A 5-Minute Guide to Baccarat and Sic Bo

Baccarat and Sic Bo are two casino games that are often (erroneously) grouped together. Baccarat is Italian in origin, but it is a game that became famous in France and today is most popular with Asian gamblers. Sic Bo is an ancient Chinese dice game that is becoming more popular with players around the world.

What these games do have in common is an air of mystery, which puts some people off playing them. However, both are extremely simple and in the following guide, we will teach you the basics of each so that you can get started playing straightaway.


There are actually three versions of Baccarat; however, online you will only ever come across the game known as Punto Banco. The game is played with a shoe that contains either six or eight decks of cards shuffled together. The aim of Baccarat is very simple; it is to bet on which of two positions, known as Player or Banker, will have a value closer to 9 once all of the cards have been dealt.

As a result, the game has just three possible bets, Player, Banker and Tie. You need to place your bets on one of these at the start of the round, and once all bets have been placed, you simply sit back and watch the action unfold to see if you have won.

First, the dealer deals two cards face up to each of the positions; the first card to the Player, the second to the Banker, the third to the Player and the fourth to the Banker. Once each positon has two cards, the values are calculated.

When calculating a position’s value, the number cards 2 to 10 are worth their face values, Jacks, Queens and Kings are worth 10 and Aces are worth 1. The cards are added together and if the total is larger than 10, then 10 is subtracted from the total. For instance, a hand of 18 is worth 8.

Very often, this will be the end of the round and any winning bets are then paid out. However, there are some scenarios in which a third card may be dealt to one or both of the positions:

  • If the Player or the Banker position has a total of 8 or 9 then they always stand.
  • If the Player position has a total of 6 or 7 then it stands.
  • If the Player position stands and the Banker position has a total of 5 or less then the Banker position draws a card.
  • If the Player has a total of 5 or less then the player draws a third card.

If the Player position receives a third card, then the Banker position will also do so in the following situations:

  • If the Banker has a total of 0, 1 or 2.
  • If the Banker has a total of 3 then they will draw if the Player’s third card was 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, or 0 (not 8).
  • If the Banker has a total of 4 they will draw if the Player’s third card was 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7.
  • If the Banker has a total of 5 they will draw if the Player’s third card was 4, 5, 6 or 7.
  • If the Banker has a total of 6 they will draw if the Player’s third card was 6 or 7.
  • If the Banker has a total of 7 they will always stand.

Once all the cards have been dealt, the position with the total closest to 9 wins. Baccarat games offer payouts of 1:1 for winning Player or Banker bets and Tie bets usually pay 8:1. However, often there is a 5% commission on winning Banker bets, so the true payout is 0.95:1 and a few games offer a boosted payout of 11:1 for winning Tie bets.

As you can see, there really isn’t much to Baccarat. It is possible to look into strategies and statistics, but the basic rules of the game take no time to grasp.

Sic Bo

As mentioned, Sic Bo is an ancient Chinese game and the literal meaning of the name is “precious dice”. The game involves players betting on the roll of a set of three dice. It is a very fast-paced game and once you have grasped the basics, it is sure to provide you with hours of fun.

There are two reasons why Sic Bo may look complicated at first. The first is that some versions of the game use Chinese symbols on the betting area; however, there are plenty that don’t. The second is that the game offers many different types of bets, which can be a little overwhelming. However, they are all very easy to understand.

As mentioned, you are betting on the roll of three dice. This presents you with a range of betting options. For instance, you can bet on specific numbers being rolled, on the total of the three dice, on pairs of numbers, and so on. Here is a brief explanation of each type of bet.

Single Number Bets

This is a bet on a specific single number being rolled. The betting area has six positions, labelled one through six, and you place your chips on the number you want to bet on. If the number comes up on any of the three dice then you win a payout. If the number appears on more than one die, then the payout is increased. You win at 1:1, 2:1 or 3:1 if the number appears on one, two or three dice respectively.

Two Number Combination Bets

This is a bet on any two individual numbers being rolled. For example, you could bet on a 2 and a 4 being rolled, and if the two numbers show up then you win. All of these bets pay at 6:1.

Totals Bet

In some ways, this is the simplest type of bet. It is a bet on the sum of all three dice. You can bet on any total apart from 3 and 18, which have their own bets. As some totals are more likely to be rolled than others are, the payouts vary depending on the total that you bet on. 4 and 17 pay 62:1, 5 and 16 pay 31:1, 6 and 15 pay 18:1, 7 and 14 pay 12:1, 8 and 13 pay 8:1, 9 and 12 pay 7:1, and 10 and 11 pay 6:1.

Triple and Pairs Bets

These two bets are very similar. A Pair Bet is on two of the three dice showing the same number and a Triple Bet is on all three dice showing the same number. A successful Pair Bet pays out 8:1. There are two options for Triple Bets. You can bet on Any Triple, which pays 24:1, or on a specific number triple, which pays 150:1.

Big and Small Bets

These two bets are also on the total of the three dice. A Big bet is on the total being between 11 and 17 inclusive and a Small bet is on the total being between 4 and 10 inclusive. Both of the bets pay at 1:1.


As should now be clear, both of these games are very simple. It is possible to grasps the basics of Baccarat and start playing in a matter of minutes. When it comes to Sic Bo, it may take you a little longer to learn all of the different types of bets, but there is nothing complicated about them. We offer both of these games at Plaza Royal, including exciting live dealer versions, so why not head over to the casino and try your luck today.


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