Sic Bo

Sic Bo: A Guide to Dice and Rules, Instructions & Strategy Tips


Sic Bo is a game of chance played with three dice. Not to be confused with Skip-Bo, which is a card game I’ve written about previously. It’s a pretty old game, with roots in ancient China. People have been rolling the dice in Sic Bo for centuries, and I’ve found it’s still popular in casinos across Asia and around the world.

The name “Sic Bo” means “precious dice” in Chinese, and the game is sometimes known in casinos as “Tai Sai” or “Dai Siu,” which mean “big small” or “hi-lo.” The game is all about predicting the outcome of the roll of three dice. It’s a fast-paced game with a bunch of different bets you can make, and it’s got a bit of a reputation for being exciting and a little bit mysterious.

The game has a US-based variation called Chuck-a-Luck, which I’ve previously written about. You can also check out Cee-lo, which is a similar gambling game played with three dice.

Quick Tip for Sic Bo

Start with small bets to get the hang of the game before you go big.

Rules for playing Sic Bo

Alright, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to play Sic Bo. The rules are pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it. The game is played on a table that has all the different bets you can make marked on it. You’ve got a dealer, or croupier, who handles the dice and the payouts.

Here’s a breakdown of the main types of bets:

  1. Small and Big Bets: You bet on the total of the three dice being small (4-10) or big (11-17). If you hit it right, you win. But if it’s a triple (all three dice show the same number), you lose.
  2. Specific Triples or Alls: You bet on a specific number coming up on all three dice. This one’s a long shot, but it pays out big.
  3. Specific Doubles: You bet that at least two dice will show a specific number.
  4. Any Triple: You bet that all three dice will have the same number, but it can be any number.
  5. Three Dice Total: You bet on the exact total of the three dice.
  6. Dice Combinations: You bet on two of the three dice showing a specific combination of two numbers.
  7. Single Dice Bet: You bet that a specific number will show up on one, two, or all three dice.
  8. Four Number Combination: You bet on any one of the three possible combinations of four numbers.
  9. Three Single Number Combination: You bet on a specific combination of three different numbers.
  10. Specific Double and Single Number Combination: You bet on a specific combination of a pair and another number.

Each type of bet has different odds and payouts which depend on the casino’s house rules. The dealer rolls the dice using a small chest or a mechanical shaker, and then reveals the result. If your bet matches the outcome, you win according to the odds for that bet.

Equipment and Setup for Sic Bo

To play Sic Bo, you need a Sic Bo table, three dice, and a way to shake and roll them, like a dice cup or a mechanical shaker. The table is pretty special—it’s got all the bets printed on it, and each area corresponds to a different type of bet. Players place their chips on the sections of the table where they want to bet. Once everyone’s bets are down, the dealer shakes and rolls the dice.

How to Play Sic Bo

Playing Sic Bo is all about placing your bets and waiting for the dice to roll. Here’s how it goes down:

  1. Setup: Find a Sic Bo table and get some chips to bet with.
  2. Placing Bets: Put your chips on the bet areas you want to go for.
  3. Rolling the Dice: The dealer shakes the dice and reveals the result.
  4. Payouts: If your bet lines up with the dice, you win! The dealer will give you your winnings based on the odds of your bet.
  5. Next Round: All winning bets are paid out, and losing bets are collected. Then, you start again with placing bets.

How to Win at Sic Bo

Winning at Sic Bo is mostly about luck since it’s a game of chance. But there are some things you can do to improve your odds. First off, stick to bets with better chances of winning, like small or big bets. These have the lowest house edge, which means the casino has less of an advantage over you. Also, it’s smart to avoid bets with super high payouts, like specific triples, because they’re less likely to happen. Another tip is to manage your bankroll—don’t bet more than you can afford to lose, and don’t chase your losses. If you’re on a losing streak, it might be time to take a break.

Here’s a table listing each different bet in Sic Bo, their probabilities, and house edge in typical casinos around the world:

