Australian Sic Bo Guide - Three Dice Aren't a Crowd at All!

It turns out that craps isn't the only exciting game of dice. When most players think of games of dice, Craps is the only game that really comes to mind. But there are actually two prevailing games of dice: Craps and Sic Bo. Sic Bo translated means "tai sai" or "dai siu", meaning "precious one". The additional die added to the mix makes for a very exciting game of chance. Imagine the variety of bets, wins, and energy that take place just because of the addition of one more "precious one".

Sic Bo is an ancient Chinese dice game still played in many Asian countries in the traditional form. Known as "big/small" as well as "tai sai" and "dai siu", it's a casino table game that is very popular in Asia and played across the majority of all casinos, including online casinos. This game is played on a layout that is very different from that of Craps, and has exciting winning combinations that makes it more of a challenge to come up with a sound strategy than Roulette.

Increasingly, it is becoming a favourite across the casino world. It is growing in popularity because it is both easy and fun to play, and because of its availability through online casinos. There are a wide variety of winning options, and that only increases the engagement of players from around the world. Payouts can even be as high as 150:1.

The various combinations as a result of three dice increase the possibility of odds. Whereas Craps players are responsible for rolling or shooting the dice, in Sic Bo the dealer is responsible for shaking the dice. The dealer places three dice in a glass container that is shaken by way of a vibrating platform. After all bets have been made, the dealer activates the dice shaker. The outcome of each of the three dice appears on the display. At the same time, the spaces corresponding to the winning combinations light up on the table. After all dice combinations are known to the dealer and the players, the dealer removes all losing bets from the table and then payouts to all winners is made.

Did you know?

Did you know?

In China and Macau, the Sic Bo dice are not numbered, but actually have symbols. It is called Yee Hah Hi, meaning "fish, shrimp, crab". Each picture also has an associated colour and number. There are special rules that are associated with this type of dice game. The game originating in China is believed to be hundreds if not thousands of years old. Originally, the game was played with six sided, decorated bricks. Over time, the sizes of the cubes were reduced down and the cubes/dice were placed upon a plate and then covered with a bowl. The dice would be shaken together and the bowl removed to reveal the image. Chinese immigrants brought this fun game of chance with them on their journey to new lands and it continues to catch on across the globe.

SymbolColourNumberSymbolic special meaning
Fish fishRed1Abundance, wealth
Scorpion scorpionGreen2Dream state, sense of "Ah!", wonderment
Gourd gourdBlue3Life-saver, magic tonic
Coin coinBlue4Wealth, power, riches
Crab crabGreen5Prosperity, elevation of status, power
Rooster roosterRed6Brilliant, resourceful, all powerful

Sic Bo Strategy

Considering the overall randomness of this game, coming up with a strategy is close to impossible. It is completely a game of chance. In fact, even the shaking of the dice is taken out of the players' hands. There is very little opportunity to influence the result. Very much like a Roulette wheel, the mechanism of the shaking platform is equivalent to the regulatory aspect of the wheel.

The best long-term strategy is to just place small bets and focus on those bets that have the lowest house edge. With Sic Bo, the house always has the advantage. It can range from 2.7% all the way up to 30%. With that said, the best way to come out on top is to pace yourself: sometimes following your intuition and enjoying the big wins when they hit, but pacing yourself with small winnings.

It may not feel very exciting, but increasing your bankroll slowly is always a safe bet. Every now and then, challenge yourself and your luck and go with some of the 5:1 or 8:1 bets. And when you have increased your bankroll even more, follow your gut and go for the 150:1 Remember, it is pretty much a waste of fun and energy if you begin to look for patterns. Since the game is totally random, it is impossible to predict what is going to turn up next. However, you never know what might happen when you tap into those ancient Chinese secrets. 

Sic Bo Bets

On a standard Sic Bo table, there are a number of ways to earn real cash wins. The varieties of bets are outlined below with wonderful possibilities. Payouts do vary from casino to casino and from playing live to online, but this is a pretty good idea of the standard payouts and how to increase your bankroll. It is also important to understand all payouts and variations prior to playing.

Ways to Bet

Choosing which way to bet is half the fun. The other half is collecting your real money payouts. But as with any new game, it is important to understand ways to bet, payouts, and what to expect when you win.

The Big-Small bet is placed on the total of the three dice being Big (11 to 17) or Small (4 to 10). Either bet loses if a triple is rolled. The typical payout for this bet is 1:1.

The Odd-Even bet is placed on the total of the three dice being either odd or even. Like the Big-Small bet, any bet placed on either will lose if a triple is rolled. Typical payout for this bet is 1:1. This bet is not available on all tables.

Then there are 14 different bets on the combined total of the three dice. The payouts in general range from 50:1 to 6:1. You will find that these are the most common payoffs - casinos change them, either for better or worse. You will also begin to notice a pattern in the payouts. Time to begin imagining the big win!

