Sicbo, also known as Tai Sai or Dai Siu, is a traditional Chinese dice game that has been played for centuries. The Cantonese words “si” for dice and “bo” for table combine to form the name “sic bo.” Players wager on the result of the throw of three dice in this game of chance. Over time, Sicbo has spread beyond China and become popular in various Asian casinos.
1. History of Sicbo
Sicbo can trace its origins back to ancient China, having been played since at least the Song Dynasty between 960-1279 AD. It was a popular pastime enjoyed by people from all walks of life. The game was played on special tables and used three dice made from animal knuckles or nuts. Players would wager on the different combinations that could come up when the dice were thrown.
As Chinese culture spread throughout Asia, so too did Sicbo. It emerged in Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. Eventually, Sicbo made its way to casinos in Macau and other parts of Asia where gambling was legalized. In modern times, casinos upgraded the game by using dice made of plastic with printed numbers and sophisticated automated tables. However, the basic concept of betting on dice combinations has remained the same over the centuries.
2. How to Play Sicbo
Sicbo is played on a semi-circular table with the dealer sitting opposite the players. The table is fitted with number markings for the different bets that can be placed. Three dice are thrown from a shaking cage by the dealer. Players can bet on what combination will come up before the dice are rolled. There are 36 possible combinations from throwing 3 dice.
Some common wagers in Sicbo include:
- Single Number Bet: Betting that a specific single number like 1, 2, 3 etc. will appear. Pays 30 to 1.
- Two Numbers Bet: Betting that a specific pair like 1-1, 2-2 etc. will appear. Pays 15 to 1.
- Three Numbers Bet: Betting that a specific trio like 1-1-1, 2-2-2 etc. will appear. Pays 30 to 1.
- Small/Big Bet: Betting that the total of all 3 dice will be below or above 10. Pays even money.
- Odd/Even Bet: Betting that the total of all 3 dice will be an odd or even number. Pays even money.
Players place their bets in the marked areas before the dice are thrown. The dealer then shakes the dice in the cage and rolls them out onto the table. Winners are paid according to the odds listed and losers collect their losing bets.
3. Sicbo Table Layout
The sicbo gaming table is designed to accommodate all possible bets that can be placed on the dice game. At the centre of the layout is the area containing all 36 number combination possibilities from rolling three dice. Examples include 111, 112 and so on up to 666. These individual numbers are clearly marked out so players know exactly where to place bets predicting a specific trio. Surrounding the number area are sections for side bets on factors other than a single combination. One of these is the small/big betting section, which contains separate spaces to wager on the total value of the three dice being below or above 10. Another side bet option is the odd/even section, with distinct spots for betting on the cumulative dice roll being an odd or even total.
Additional areas on the table are dedicated to single number, two number and three number bets. The single number section covers spaces labelled 1-6 to wager on a solitary digit appearing. Paired number bets are housed in the two number area, with spots marked 11-66 excluding multiples of five. Three number bets find their place in that corresponding section marked 111-666, again leaving out certain combinations. A metal betting bar rims the outer edge of the table surface. This is where players leave their wagered chips once bets are placed in the right numbered spots within the layout. Right in the center is located the dice rolling cage. This is a secure metal container used by the dealer to vigorously shake three dice before launching them onto the tabletop.
4. Sicbo Strategy and Odds
While Sicbo relies heavily on luck, players can employ some strategic betting to improve their chances over time. The key is understanding the odds for each type of wager. Single number bets have the highest payout at 30-1 but the lowest probability of hitting just 1 in 6. On the other hand, betting on pairs or trios has lower odds of 15-1 and 30-1 respectively, but a higher chance of occurring. For example, there is a 1 in 36 shot of rolling three 5’s compared to a 1 in 6 chance of getting a single 5.
A prudent Sicbo strategy is to spread bets across multiple numbers rather than focusing on just one or two. Players should consider placing small wagers on 5-6 single digits as well as a few pair and trio combinations. This helps mitigate risk since not all money is riding on a single longshot bet. It is also important to manage one’s bankroll carefully. After losses, avoid the temptation to chase losses by increasing bet sizes recklessly on the next roll. Sticking to the same wager amounts regardless of prior outcomes is best. Only gamble with money one can afford to lose without financial consequences.
Following these strategic approaches, along with a bit of luck, can help Sicbo players’ money last longer over many sessions. While the game will always contain elements of chance, those who understand the odds and use sound money practices will find their chances of coming out ahead in the long run are improved. With practice, Sicbo can provide a fun and exciting casino experience.
Sicbo is a classic Chinese dice game with a long history spanning centuries. It has spread throughout Asia both in traditional settings and modern casinos. The basic gameplay involves best online betting on the combinations that will result from throwing three dice. Players can wager on single numbers, pairs, trios as well as totals being big/small and odd/even. Understanding the Sicbo table layout and odds is important for strategizing bets. With a bit of luck and strategy, Sicbo offers an exciting way to gamble for people of all backgrounds.