The game originates from ancient China, where it is rumoured that Chinese labourers played with numbered bricks, which were tossed in a covered bucket, or bowl, and wagers placed on the outcome. If that is true, it gives pause for thought, as to how many numbered bricks could be buried, within the inner courses of the Great Wall of China? Sic Bo is played with three dice, although when translated into English, Sic Bo simply means 'two dice'. The game bares many similarities to the medieval English game of hazard, and the much more recent game, Craps, but because of the addition of the third dice, many more winning (and losing) combinations are available to the player. Accordingly the variation in the odds, are much greater, ranging from. Evens, (1-1) to as high as 180-1. Sic Bo is played in many casinos in the Philippines, where it is known as Hi Lo, the other name for the game is, Tai Sai. (lucky dice) In Macau the game is better known as Dai Siu, (Big and Small) which relates to the two most popular wagers, made by the players at the table.

Although on a global basis, craps is certainly the most popular dice game, in China, and other Far Eastern countries, Sic Bo, is often the flagship of some of the largest, and most popular casinos. The three dice game is also gaining popularity in some of the larger western casinos, and now, with more and more casinos becoming available, online, who knows what the future holds for this ancient Oriental dice game and its increasing appeal.

Rules of the Game.
Sic Bo is played on a table, similar in some ways, to that of Roulette, the dice are controlled by a dealer, who activates a glass globe containing the dice, on a vibrating platform. Once the dice have been tumbled, and the result revealed, the corresponding numbers on the table light up. All losing bets are collected by the dealer, before paying out the winners, as in roulette. Starting with the even money bets, this is how the game is played: there are two boxed areas on the table marked Big and Small. Small is where you wager that the results of the dice, will amount to a sum of 4,5,6,7,8,9, and 10, your winning bet pays out at 1-1 if however your score is not a winning bet if it includes, three (3 ones) or hardways, 6 &9. (three 2s, or three 3s,) Big, is the reverse of Small where winning bets pay the same odds of 1-1 on the numbers totalling, 11,12,13,14,15,16, and 17, again excluding three of a kind (3 sixes) and hardways. (12 & 15) This is what provides the edge in the casinos favour, as in the Small bets. Three of a kind: if you are feeling lucky, you may want to chance your arm on the same number appearing on all three dice, a winning bet pays you 150-1, but as there are 216 combinations of dice outcomes, your chances of winning are slim. Two of a kind: pays out on winning bets at 8-1. The players selected number must appear on two of the dice to produce a win. The number of dice combinations producing two of a kind is 12. Any three of a kind: you may gamble that the dealer will produce any three of a kind from numbers one to six. A winning result would pay you 24-1, though the chances of winning are 6-216. (36-1)The area on the Sic Bo table marked 4 to 17 allows you to bet on a dice combination totalling a number between and including these numbers and pays out on winning combinations as follows:

Winning total 4 pays out at 50-1
Winning total 5 pays out at 30-1
6 18-1
7 12-1
8 8-1
9 6-1
10 6-1
11 6-1
12 6-1
13 8-1
14 12-1
15 18-1
16 30-1
17 50-1

You will be able to ascertain from the above pattern how the laws of probability dictate the odds, and how the edge always remains with the dealer. Duo: is a bet where you select two different numbers which must appear on two of the dice to create a winning bet. This pays out at 5-1. One of a Kind: is where you choose one number to appear on any one of the dice, if your number comes up on one dice, your return is evened 1-1, if it shows on two die you are paid out at 2-1, if your number comes up on all three dice you receive 3-1.

Because of the many combinations and outcomes created by the addition of the third dice, strategies used in other casino games may be applied to Sic Bo, my feeling is however that the game should be played for what it is, a many-faceted, intriguing and exciting game of chance.