Should I Play Craps or Sic Bo?

Introducing Dice Games

When it comes to dice games there is barely any skill involved. While it is true that certain individuals are able to throw the dice in a controlled manner and thus strike it lucky, it is a rare skill. Basically, any games involving dice are games of chance. Dice is a very popular form of game, and is attractive to those who do not even gamble, just think of such games as monopoly and snakes and ladders. It is unsurprising therefore, given that we are brought up in a world where dice games are king, that they are a very popular addition to any casino – even if the sole purpose of play is a trip down memory lane.

Two Types of Casino Dice Game

In general, there are two types of dice game offered by casinos, these are craps and sic bo. The most well-known of these is craps and articles on the internet abound. Craps is also a common sight with real-world casinos, and has been popularised in film and TV. Sic bo, by comparison is just arriving on the scene, it is of Asian origin and therefore less well-known in the West. This means that in terms of popularity, craps is by far the most played dice game with online casinos today.

But, if you are out for an easy game, one that does not require a lot of brain-power, then sic bo is the game for you. With sic bo the players place wagers either on the combinations appearing on the face of the dice, or else the dice totals. And unlike craps only a single roll is involved, meaning that a bet is placed, the dice are rolled and the players who have bet will either win or lose.

Conversely, with craps, bets can be carried forward and won or lost over a number of rolls. In craps, in order to play well, players must acquaint themselves with the different combinations relating to both the table and the dice, with concepts such as come-out-rolls, points, right bettors, wrong bettors, buying bets…etc.

So, although you may be unfamiliar with the game sic bo and thus avoid it for the one that you have heard of, it is actually the better game to play in terms of ease and simplicity.

As a new player, however, you need to understand that the game that you should choose to play should neither rest solely on simplicity, nor on popularity. If you choose to play because of these facets, then you will probably lose a fair bit of money.

What you actually need to bear in mind is the potential return on your wagers over the long term. Wagers with a large house edge will clearly give you a low return on your money in the long run, and wagers with small house edge will give you a higher return. So when deciding whether to spend you hard earned cash on craps or sic bo, then firstly consider the house edges.

Considering The House Edge

Two yardsticks by which to measure the house edge should be used by players in deciding their games of choice. Firstly, there is the house edge that pertains to games such as blackjack and video poker, and this is usually around 0.5%- but this assumes that the player is skilled in the art of the game they are playing, do not play these games until you are well practiced. Secondly, is the house edge pertaining to slot machines, online this usually equates to around 5%. No strategies need to be used here, one player is not favoured over another in terms of skill, and rather, each player is treated equal. So, when you are looking to play dice games online, you need to look for the bets that offer less than 5% advantage to the house.

Regrettably the game of sic bo only has two wagers that fit this category, they are the Small and Big bets. With the small bet the wager is won on totals of either 4 or 10, except in the event of triples. With the big bet, the totals are 11 and 17, excepting triples. Each bet has the same house edge, around 2.8% and they pay out evens. So if you do opt for sic bo, then opt for these two bets.

If you wish to place a bet over a single roll in craps, thus simplifying the game, then your choices are even more limited, the only bet that fits into the less than 5% house edge category is the Field bet. You win on this bet when the number that is rolled following the bet is either, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12. The house edge here is only 2.7%, but will only be paid out once certain conditions are met, such as the rule that 2 or 12 pays-out one at 2:1 and the other at 3:1. When it comes to multiple bets in craps, there are several that have less than a 5% house edge, but then you will need to be quite skilled at the rules in order to understand how they work, and if you were after a simple game then you will crap out.

Joseph Kerney

COO & Baccarat Expert

Joseph Kerney is our COO and baccarat expert. Joseph has worked in the online gambling industry for over a decade as an affiliate before joining our team.

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