Played with three dice and a unique table layout, Sic Bo can be an exciting change of pace from traditional casino games. The crowd around the table tends to be raucous and lively. Risk can be minimised and big wins are still possible.
To get the very most out of Sic Bo play, experienced players, dealers and gambling professionals have many tips to offer beginners. Some of them have to do with choosing numbers and combinations wisely, while others pertain to money management. Read through the following list and see if there are not a few insights that could help turn uncertainty about the game from China into confidence about winning at Sic Bo.
Observe and Learn – At first glance, Sic Bo looks rather intimidating. The table is crowded with betting options and unknown Chinese characters. But in reality, this game is a lot easier to learn to play than Craps and quite similar to Roulette. Most casinos allow spectators to watch the game in progress, if they are careful not interfere with the players who are wagering. Novices are well advised to observe several spins and see how bets are made and paid. Once the basics are understood, exchange cash for some chips with the Dealer and have a go at Sic Bo.
Master Minimums – All tables have a posted minimum, such as a £5 wagering requirement. However, that does not mean the entire amount must be wagered in a single bet. It is usually more advantageous to make a combination of £1 wagers that total up £5 instead. Spreading the bets around can help reduce the risk and ensure that payouts occur more frequently.
Balance Betting - Although no wagering strategy can overcome the House’s mathematical advantage in the long run, balanced betting can help players increase the likelihood of winning at Sic Bo in the short term. Balanced betting means taking full advantage of wagers that make sense in terms of probabilities. For example, Big and Small have the lowest House Edge, so they should be included as part of every wager made. In other words, three units bet on Big cover two units wagered elsewhere on the table at higher risk.
Top Totals – A look at the Sic Bo payout table will quickly reveal that the odds on Specified Totals vary greatly, as does the associated House Edge. The Three Dice Totals offer 12-to-1 for successful wagers on 7 or 14 with a considerably lower House advantage (9.72%) than for any of the other totals. Bets on totals of 8 or 13 at 8-to-1 or on 10 or 11 at 6-to-1 carry a House Edge of 12.5%. Other totals give away an even higher margin. The hot tip is to go with the top totals, 7 or 14.
Fickle Triples – Correctly predicting a single number showing up on all three dice faces is the biggest win won can get at Sic Bo—a Triple worth up to 180-to-1. Of course, it is also the riskiest wager one can make. Most experienced players avoid betting Triples entirely; else they incorporate them as side bets. Never should bet on a Triple as the primary wager; it will lose 99.54% of the time.
Trust in Luck– The written Chinese language is quite complex, but the spoken version is rather limited in the number of sounds it employs. As a result, many Chinese characters have similar pronunciations, resulting in an abundance of homonyms. This has in turn led some numbers to be related to good fortune, while others are associated with bad luck. As an example, the number nine, pronounced “jiŭ,” sounds like “long-lasting.” The number six, “liù,” is similar to “liū,” meaning flowing or smooth. Both nine and six are thus considered fortuitous. By contrast, the number four sounds like the Mandarin word “si,” signifying death, so don’t be surprised to see Chinese Sic Bo players avoiding wagers that contain the number four.
Have Fun – Winning and losing are to be expected. They are aspects of all casino games, so there is no cause to get overly encouraged or discouraged by wins and losses as they occur. A primary objective in playing Sic Bo should be to have some fun. If at any point the game stops being entertaining or begins causing feelings of anxiety, it is best to walk away from the table and take a break. Come back later with a fresh attitude and enjoy the game through all of its ups and downs.