NameWagering eventProbabilityUnited KingdomNew ZealandMacau & Hong KongNo house edge
Any Triple or All ‘Alls’ (全圍)Any of the triples will appear2.8%30 to 113.9%24 to 130.6%
Big (大)The total score will be from 11 to 17 (inclusive) with the exception of a triple48.61%1 to 12.78%1 to 137 to 35
Dice CombinationsTwo of the dice will show a specific combination of two different numbers13.9%6 to 12.8%6 to 131 to 5
EvenThe total score will be an even number with the exception of a triple48.61%1 to 12.78%1 to 137 to 35
Four Number CombinationAny three of the four numbers in one of the following specific combinations will appear: 6, 5, 4, 3; 6, 5, 3, 2; 5, 4, 3, 2; or 4, 3, 2, 111.1%7 to 17 to 17 to 18 to 1
OddThe total score will be an odd number with the exception of a triple48.61%1 to 12.78%1 to 137 to 35
Small (小)The total score will be from 4 to 10 (inclusive) with the exception of a triple48.61%1 to 12.78%1 to 137 to 35
Specific ‘Triples’ or ‘Alls’ (圍一 圍二 圍三 圍四 圍五 圍六)A specific number will appear on all three dice0.46%180 to 116.2%180 to 1215 to 1
Specific Double and Single Number CombinationTwo of the dice will show a specific double and the third die will show a specific, different number1.4%50 to 129.2%60 to 171 to 1
Three Dice Total10 or 1112.5%6 to 112.5%6 to 17 to 1
4 or 171.4%60 to 115.3%62 to 171 to 1
5 or 162.8%30 to 113.9%31 to 135 to 1
6 or 154.6%18 to 112%18 to 1103 to 5
7 or 146.9%12 to 19.7%12 to 167 to 5
8 or 139.7%8 to 112.5%8 to 165 to 7
9 or 1211.6%7 to 17.4%7 to 1191 to 25
Three Single Number CombinationThe dice will show a specific combination of three different numbers2.8%30 to 113.9%30 to 135 to 1
Single Dice BetThe specific number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 will appear on one, two, or all three dice
1: 34.72%
2: 6.94%
3: 0.46%
1: 1 to 12: 2 to 13: 3 to 1
7.9%1: 1 to 12: 2 to 13: 12 to 1
3.7%1: 1 to 12: 2 to 13: 3 to 1
7.9%1: 1 to 12: 3 to 13: 5 to 1 (simplest version)
Dice outcome probabilities in Sic bo

Best Strategies for playing Sic Bo game

Like a lot of dice-based luck games, I find the best strategies for playing Sic Bo revolve around managing risk while optimizing the potential for reward. A good approach is to focus on bets with the lowest house edge, such as small or big bets, where you wager on the total sum of the dice falling between 4-10 (small) or 11-17 (big), excluding a triple. These bets offer nearly a 50-50 chance of winning, akin to betting on red or black in roulette.

Additionally, betting on combinations—predicting two of the three dice to show a specific pair of numbers—can be an effective strategy as it has a reasonable house edge and relatively frequent wins. Experienced players often adopt a defensive style, avoiding high-risk bets like specific triples or totals, as these have enticing high payouts but come with a steep house edge.

Bankroll management is critical; setting a loss limit and a clear winning goal can prevent the rapid depletion of funds, allowing for more extended play and increased enjoyment. There is no foolproof system due to the game’s inherent reliance on chance, understanding the odds and payouts of each bet type is essential for making informed decisions at the Sic Bo table.

One final strategy is to combine bets to increase your chances of winning each round. For example, you could make a small bet along with a bet on a specific number. That way, you’ve got a safe bet and a riskier bet that pays more.

Another strategy people talk about is to watch for patterns. Some players think that if a certain outcome hasn’t happened in a while, it’s due to happen soon. This isn’t scientifically proven, but it can be fun to try.


There are a few variations of Sic Bo out there. For example, in the Philippines, they play a version called “Hi-Lo.” It’s pretty similar but has different odds and payouts. Some online casinos also offer variations with different graphics or side bets. It’s always fun to check out different versions to keep things fresh.


Let’s talk about some common scenarios in Sic Bo. Say you’re on a roll, and you’re winning big on small bets. It might be tempting to start making riskier bets, but it’s usually better to stick with what’s working. On the flip side, if you’re losing a lot, don’t keep increasing your bets to try to win it all back. It’s better to step back and rethink your strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions about playing Sic Bo game

  1. Q: Is Sic Bo all about luck?

    A: Yep, it’s mostly about luck since you can’t predict or control the roll of the dice.

  2. Q: Can I play Sic Bo online?

    A: Sure, lots of online casinos offer Sic Bo. Just make sure they’re legit before you play.

  3. Q: What’s the best bet in Sic Bo?

    A: Small and big bets are usually the safest since they have the lowest house edge.

  4. Q: How do I know if a Sic Bo table is fair?

    A: If you’re at a reputable casino, they should have regular checks to make sure everything’s on the up and up.

  5. Q: Can I use a system to win at Sic Bo?

    A: There are systems out there, but none can guarantee a win because of the luck factor.

For more information on Sic Bo and to dive deeper into the game, check out these resources:

  • Wizard Slots – Offers a variety of online Sic Bo games to play.