Sic Bo Strategies

Published: 22/05/2012

Developing a strategy for any form of gambling means having a plan for how to make whatever decisions can be made in the course of play. In the game of Sic Bo, the dice are outside the player’s control, so the approach must be to concentrate on what to bet on and how much to wager.

Strategies for playing Sic Bo should be based upon the amount of risk involved. Higher risk offers the greater potential rewards, while lower risk means a big win will be less likely to occur. The approach each player takes must necessarily take into account how much he/she can afford to lose, the anticipated length of the session of play, and the degree of aggressiveness or passivity the player feels comfortable with.

Wagering on a specific Triple, such as 4-4-4, is the single most risky bet at the Sic Bo table. Depending on the House Rules, a successful pick will pay 180-to-1 or 150-to-1, but the likelihood of winning is just 0.46%--roughly equivalent to odds of 1-in-217. Backing a specific Triple and waiting for it to appear can be a slow and steady way to use up a bankroll.

That said, high-risk, high-reward bets are still very attractive, so one basic strategy is to supplement them with one or more medium- or low-risk wagers as a way of hedging the risk. Using the number 4 as a focal point, for example, one unit could be wagered the 4-4-4 Triple at 180-to-1, one unit on the 4-4 Double at 10-to-1, and three units on the Single 4 straight up at 1-to-1. The total amount risked per spin is five units.

Based upon this betting approach, a Single 4 should come up with a frequency of 34.72%, resulting in a net profit of one unit. Should two 4s appear, which is likely 6.94% of the time, the return will be 2-to-1 for the three Single 4 units bet and 10-to-1 for the unit winning on the 4-4 Double. Deducting one unit for the losing Triple, the total profit is 15 units.

Of course, the optimum outcome would be 4-4-4, which should occur in 0.46% of all spins. In this case, all three wagers will win, paying 3-to-1 for the Single 4 bets, plus full wins on the other two wagers, for a total reward of 199 units.

To analyse the overall risk, consider the number of times the combined wagers will lose, which is five units lost on 57.88% of all spins. That makes this strategy considerably less risky than wagering one unit five times on the 4-4-4 Triple alone, which can be expected to lose 97.72% of the time.

Any number of combination betting strategies can be devised in this way, such as staking one unit on Double 4 and two units on Small. This combination should win one unit on 48.61% of all spins when the total is 4 through 10 (except Triple 2 or 3). It will win eight units when the Double 4 comes up, or 6.95% of all spins. In other words, some profit can be expected on 55.56% of all wagers—more than half. The downside, of course, is that it loses three units 44.44% of the time.

Many players have found that Sic Bo’s Big and Small bets provide low-risk, low-reward alternatives to more aggressive wagers. From an odds point of view, they are on par with wagering on Black or Red at the European Roulette table with a single zero. The House edge is virtually the same—2.78% versus 2.7%, respectively.

Just like in Roulette, even money betting progressions can be applied as a money management strategy at Sic Bo. These include such popular wagering systems as Martingale, d’Alembert, Labouchere, Paroli or the 1-3-2-6 system. The goal is to gain enough wins from such progressions to cover the losses caused by extended sequences of losses.

Published on: 22/05/2012

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