Sic Bo Odds

Unfortunately, there is no uniformity throughout the world regarding what Sic Bo odds should be. As a general rule of thumb, payouts are higher in Las Vegas than they are in Macau and even higher in Australia than in the United States. For the sake of simplicity, typical Atlantic City odds and payouts are quoted here, which tend to be somewhere in the middle and rather common in casinos outside New Jersey as well.

The House Edge for Sic Bo Games

The built-in advantage retained by the House on every spin of Sic Bo ranges from a low of just under 3% to a high of over 30%, depending on the type of wager made and the odds offered. The very best bet from an odds point of view is Big or Small, where the payout is even money. Because these bets lose when a Triple comes up, the probability of winning on either wager is 48.61%, meaning the House edge is 2.78%—very similar to the percentages when betting Red or Black at a European Roulette table.

The wager that will yield the biggest payout is on one of the six specified Triples, which pays 180-to-1 in the better casinos, although just 150-to-1 at most Sic Bo tables in Macau. At the higher odds, the House has a 16.20% advantage; at the lower odds, the House edge shoots up to 30.09%.

As it turns out, however, the very worst bet when playing Sic Bo is not Triples; it is Doubles. When the payout is the standard 10-to-1, the House can expect a return of 18.52%. When it drops to 8-to-1, as it does in many Macau casinos, the margin becomes 33.33%, which is triple the House edge in Australia, where payouts are 11-to-1 on successful Doubles wagers.

When it comes to betting on a single number, the payouts are 1-to-1, 2-to-1, and 3-to-1 for occurrences of once, twice, and three times, respectively. That averages out to a House edge of 7.87%. Sometimes, however, a 12-to-1 payout for the Triple can be found, which lowers the advantage to just 3.7%.

Winning on a Three Dice Total of 4 or 17 should pay 60-to-1, although it can vary from 50-to-1 to as high as 65-to-1, depending on the location. The standard House edge of 15.28% can swing up to 29.17% or down to 8.33% as a result. Obviously, it pays to shop around for better odds when playing Sic Bo. The giveaway is considerable as the odds decline.

The Biloxi Blunder

On the flip side, a player’s potential takeaway increases greatly as the odds increase. A case in point is the Grand Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, which opened its pit area Sic Bo table to the general public in 1994. However, someone setting up the new game made a big mistake. Instead of paying odds of 60-to-1 for a winning Three Dice Total of 4 or 17, the Grand Casino was offering 80-to-1.

A follower of Stanford Wong’s gambling newsletter happened to see this discrepancy and reported it the famed Chinese-American gambler. Wong calculated that the error actually turned the House’s margin into a 12.5% advantage for the players. As soon as he published this news online, professional gamblers descended on Biloxi and spent the next several days profiting at the Sic Bo tables. Eventually, casino management discovered what had happened and shut the game down.

It was never revealed exactly how much the Grand Casino lost as a result of their blunder, but the message to Sic Bo players is clear. Much more important than knowing what totals or dice combinations to bet on is knowing the odds. And the higher they are the better.