How to Play Sic Bo: An Indepth Guide for Beginners

Introduction to Sic Bo

While dice-based casino games in the Western world may primarily revolve around Craps, Sic Bo is an incredibly popular casino game initially found in the Orient, where it still maintains significant popularity, particularly in Macau casinos and specific online casinos. The English translation means “precious dice”, indicating how important they are to this game.

Having developed a solid Asian audience, it is still a much more popular game in Macau and Hong Kong-based casinos, but you will find it in many online and brick-and-mortar casinos in the US and Europe. By breaking it down into simple probabilities and dice outcomes, Sic Bo quickly started to gain traction beyond its country of origin.

While it might not have the same type of popularity as other casino games, as it’s rare in how dice-dependent it is, it is one of only two dice-based casino games prevalent in modern casino gaming.

Getting to Know the Rules and Basics of Sic Bo

Sic bo involves three dice; in a land-based casino, the dealer will shake them in a box and then reveal their total. In an online casino, a random number-generated algorithm will decide the outcome of the three dice thrown. If you’re familiar with Roulette, there are similarities in the numbering of Sic Bo.

By using a standard six-sided dice, you can bet on the full total of the three dice or the individual totals. The game uses mathematical probability to calculate the return. While the spread of the table might look a bit daunting at first if you’re unfamiliar with the game, it’s much simpler to understand than you’d think.

You have several betting options stemming from the collection of dice, and you can bet on any single number combination between 4 and 17. Ultimately, the goal is to bet on the correct total of the three dice. Like in Roulette, where you’re betting on a specific number or a broader collection of numbers, Sic Bo follows a similar principle. All you need to do is understand the basic maths and the likelihood of combinations from three dice to have a knowledgeable foundation.

Markets You Can Explore in Sic Bo

The house edge stems from removing the 3 and 18 as options to bet on. The most common betting strategies are low bets, between 4-10, and high bets, between 11-17. These have their own larger, pronounced sections located at the top of the table. Sic bo bets revolve around probability, so you’re betting on the likeliness of a specific outcome or a sum.

As basic maths dictates, some numbers are likelier to come out in a particular combination of three dice than others, so the betting returns are smaller. Likewise, other totals, such as the highest total of 17, are only accessible via three combinations, so that and a total of 4 both have a payout potential of up to 60/1.

Common Sic Bo Bets: Exploring Statistical Probability

The most common bets are on high and low for pretty obvious reasons. They’re easy to predict, and the chances of them coming in are much higher than individual selections. Given the cluster of numbers that have a better statistical eventuality, the probability of the mid-range numbers are the lowest-paying individual selections; here’s the complete list:

  • 4 or 7 - 60/1
  • 5 or 16 - 30/1
  • 6 or 15 - 17/1
  • 7 or 14 - 12/1
  • 8 or 13 - 8/1

In addition to these symmetrical pairings, the lowest odds you can get are 6/1, which applies to 9, 10, 11 and 12. By far, the highest-paying bet you can place in Sic Bo is any of the treble bets, for instance, you can bet on a treble 1, 2, and so on.

It’s an improbable scenario, and this is reflected in the payout potential of 180/1. If a treble dice lands, your double bet becomes invalid, which is a crucial point to remember. In a usual wager, the appearance of one double provides a payout of roughly 11/1. You can lower your chances and just bet on any treble. While a treble is unlikely in itself, if any of the six variations land, you’ll receive a payout of 60/1.

Sic bo Table Layout

Sic Bo has a distinctive table layout, and unlike the grid format of Roulette, there are differently sized squares and selections to represent each betting strategy. The low and high bets we discussed are at the table's very top left and top right-hand corners. Small is between 4 and 10, and big is anywhere between 11 and 17. The table's top row covers all the small, big, double and treble outcomes.

As we move further down the table, the entire second row goes from 4 to 17 in numerical order, allowing you to place a bet on the total of the wager. We broke down the odds of this row in the previous section.

The third row covers a slightly different variation of a double bet. Again, you’re betting on the outcome of two dice instead of three in this instance, and they’re often represented as domino pairings on the third row. The bottom row has each individual amount, paying out 1 to 1.

