‘Tai Sai’ or“Big and Small” is the popular game of dice and the other name for Sic Bo. Tai Sai is an ancient Chinese game of chance with a modern twist and it’s easy to learn and fun to play. The instruments to play eventually changed to the more common dice with six sides, but the premise of betting on the outcome of each role is more or less the same in modern Sic bo online game tables. During the industrial revolution, the game started to spread from China, finding its way to both Macau and Las Vegas. From there, it has become a fixture across the world, including in New Zealand casinos. In addition, the Sic bo game has also found a home at online casinos. The tables at a Sic bo online casino allow Kiwis and punters from nearly every other corner of the globe to play whenever they want and win real cash. Many consider the Sic bo games in New Zealand to be some of the best.
How to play Tai Sai
To play Tai Sai simply place your cash on the table and the Dealer will exchange it for gaming chips – then you’re ready to go! After playing, go to the cashier to change any chips back to cash or take them to another table to continue the fun.
Tai Sai is a game played with three dice concealed within a tumbler. The aim of the game is to correctly predict the numbers or combinations of the dice before they are revealed by the Dealer. The Dealer will cover the dice and activate the tumbler, spinning them three times. Simply bet on any of the numbers or combinations that you think will appear by placing your chips clearly within the area marked on the table.
Every possible bet appears on the table layout, along with the odds for each bet. You can bet on one die (that is, whether a certain number will appear on at least one die), two dice combinations (whether two numbers will appear), or the total value of all three dice, trebles, big and small. You can bet on as few or as many areas as you like. When all bets have been placed, the Dealer will call “no more bets”and reveal the dice. The winning areas will light up so you can see if you have won.
Online Tai Sai
The online Sic bo has been steadily increasing in popularity over the past years. The exciting combination of big wins and a fast pace have attracted many to the simple Sic bo game. As such, NZ online Sic bo players are growing in number and many have even ventured to nearby Macau to play the game. Still, online Sic bo is the most popular form of the game for Kiwi gamblers.
However, the good players will be pleased to learn that New Zealand, of all places, is renowned for the most attractive tai sai payouts on the planet. This is in direct contrast to land casinos collective reputation for short-odds blackjack games and double-zero roulette tables. The reason is pretty simple: casino operators love Chinese tourists, due to the ancient nation’s deeply ingrained gambling culture. So combine great odds with your relative geographical proximity compared to the UK and the US, and New Zealand and Australia becomes a primo destination for Asian players.
Wagers in Tai Sai
Following are the wagers allowed on a typical NZ layout, such as the ones commonly found at Sky City Casino Auckland.
- Small – Win if the total sum of the dice is between four and 10, excluding triples (i.e. when all dice show the same number). Pays 1 to 1.
- Big – Win if the total sum of the dice is between 11 and 17, excluding triples. Pays 1 to 1.
- Total values – Win if you pick the total sum of all three dice. Payouts vary, with four and 17 the largest (62 to 1), and 10 and 11 the smallest (6 to 1).
- Any triple – Win if all three dice are the same number, regardless of the number (e.g. 1-1-1 and 6-6-6 both win). Pays 31 to 1.
- Specific triples – Win if all three dice show a specific chosen number (e.g. if we bet on triple ones, we only win if 1-1-1 shows). Pays 180 to 1.
- Specific doubles – Win if two of the three dice show a certain number (e.g. if we bet on double ones, we would win if the dice turned up 1-5-1). Pays 11 to 1.
- Two-die combination – Win if two specific numbers show (e.g. betting on one and three both turning up). Pays 6 to 1.
- Single number – Win if the chosen number shows, with larger payouts if the number turns up two or three times. Pays 1 to 1 for a single, 2 to 1 for a double, and 12 to 1 for a triple.
Some games will also allow the following wagers, although these are rarely found beyond the high-roller rooms or the gaming floors of Macau.
- Evens or Odds –Identical as in roulette, the player bets on the total value of the dice being either an even number (four, six, eight, et cetera) or an odd one (three, five, seven, et cetera). Pays 1 to 1.
- Three of four – This wager resembles a boxed trifecta in horse and greyhound racing. Players choose four numbers, from one to six, and win if any three of those numbers should hit. For example: if we choose three, four, five, and six, and the roll shows 5-4-6, we win. (Some casinos limit this bet to a few specific combinations – e.g. Crown, when using this rule, allows only four combos, each paying 7 to 1.)
