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Sic-Bo is an ancient Chinese game that slowly found its way into modern day casinos in the first half of 20th century. Before that, the game was mainly played by immigrant workers that came from China in the 19th century to work on railroads or mines. Basically Sic-Bo was unavailable to Americans until late 1920s when it began receiving recognition although the game was already on American soil, and it actually never left the Chinese labor camps and ghettos. When it did, it quickly gained attention.
It is believed that the game was played with only two dice in the past, and nobody really knows when the third dice was added. It was most probably when westerns got hold of the game. With three dice, casino gamblers have more chances of winning then before, which was probably main reason behind the adjusting of the game. The funny thing about Sic-Bo is that the game first became popular in western casinos and only after that under the influence of Las Vegas it became a popular casino game in Macau too.
Below we have compiled a list of common Sic-Bo terms and have added brief explanations about every one of them. Read carefully and learn them well if your desire is to become a better and more accomplished Sic-Bo player.
Any Double: a bet that two specific numbers will appear on two of the dice. It is also known as Double or Any Pair bet.
Any Number: with this bet the player guess that a specific number will come out on at least one of the three dice. It is also known as Single Number bet (see Single Number).
Any Pair: see Any Double or Double.
Any Triple: with this bet the player is not required to specify a number that he thinks will come up on all three dice like with the ‘triple bet’. Here you only guess that the same number will appear three times i.e. on all three dice.
Bet: the act of placing money on a certain outcome of the dice. It is also referred to as wager. In Sic-Bo there are around 50 different bets that you can make, and just like any gambling game, Sic-Bo too has bet limits. The highest paying bet in Sic-Bo pays 180 to 1.
Bet Limit: casino games have minimum and maximum allowed bets, which are simply expressed as bet limits, and you cannot wager out of that limit. Also, there are no limit casino games, where bets can reach millions.
Betting Table: this is the table at which players sit and where all the possible bets are displayed in a layout. The dice are thrown at the table and all money is placed on the table. Each bet has its own section in the layout, similar to other games, like roulette.
Big Bet: with this bet you guess that the outcome of all dice will be higher than 11. It’s the smallest paying bet that pays 1 to 1. The opposite of this bet is the Small Bet (see Small Bet).
Birdcage: a slang word for Sic-Bo.
Cage: see shaker.
Chips: in land-based and online casinos players use chips to wager at the table games, among which the Sic-Bo table can be found. The chips are exchanged for money and come in different denominations that go as low as 1 cent or as high as $500.
Chuck-a-Luck: like other casino games, Sic-Bo too has spawned and inspired different variations. One of them is “Chuck-a-Luck”. It was first played in the United Kingdom after which the game spread as an official variation of Sic-Bo.
Clear: a button titled ‘clear’ can be found in online Sic-Bo games at online casinos. When you turn on the game, you will see an interface with different buttons with which you can control the game. The ‘clear’ button serves to discard all bets on the table.
Combination Bet: making a combination bet means betting that two of the dice will show numbers that were selected by the player. It is the same as Double or Dice Face.
Dai Siu: this is another Asian name used for Sic-Bo across Asia. If translated it says ‘Big Small;, which is appropriate considering there is a big and small bet.
Double: this is one of the many Sic-Bo bets. When you make a ‘double’ bet, you guess that the same number will appear on two of the three dice. Just pick a number between one and six, and wait for the dice to show the numbers.
Duo: this is another bet in Sic-Bo that includes at least two of the three dice, similar to the ‘double bet’, only that here you don’t expect the same number on two dice, but two different numbers that you need to specify prior to the rolling of the dice.
Even Bet: another low paying bet. The chance to win this bet is fifty-fifty and includes guessing if the number that will show on the dice will be even. The opposite to this bet is the Odd bet (see Odd bet).
Grand Hazard: this is just another popular variation of Sic-Bo. Actually Grand Hazard was played before Sic-Bo achieved commercial success. It was fairly popular throughout the United Kingdom. This game has worse odds than Sic-Bo.
Hi-Lo: a name used for Sic-Bo on the Philippines.
House Edge: the house edge is represented as a percentage of all of your wagers made that are supposed to return to you. Anything additional is considered profit. A typical Sic-Bo house edge is around 3 percent.
Lucky Dice: a slang word for Sic-Bo.
Odd Bet: this is the opposite of Even bet, and includes guessing if the outcome of the dice will be an odd number. This bet pays even money, which means that you will win the same amount that you have wagered.
Payout: a ‘payout’ is considered as the amount won after guessing a winning combination. The highest payout in Sic-Bo is 180 to 1, and the lowest is even money payout.
Re-Bet: this is a standard button in online casino games such as Sic-Bo, mostly in table games. When you make a bet, the computer memorizes it, and by pressing the ‘re-bet’ button the computer will create the same bet that you wagered last.
Roll: this is a standard button in online Sic-Bo games found on the screen of the game along with the other buttons like ‘re-bet’, ‘clear’ etc. With this button you simply give the command for the computer to start rolling the dice.
Shaker: since this game is played with dice, and not just two like in craps, but three, which makes it slightly more difficult to hold the dice, casinos traditionally uses cups called ‘shakers’ to shake the dice prior to rolling them on the table.
Single Number: this Sic-Bo bet includes betting on the outcome of a single specific number. All you need is to pick a number between one and six and hope that it will appear on at least one dice. The payouts can range depending how many of the dice show the number.
Small Bet: with this bet the player guesses the total sum off all three dice. If you make a small bet you guess that the total sum of all three dice will be smaller than 11. The opposite of this is the Big Bet (see Big Bet).
Strong Bet: a ‘strong bet’ is a bet that includes guessing the outcome on all three dice. Examples for strong bets are the more difficult bets like ‘any triple’ or ‘triple’. The opposite is the weak bet (see Weak Bet).
Tai Sai: by the look of the term you probably guess that it is an obvious Asian word. Actually, this is the name of the same game, only it is used across Asia.
Total: this word can be usually encountered in the case of bets where a total amount of the dice is expected. The player makes a bet on the total value of two or all three bets.
Triple: this is the hardest and strongest bet in Sic-Bo possible. It is similar to the ‘double’ bet, only that here you have to guess that the same number will appear on all three dice. But, you have to specify the number that needs to appear on all dice.
Weak Bet: this is the opposite of Strong Bet, which includes guessing the outcome on all three dice. Weak bets on the other hand are easier to guess because at most cases you will need to guess the outcome of at least one dice.
Yee Hah Hi: this is another variation of Sic-Bo. Yee Hah Hi is popular in Macau, the Chinese capital of gambling, and includes playing dice, but without the numbers on them. Instead of the numbers, there are symbols on the dice that each has its own value.