You can bet on one of the dice being a 2 and if 2 comes out, you’ll get paid out whatever your stake is. If it comes up twice, you’ll get double, and if it comes up three times, you’ll get 3/1 — but you’ll be kicking yourself that you didn’t cover the 180/1 treble square!

Some land-based tables may have this laid out slightly differently, but the changes are unlikely to be significant. You can always ask the dealer if you’re unsure — Sic Bo benefits from having the odds of each bet running alongside each square too.

Are There Winning Strategies in Sic Bo?

You can make choices in Sic Bo to give yourself a better chance in some regions of the table instead of placing your wagers on the highly unlikely options. For instance, if you’re betting on a treble section of the same number at 180/1, this is unlikely to happen.

Bettors will often hedge their bets with bets lower down the table or with a bet on a small or high option. Conversely, some bettors will bet on the outcome of any treble landing to hedge against a small bet on a specific treble. The only bets that pay out even are the small, large and individual dice bets along the bottom row. Statistically, everything else has a far smaller chance of paying out.

Sic Bo has no winning strategies; it is a game of random dice throws. Technically, you could do five bets on the smaller section and lose them all. Somebody else could come along and win big on an identical treble on their first attempt — it’s completely random. Do not view Sic Bo as a way of making money, and do not believe anyone who says that they have a winning strategy for Sic Bo.

Sic Bo Etiquette and Tips

Safe gambling should be at the centre of any betting strategy. It doesn’t matter if it is a Sic Bo betting strategy or any other casino game; you must ensure you’re putting practical safeguards in place to ensure you can continue to enjoy playing and not become too engrossed, spending too much money and time. You can do this by setting up a spending or time limit and ensuring you don’t go over it. Many online casinos have tools you can employ to ensure you don't exceed these limits.

If you’re playing Sic Bo in a land-based casino, and it’s busy, ensure that you don’t lean across other players or knock other player’s chips over. While it is the dealer's job to keep an eye on this, and all casinos are equipped with cameras that can be checked, it’s just common courtesy.

Online Sic Bo vs. Land-Based Sic Bo

While online casinos might provide a more convenient overall experience for Sic Bo players, it’s difficult for online casinos to replicate the atmosphere and feel of a land-based operator. While you might find better welcome bonuses and promotions at an online platform, online and land-based games attract two different types of clientele. Both have positives, so it depends on whether you prefer a quiet night in or a night out in the casino — the choice is yours.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Mistakes often stem from a lack of education or not using effective safe gambling measures. In Sic Bo, beginner bettors can get confused with the two-dice row or believe that if they bet on a double and a treble comes in that they will win the bet.

While you can read through all the rules of the game, some percentage of knowledge comes only from practically sitting down and experiencing the game. Don’t rush into playing too soon, as this is one of the most common mistakes for Sic Bo players and for casino gamers in general.


How do I play Sic Bo for beginners?

Read up on it, watch some videos on how to play and get used to the table layout. Once you have enough information, you can play Sic Bo and get used to how it operates.

What are the basic rules of Sic Bo?

To put it simply, Sic Bo is a dice game where you bet on the total number rolled with three dice. Despite many possible wagers, this is the essence of the game.

What is the best Sic Bo betting strategy?

The best strategy is to gamble safely! Although small and large bets might pay out evens, that doesn’t mean they’ll come in. You could easily lose five of these bets in a row.

Can I play Sic Bo online for free?

Yes, if you want to get a feel of it online, plenty of casinos will allow you to play demo versions or use in-game currencies. Once you have played a few free games, you'll get a better idea of the mechanics of a live Sic Bo gaming environment.

What are the odds of winning in Sic Bo?

It depends on how you bet; some sections of the table will essentially payout evens, and correct dice treble predictions can payout up to 180/1.

Can I use a Sic Bo strategy at a land-based casino?

Of course, but as we have pointed out — no strategy will guarantee a win. You can explore the table and pick your selections based on the odds, but because it is a game of random chance, you could still come up short, even if you think you have a winning strategy. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing in Sic Bo.