Sic Bo Etiquette


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 live casino comes with a cultural crossover and some particular details to watch out for. Like superstition Sic Bo has certain etiquette to notice.

Table Manners

Playing Sic Bo at a crowded table can be a truly cross-cultural experience. Do not be too surprised if players’ table manners do not always conform to your concepts of proper etiquette.

Personal Space

Don’t be offended by other players pushing to the front – Sic Bo 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.

Bet Rushes

Wagers are made by placing bets on the layout before the dice are rolled, avoid 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.

Physical Contact

A certain amount of physical contact is to be expected in close quarters, so don’t be offended by arms reaching in from behind or a bit of jostling for position in front of the layout as players place their chips. Along the same lines, don’t expect any apologies for an unintended bump or shove, either.

Put off Shoulders

Touching a gambler’s shoulder is considered very poor manners that can bring bad luck. So even if there is lots of jockeying going on, from elbow rubbing to hip bumping, shoulders are off limits.

Chip Touch

Be very careful to position chips completely within the betting area selected. Also, keep an eye on wagers to make sure they are not inadvertently pushed off the desired spot. Once the spin of the dice begins, chips may not be touched again until the payouts are made. Players are responsible for counting up their winnings and ensuring that the total amount received is correct.


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.