Sic Bo is an Asian game of Chinese origin. It is played in the casinos of Macao, the only place in China where gambling is legalized and is as popular as other games like Fan Tan and Pai Gow. There it is played under the name, "Dai Siu" which means "Big Small", In Philippines it is however known as 'Hi Lo'. Apart from China, it is popular in most of Southeast Asia and Korea. It is a simple game and the history of Sic bo is based mostly in China, where the player has to select an individual number or a combination which is likely is appear after they are shaken and rolled. In modern casinos, betting possibilities and their payoff amounts displayed on the table layout.
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Literally Sic Bo means 'dice pair', but in reality it is played with three dice on a special table in casinos. Originally it was not played like that. A pair of dice was placed between an overturned bowl and plate and then shaken. The players would have to predict how the dice would come to rest. That is why it is known as called "Dice-in-a-bowl" in casinos. The history of Sic bo names it as a game which was popular not only in villages but also amongst merchants and Chinese builders who used to play this during lunch breaks. There was however minor variations in the game. Most of them would use bricks which were numbered and have it thrown up. The players would have to predict how they came to land.
Gambling in ancient China, was a popular activity right from the time of Xia (2000-1500 BC) and Shang (1700-1027 BC) dynasties. The history of sic bo states that originally martial art fighters in ancient China used to play Sic Bo during breaks. At that time, small stones, shells and even bones were used. It was only much later dice were used. The game spread with every wave of migration. That was how most of Asia and later America were introduced to the game. It was in the early 20th century Sic Bo made its entry into America. Here too it was the Chinese immigrants who brought this game with them. Most of them were railroad workers, and they played this game during breaks in their work. This game was however popular not just among Chinese, but also Irish workers. As more and more people began to play this game, its name was changed to 'Chuck-a-Luck' which is also known as birdcage. Now-a-days it is played in casinos using three standard six sided dice. Grand hazard is another variant of this game.
In the West and US, Sic Bo is one of the less well known casino games. However popularity of the game amongst Asian communities has helped it find a place in modern casinos, though it is usually confined to special rooms set aside for Asian games. The emergence of the internet is another reason for its increasing popularity. Now, any one with a personal computer and net connection can play it online.