Sic Bo (meaning 'dice pair'), is an ancient Chinese gambling game regularly played in Southeast Asia, Korea, Nevada and Australia. The Chinese also refer to it as Tai Sai or Dai Siu, meaning 'Big Small.'
In the Philippines, where it is also very popular, it is known as 'Hi-Lo." Sic Bo was imported to the US by Chinese immigrants in the early 20th century and today can be found in most American land-based and.
Played with three dice, the object of the game is to predict the individual numbers, or combinations of numbers, that will appear on the dice following the 'throw.' The possibilities include single die numbers, two of a kind, three of a kind, or combos of any two or three of the dice. Payoff combinations and payoff odds are listed on a Roulette-style table top which is often lit up from underneath in winning areas of the layout to indicate winning combinations.
How to Play Sic Bo
To play Sic Bo, players commence by placing their bets on possible outcomes resulting from the rolling of three dice. Once all the bets have been made, the dice tumbler is rotated and then set on the table. All winning possibilities of the three dice appear illuminated on the layout and winning payoffs range from 1:1 even money for one-of-a-kind, to 180:1 for a particular trio.
Players may place any number of wagers on the Sic Bo table, with the most common bets being "Big" (the sum total of the three dice will be 11 through 17) and "Small" (total 4-10). Other bets are on specific three-number totals (with varying odds from 5:1 to 50:1), on specific two-number combos, or on single-number wagers (one pays 1:1, two pays 2:1, three pays 3:1; in some casinos three pays as high as 12:1).
Sic Bo game variations include 'Chuck-a-Luck' and 'Birdcage' which generally feature only the single-number bets, sometimes with an additional bet which pays off approximately 30:1 for "any triple," that is, all three dice are the same number. The name "Birdcage" came about because the device that rolls the dice resembles a wire-frame bird cage which pivots about its center. The dealer rotates the cage end over end causing the dice to settle on the bottom.
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