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Sic Bo History

The History of Sic Bo

The game of Sic Bo — the three-dice casino gambling game — originated in ancient China. In its earliest form, Sic Bo was played with numbered bricks. Chinese construction workers would amuse themselves by scribbling numbers on the sides of their bricks, tossing them into the air, and taking bets on where and how they would land.

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The brick-tossing game was tons of fun, but the bricks were heavy and rather awkward to play with. Eventually, the Sic Bo players came up with a better idea and replaced the bricks with the Sic Bo dice that we know today.

The Name of the Game Is Sic Bo

The name Sic Bo literally means "dice pair." This has led some students of Sic Bo history to speculate that Sic Bo was originally played with only two dice, and that the third die was introduced at some later stage of Sic Bo history. This theory has never been proven, however, and it remains a source of contention between the different scholars of Sic Bo history.

Sic Bo on the Move

From China, the game of Sic Bo spread to a number of neaby East Asian countries, including Korea; the Phillipines, where it is called HiLo; and Macao, where it is known as Dai Siu. Dai Siu means "Big Small," a reference to the most popular Sic Bo bets.

In the nineteenth century, Chinese immigrants brought their Sic Bo game to America, where it eventually was adapted as a casino gambling game.

Sic Bo as a Casino Game

Once Sic Bo was introduced into the Las Vegas casinos, the Sic Bo table layout became standardized in the form that we know it today. There are places on the Sic Bo table for all the different Sic Bo bets, including the High and Low bets as well as the three-dice total bets, the two-dice and single-die bets, and the various other Sic Bo betting options. Today, you can play Sic Bo in most Las Vegas and Atlantic City casinos.

Casino Sic Bo benefited from advances in technology. The grid-like table on which the Sic Bo bets are placed on became not just a mat with numbers. It was electric and linked to a computer. When the dice came to settle, the croupier would immediately tap in the winning numbers and all the winning combinations would light up on the Sic Bo table. This advancement aided the Sic Bo game considerably.

In Macao, which recently surpassed Las Vegas as the casino gambling capital of the world, Sic Bo is enormously popular. In most Macao casinos, Sic Bo is the number 2 game, surpassed only by Baccarat.

Sic Bo was legalized for play in UK casinos only in 2002. Because of its late start, it is only beginning to catch on with UK casino gamblers.

Online Sic Bo

The biggest breakthrough in the history of Sic Bo was the development of online Sic Bo in the 1990s. In an online casino, the Sic Bo table does not have to compete for floor space against the more popular casino games. In the infinite universe of cyberspace, there is always room for a Sic Bo table to satisfy the small but enthusiastic community of Sic Bo lovers.

In all likelihood, online Sic Bo will never be as big as online blackjack or online slot machines. But more and more visitors to the online casinos are giving online Sic Bo a try and finding that they really enjoy this charming game from Ancient China. Indeed, there are few things as satisfying as playing Sic Bo online and watching the virtual Sic Bo table light up with the winning Sic Bo payouts.

Thus, it appears that the modern online casino is giving a new life to the ancient game of Sic Bo. It remains to be seen what will be the next phase in Sic Bo history.

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