As Sic Bo continues to spread in popularity across the Western world, it remains firmly rooted in its Chinese origins. The experience of playing Sic Bo in a land-based casino comes with a cultural crossover and some particular details to watch out for. If you want to fit in while playing Sic Bo in a casino, or you’re just curious about how this fascinating online game translates to real play, read on for more information.
The Sic Bo table can get crowded, like a chaotic market store, where queuing and general Western etiquette get pushed aside in favour of the more traditional atmosphere of the game.
Wagers are made by placing bets on the layout before the dice are rolled, so the main betting faux pas to avoid is trying to place bets during the round, when the “No Bets” light is on. As the betting time is limited, reaching small areas for some popular bets, like Total 8 and Single 6, can become competitive, which leads to rushes of bets as soon as the “No Bets” light goes off.
Don’t be offended by other players pushing to the front – Sic Bo (a bit like Craps) doesn’t always adhere to general casino etiquette rules of personal space. Players may reach over the table to place chips, and bumps and nudges are not only accepted but could, by some, be considered part of the fun. One lasting superstition in this area, however, is that it is poor form to touch a fellow gambler’s shoulder – something many Chinese nationals consider to be unlucky.
Other than touching shoulders, and touching chips during play, etiquette at the Sic Bo table is simple: take responsibility for your bets, and enjoy yourself. There are, however, a few additional superstitions to look out for.
Typical of most casino games, in Sic Bo it is considered taboo to count your money at the table. Four is considered unlucky, and eight lucky – based on the Chinese words for these numbers, which mean “death” and “happiness” respectively. Many Chinese players also believe it is bad luck to find a priest or nun at the table, and it is even worse to enter the casino through the main entrance. Though in most popular casinos in the UK you are unlikely to find easily accessible side entrances.
Finally, there is a more unusual Chinese superstition that says a little ghost lives behind the gambling tables, which you can choose to feed (reportedly with sugar) for extra luck. So if you see players attempting to feed a ghost at the table, you’ll know why.
If you'd rather avoid the superstitions and get straight into the game, then you can find Sic Bo at a number of the best online casinos, including Ladbrokes Casino.