Sic Bo is a game that has roots dating back right to ancient Chinese history, which today has infiltrated Las Vegas casinos, although has not found widespread popularity like some of the other games that are now available in most casinos across North America.
Sic Bo is a dice game, and the name actually means "dice pair". It uses three dice and players can place their bets on a table layout which gives them a wide variety of betting options based what they believe will be the outcome of the rolled dice. What makes the game more popular is that winning areas on the Sic Bo Table actually light up, so it's really clear who the winners are at each table and it feels a little bit like playing a game show.
There is some confusion about Sic Bo's name, since the Chinese meaning is "dice par" and it actually requires 3 dice to play. Historically, however, Sic Bo didn't use dice at all, it was actually played with bricks that were between two plates and a bowl overturned - eventually, the game was adapted for ease of play and convenience with dice and the shaker that is used by most casinos today.
Sic Bo does go by different names around the world. In the Philippines it's called Tai Sai ("lucky dice") and in Macau it's called Dai Siu, which means "big small" and refers to the most popular type of bet placed in the game. For centuries, Sic Bo has been popular in parts of Southeast Asia, Korea, and China, and it began making its entrance into the Western areas of the world as people began to immigrate into North America from these locations. Since then, Sic Bo has become more popular in casinos in North America.
In order to play Sic Bo, players use the illustrated table layout which outlines the 50 bets that are accepted in the game, along with their potential payouts. When players are ready to make their bets, they place them in the right section of the gaming table (similar to Roulette), and then the dealer shakes up the dice and allows them to tumble out on the table. The object of betting is to bet on the outcome of the dice role, based on any combination of numbers on the dice. Once the dice are rolled, the winning combinations actually lit up on the table and winnings are dispensed by the dealer to the appropriate player. In Sic Bo, payouts vary greatly with the highest going to players who bet on a specific triple at 180:1; and payouts of 1:1 go to players who win after betting on just one of the dice or who made "small bets" which is based on the total of the 3 dice rolled.
The game is played on a table that illustrates the 50 permissible bets in pictorial form, with their associated payout. Players place their bets on the appropriate section of the gaming table, much like in roulette. The dice are usually tumbled in a basket by the dealer, who will enter the results on the table, and the winning combinations are then lit up. Finally, the dealer will pay-out the lucky winners and remove the unsuccessful bets.