Sic BoSic bo (骰寶), also called tai sai (大細), dai siu (大小), big and small or hi-lo, is an ancient Chinese casino game played with 3 dice.
Sic bo means "jewel dice", while "dai siu" and "Tai sai" means "big/small".
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Sic Bo is popular in Asia and very popular in casinos in Macau. Visit
any of the big gambling palaces in the former Portuguese enclave near
Hong Kong and you will hear the Sic Bo bell ringing incessantly.
is a very easy game to play: the aim of the game is to predict either
individual numbers, or groups of numbers, on the dice after they are
shaken and rolled. The betting options and their payouts are shown on
the table layout (a bit like roulette) with the faces of the dice.
There are single die numbers, 2 of a kind, 3 of a kind, and other combinations.
TYPES OF BET
There are 7 different types of bets that can be made in Sic Bo:
Bets may be made on any one of the six dice sides, 1 through 6. If that number lands on any one of the dice, the payoff is evens: 1:1. If 2 of the dice come up with the same number, the pay off is 2:1. If all 3 dice come up on that same number, the bet is paid off at 3:1.
A bet may be made on a combination of two particular numbers. If 2 numbers come up on any two of the dice, the bet is paid off at 5:1.
Bets can be made on the total of all of the dice. The player can bet on any number from 4 to 17. The payoff ranges from 6:1 to 50:1.
Another type of bet is "small" or "big" (hence "Tai Sai". A bet on small wins if the 3 dice add up to between 4 and 10. A bet on big wins if the dice total ranges from 11 to17.
A bet can be made that a three dice combination will shake out with a payoff of 150:1.
A bet can be made on any triplet with a payoff of 24:1.
A bet can be made on a pair of numbers rolled, with a payoff of 8:1.
How to Play
Sic Bo´s easy to play- that is part of its appeal. The game starts when everyone places their bets.
Once the bets have been made, the dealer shakes the dice in a shaker (often automatic these days) and then announces the value of each die (which also come up on the electronic display these days). All winning combinations of the three dice are displayed on the layout, and the dealer pays out the winners.
About Sic Bo
This ancient Chinese gambling game is super popular in Macau (if you have ever been to the Venetian in this former Portuguese territory, you'll know that in some parts of the casino the Sic Bo tables stretch off as far as the eye can see). The only game that is bigger in Asia's no.1 gambling town is baccarat. In Las Vegas and London you can often find it in the Asian gaming rooms.
You might also come across a game called Yee Hah Hi which is a version of sic bo that has pictures on the dice instead of numbers. Yee Hah Hi translates as "Fish Shrimp Crab" which is to do with the pictures on the dice, not the expletives coming out of the players' mouths!