Sic Bo – How Does it Work?

Sic Bo, also referred to as sic ba, sic choy, sic kway, choy and kway teo, is an uneven game of luck of Chinese origin played on three dice. Big risk and equal number of lucky draws are common variants, both in English and literal sense of the term. In some variations the game is won by scoring the highest sum, irrespective of the opposite player’s performance. The literal meaning is “little wheel”.


Like many a casino game craps variant, Sic Bo is played as an untable, or table-top, game. A typical sicbo game has four players, three in a straight line, three at mid-range and one at the tableside. The object of the game is to roll the dice and earn as much money as possible, sometimes through the aid of a dealer. A winning hand may involve matching pairs of cards, a triple or a single of certain valued cards.

The traditional method of betting in sicbo, which involved flipping over coins, was adopted from the European game pokers. The American system, based on the British system of playing with two decks of cards, was made popular in the early twentieth century by the legendary player and philanthropist, Antique Poker Tourist. The advantage of such a system is that, because there are no true winner and the game is purely random, there are no combinations dependent on luck and no certainties as to the number of winning permutations. For this reason, Sic Bo is a game of calculation and chance, not luck and chance. In the long run, this is a better option than the alternative, which is to depend solely on skill in gambling.