4 pays
5 pays
6 pays
7 pays
8 pays
9 pays
10 pays
11 pays
12 pays
13 pays
14 pays
15 pays
16 pays
17 pays

Tips for Beginners

  • Know your limits. It is always important to know how much you can play with. Also, as a new player it is valuable to know when to quit. There is nothing worse than chasing after a win, so let the win come to you.
  • Know what the odds and the payouts are. Because there are so many ways to win, it helps to be in the right place at the right time.
  • Even money bets are those most likely to pay off.
  • Don't be afraid to venture out and test the waters when you begin to increase your bankroll on smaller wins. It is very possible that luck is on your side. Also, trust your gut. Games of chance are all about following that winner's intuition.

Sic Bo Varietals

Grand Hazard is a game of chance with English origins. Hazard is also played with three dice. In this case, the dice are rolled down a chute or tossed up with a cup. As the dice tumble down, the numbers revealed once they stop rolling indicates the winning dice combination. Raffles are three-of-a-kind and have a hefty payout of 180:1.

A variant of Hazard and Sic Bo found in the United States is Chuck-a-luck. Also known as "bird-cage", the three dice are kept in a wire-framed, cage-like vessel that rotates at its centre. The dealer rotates the cage end over end until landing the dice. Typically, Chuck-a-luck only features single-number wagers, with a triple three-of-a-kind earning a 30:1 payout.

Sic Bo Live or Online

Thanks to an ever-increasing presence of online casinos, the opportunity to play Sic Bo has never been greater. Prior to online casinos, the only people who really knew about the game with three dice were Asian players for the most part. Even today, it is predominantly in Asian casinos as well as in many of the larger casinos around the world, especially Vegas casinos.

With online action you don't have to travel to Macau to be able to experience this exciting game of precious dice. You are in the privacy of your own home or favourite hangout. Another plus, you rarely have to tip the wait-staff. You can experience real money wins without all the distractions of live play. If you are just learning the game, you can switch between free and real money play as you wish until you have mastered all the stupendous bets. Keep in mind, though, that once you start enjoying this exciting game of "precious dice", you will want to play time and time again. Our experts have selected the best online Sic Bo action available. Oh, and just wait 'til you see the welcome bonuses! They're sure to increase your bankroll.

Sic Bo live has a whole different vibe altogether. Imagine the excitement of everyone placing their bets and then watching and waiting until the special little glass dome or chest stops vibrating. Much like the old masterful dealers of the past shaking the dice for the perfect amount of time, you can watch the precious ones reveal their magical numbers.

Live action play offers a community feel, with each one betting against the house. The sensory aspect of live play is spectacular. However, everything has its downside such as no open tables, no seats at the open table, or your favourite casino not offering Sic Bo. Then there is time wasted traveling and additional costs that you just will not incur when playing online. While nothing completely replaces live action, online play is increasingly becoming the way to play, especially Sic Bo.

Sic Bo Terminology

  • Any Pair
    A bet that two of three dice will match, sometimes called Any Pair. 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, or 6-6.
  • Big
    A bet that the three dice will add up to a total between 11 and 17.
  • Chips
    Tokens purchased and used as money at a casino, typically in denominations of $1, $5, $25, $100 and $500.
  • Combination Bet
    A bet that two of the three dice will match two numbers determined by the player, also known as a Pair Match.
  • Even
    A wager that the total amount of the three dice added together will equal an even number.
  • Hi-Lo
    A variety of Sic Bo played in the Philippines.
  • Lose On Any Triple
    A rule stating that all small and big bets lose when a triple is rolled.
  • Lucky Dice
    Slang name for the game of Sic Bo.
  • Small
    A bet that the three dice will add up to a total between 4 and 10.
  • Triple
    A bet that all three dice will show a specified number.


  • What is the single most important thing for beginners to know?

    It is so important to know the basic betting guidelines and possible payouts. Far too often, newbies will venture out too soon or too quickly, losing it all too fast. Remember to pace yourself, ask a few questions, and sometimes just listen and learn for a while.

  • Where will I find the best online Sic Bo casinos?

    No need to look too far. Our experts have pulled together their favourite places to play right here. We use very strict guidelines when determining the best. The sooner you get playing, the sooner you win real cash money.

  • Is it always necessary to download software to play online?

    Yes and no. Some online casinos require a download, but others do not. You will probably need to download the software from the online casino you choose. Every casino has their own way and many will use different software providers, so not all Sic Bo games are the same.

  • Do I always have to play with real money?

    Not always. Many of the best online casinos want you to get your feet wet and learn the game before depositing money. It is to their advantage for you to experience the variety of play, strategies, and the technological side of their online casino.

  • Is it safe to play Sic Bo online?

    Yes. With online action, you are in the privacy of your own home. Due to gaming regulations, all online casinos must undergo extensive safety checks and scrutiny to ensure that they are providing safe, secure play. Our team of experts puts online casinos through significant safety checks and, yes, they listen to other avid players.

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