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The History of Sic-Bo
Sic-Bo is an ancient Chinese game that has survived thousands of years only to become a regular offering in casinos. The sheer luck factor and hi-lo concept have caused for this game to survive intact through the centuries. Why change something that works great?
Although a fairly popular game at casinos, the wider public will have troubles identifying this game, because it still hasn’t had its commercial success like other casino games. Nevertheless, Sic-Bo is a great game where you are offered up to 50 different opportunities for wagering. The payouts can get up to 180 to 1 with a very decent house edge for an occasional high pay off.
In the Beginning
As you know, paper, let alone other materials for gambling tools, didn’t exist 2,000 years ago when reportedly this game first appeared. Instead, people had to use whatever they could find around them, like stone or wooden objects, bricks or six-sided dice that were appropriately numbered for playing Sic-Bo then. The game had basically the same concept as today, and was referred to as “Big-Small”, which is one of the betting options in the game. Literally, the words mean “two dice”, but somewhere in the course of history a third dice was added resulting in modern day Sic-Bo.
Sic-Bo Spreads Thanks to Workers
Nineteen-century United States was a nation with full steam ahead, and accepted people from all over to world to participate in the building of the new prosperous world. In order for the country to be connected at both the Atlantic and the Pacific coast, a railroad was needed. Here come the Chinese. They were cheap laborers that sought decent pay and entertained themselves in their camps by playing Sic-Bo. The game was played exclusively among them and they continued so until a third of the 20th century has passed.
Sic-Bo in Casinos
In the 1920s and 1940s more Chinese flocked to America and the game gradually spread among non-Chinese people too. The game quickly attracted a fan base and was played at carnivals mainly. It went by the names like Birdcage or Chuck-a-Luck and was slightly altered.
The British on the other hand altered it by mixing it with a game called Hazard where two dice where used for playing, and created Grand Hazard, which was a three dice game. It is probably here when Sic-Bo continued as a three-dice game as we know it today.
The game became so popular commercially in Asia in the 1960s that in Macau the biggest casino there offered the game right next to monumental casino games like baccarat and roulette directly on the main casino floor. In fact, Sic-Bo in Macau is the highest revenue game of Macau casinos.
Modern Day Sic-Bo
This Asian success of Sic-Bo proved to be interesting for Las Vegas casinos, and soon they began offering but only to Chinese players. However, it was only in the 90s when the game became part of the main floor. Non-Asian guests loved it too and soon casinos all over America picked up on the trend.
In the UK on the other hand, Sic-Bo received reception much later at the beginning of the 21st century, which has resulted with a late UK Sic-Bo fan base, although many UK land-based and online casinos offer the game. With the help of the Internet, this ancient game is today available for real money play across the entire globe. The game is really easy to play and the only objective in the game is for the player to guess the outcome of the roll of the three dice, just like in craps.