be after the roll. These totals are lumped together based on how often they are going to appear.
For example, the totals of 4 and 17 are grouped together, as they both have the same number of combinations that add up to those totals. A bet on the 4 or 17 total pays out a juicy 60-1, making it one of the biggest payouts available on the Sic Bo table layout.
These bets range from payouts of 6-1 all of the way up to 60-1, with each combination paying differently based on the odds of them appearing. From a math perspective, the best total to wager on is either the 9 or the 12, as they pay out 7-1 odds and feature a house edge of just 7%.
The worst totals to bet on? You guessed it, the 4 and the 17, as despite the jumbo payout, the casino holds over 15% on those bets. Similar to many of these bets, if you roll that triple 1 or triple 6, all bets lose, as you aren’t allowed to bet on 3 or 18.
3 Number Combinations
The final Sic Bo bet that we are going to look at today is the 3 number combinations bet. If this bet feels a lot like the any triples bet, it is because they are essentially the same bet.
They have the same odds of hitting at 35-1 and the same payouts, at 30-1. The only difference is that instead of betting that all of the numbers are the same, you are picking each number individually.
In order to win this bet, you must accurately predict the outcome of all 3 dice. Do you think the dice are going to land on 1, 2, and 3? Great, make a play on those exact numbers and get paid out generously when they come out.
We already talked about how I love the any triples bet and with this bet being essentially identical, I love the 3 number combination bet as well and suggest you give it a try the next time that you find yourself at a Sic Bo table.
Now that we have taken all of the guesswork out of the over-complicated Sic Bo table layout, I am sure that you are ready to give the game a try! That being said, if you aren’t in Asia, it may be tough to find a Sic Bo table at your local casino.
If you see a game called chuck-a-luck or chuck-a-buck, that is just Sic Bo under another name, and you can play it just like you would a traditionally named Sic Bo table. But if you aren’t able to find Sic Bo at your favorite casino, the one place where you can always find the game is online!
Online casinos are known for their huge game selection options and just about every major online casino is going to offer Sic Bo. If you are looking to play online Sic Bo, make sure that you swing by TheSportsGeek’s online casino page first, where we bring our readers exclusive offers at all of the best online casinos. Thanks for reading and good luck rolling those dice at a Sic Bo table near you!