Sic Bo and French Roulette: Two Good Game Choices

By Ben Hamill - January 24 2016
Sic Bo

Today I would like to explain two casino games that are considered off the beaten path.

The first is sic bo. It's ironic that sic bo is played with three dice but the words mean "a pair of dice" in Chinese.

There are quite a few bets you can make in sic bo. In this sense it resembles roulette but that's where the similarity ends. In sic bo, you bet on the outcome of a toss of three dice.

To begin the game you must choose your bet size and the wager you wish to make. Because of the many bets allowed, you can make multiple bets for different amounts. The computer is quick as a lick and keeps track of everything you do!

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A Long List of Bets

The list of possible bets is quite extensive. Usually when a writer explains a game with many betting options, he or she will start with the bets that have the greatest probability of winning but I have to start this discussion differently as you'll soon understand. Neither will I list every possible bet. You'll understand why soon.

  • You can bet on a specific double. This means that any two dice will be the same number.
  • You can bet on any double. This comes up far more often than the latter bet but pays much less as well.
  • You can bet on any specific triple. You choose the number and if all three dice come up that number, you win.
  • You can bet on any triple. Again, as infrequent as a triple is, this is much more frequent than a specific triple.

At this point I want to digress to the house edge. There are a few bets in sic bo where the house edge is relatively low. The bets listed above are not amongst them. So I always recommend that you never make one of the above bets!

A Couple of Better Bets

Here are some bets with low house edge:

  • You can bet on either an odd total of the dice or an even total of the dice. This looks like an even-money bet but the house gets an edge by making all triples automatic losers! Different casinos also have different payouts for these bets thus changing the house edge.
  • You can bet on a small total or a big total. The small total is 4-10 and the big total is 11-17. The casinos eliminate all triples; that's why 3 is not a winner for a small bet and 18 is not a winner for a large bet.

Due Diligence Makes Online Gaming a lot More Fun

Once again I need to digress to offer some advice. Sic bo is actually a very fun game. But you must do two things before playing it online to ensure that you'll enjoy it. First, you must search for an online casino with a visually pleasing game face. There's nothing wrong with searching for an aesthetically realized game. This applies to any game, of course, but it especially applies to a game like sic bo in which you will restrict your wagers to the most player-friendly ones.

This leads to piece of advice number two: look for an online casino that has the best payouts for these bets. Again, my advice generally is to look for the online casino that best serves your needs.

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French Roulette

There are three different types of roulette offered online. Here I exclude progressive jackpots and all other esoteric side bets you may be offered. The three forms of roulette I am speaking about here are American roulette, European roulette, and French roulette.

By all means, find a casino that offers French roulette in an aesthetic presentation and play only that version of the game.

American roulette has both 0 and 00. These numbers are losers unless you have bet specifically on them to win. So, an odd or even bet, or any other 1-1 bet loses to 0 and 00. This puts the house's edge up to 5.26%.

European roulette has only 0. By eliminating the 00 the house edge drops to 2.7%; much better than the American roulette edge but still not as good as…

French roulette is like European roulette in that it has only 0 but it also has an extra feature that brings the house edge down to 1.35%.

There are actually two extra features in French roulette but they are mutually exclusive so a French roulette game can offer only one.

The first is called La Partage. In this feature, if you have made a 1-1 bet and lost, your bet is halved; the house keeps half and returns half to you!

The second extra feature is called en prison. If you have made an even-money bet and lost, the computer will place a marker over your bet. In this sense, your bet is in prison. Your bet rides for one more spin. If you win this time you receive only your original bet back. If you lose, you lose your bet.

Give to the Casino That Which is the Casino's

There are so many different games you can play at an online casino that the player has one huge advantage over the casinos: you can always belong to more than one online casino. You can play one game at one casino and another game at another casino.

What should make the difference to you is payouts, first and foremost, and your playing comfort. Since we know that in the long run the house will win, we accept online gaming as a form of recreation and entertainment. Just as you turn off a boring football game, so should you demand the most attractive game face and game play.

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