Bets and Odds
There are many lots of ways to win on Tai Sai and the table may look confusing. Don’t worry, each area is clearly marked and you can ask the dealer for help if you’re not sure.
|A||Big and Small||This is a bet that the total of the three dice will either be small (4-10) or big (11-17). All Big and Small bets lose if a triple appears.||Pays 1 to 1.|
|B||Odd and Even||This is a bet that the total of the three dice will either be odd (5,7,9 …) or even (4,6,8 …). All Odd and Even bets lose if a triple appears.||Pays 1 to 1.|
|C||Single Die Result||This is a bet on what any of the three dice are going to be. If one of the dice comes up with your number, you win and if two or all three dice come up with your number you win even more!||On 1 die pays 1 to 1; on 2 dice pays 2 to 1; on 3 dice pays 12 to 1.|
|D||Two Dice Combination||This is a bet on what any two of the three dice will be. If the combination that you select comes in, you win!||Pays 6 to 1.|
|E||Four Dice Combination||This bet lets you choose 4 numbers – only 3 need appear to win!||Pays 7 to 1.|
|F||Three Dice Totals||This is a bet on the total of the 3 dice. Some of the totals pay 6 to 1, others more – right up to 62 to 1!||To check the odds for your favourite number just look on the table.|
|G||Doubles||This is a bet that at least two out of the three dice are going to be the same – a double. If you select a double that comes up, you win!||Pays 11 to 1.|
|H||Specific Three Dice Combos||Choose what the three dice will be.||If you select the right combination you win 30 to 1. If the combination you select includes a double you win 60 to 1.|
|I||Any Triple||This is a bet that all 3 dice will show the same number – a triple. With this bet you don’t have to pick what the numbers will be, so long as they are all the same.||Pays 31 to 1.|
|J||Specific Triple||This is a bet that all three dice will be the same – a triple. You will have needed to select the specific number to win BIG!||Pays 180 to 1.|
After playing, go to the cashier to change any winnings back to cash or take them to another table to continue the fun.
The Tai Sai tables at casinos have varying minimum and maximum bets. Before you play, please check the sign displaying the betting range at the table.
As with all Table Games, if you are not sure about a bet or the rules of the game, just ask one of the Table Games staff for assistance. They will be happy to explain anything about the game that you may not understand or provide you with further information in relation to the rules.
Tai Sai Winning Strategy
The best bets you can make in Tai Sai is to bet on either Big or Small. In other words, you bet that the total score of the rolled dice is from 4 to 10 and from 11 to 17 respectively. These types of bets pay 1:1 and they have the smallest house edge (only 2.76%).
Make use of combination bets: Here you can make a bet on any two specific numbers or a combination bet. This bet also has low house edge or 2.77% and the odds against this bet winning are 6:1. In other words, you can expect to win once in every seven bets.
Bet on the totals from 7 to 14: If you closely look at the payout table of Tai Sai you will quickly notice that the odds on certain sums vary as well as their house edge. Like bets on totals from 7 to 14 offer 12:1 and have pretty lower house edge (9.7%) compared to the other specified sums. On the other hand, bets on totals from 8 to 13 or from 10 to 11 have 12.5% house edge. Other sums have a pretty high house edge. A strategy tip here is to bet on the totals from 7 to 14.
Avoid betting triples: If you bet on a triple and win, which happens very rarely, it means that you have correctly predicted the only number that has come up on all three dice. A triple bet is worth 180:1, but it is the riskiest bet one can make. Therefore, more experienced Tai Sai players avoid triples entirely or use them as additional bets. You should never make a triple bet as the main bet because the bet will lose you money most of the time.
Never have foolish bet: You should always avoid having foolish bets with a huge house edge. Like if you bet on a total from 5 to 16, the odds of being hit are 6 in 216. According to the standard paytable, the bet pays 30:1, but it has a high house edge of 13.9%. Some bets have even higher house advantage and are rarely hit.
Finally though this game is pure a game of chance you will find that there is no betting system in Tai Sai that will help you reduce the house edge. It’s the proper understanding of the game and rules of betting that you should know before you opt to play the game of Tai Sai.