Sic Bo (Tai Sai), Backgammon and Pai Gow


The following guide discusses three fantastic games that are fun to play. They're great to discover online, as well. The games that are discussed in this article are Sic Bo, Backgammon and Pai Gow. Each guide will start out with an overview of some of the history of the game. Then, gameplay, rules and some strategies involved in each game we'll be discussed in detail.

Knowing the history gives players something to discuss with others. Learning the basics of these games will provide greater enjoyment and understanding. Every player has a different way of handling strategies, so play at a pace that is a fair learning level and develop strategies along the way.

Sic Bo Gaming Guide

Sic Bo is an ancient Chinese game that involves rolling three dice. It is one of the oldest games that is still played in casinos and online. The game is very popular in Asia. It can be found in many casinos in the UK and America. Online Sic Bo is played in a similar fashion to the typical dice game, although there are variations that resemble video poker. The game of Sic Bo is usually played by betting on what dice combinations will be rolled. It's a fun game that involves more luck than strategy!

History of Sic Bo

One of the English translations for Sic Bo is “hi low” but there are other translations, as well. At the first glance, Sic Bo reminds some people of Craps. Mainly because Craps has a similar structure and involves rolling dice. However, it is very different. In Craps there are two dice, whereas Sic Bo uses three dice. The game boards used in Craps are quite different. Not to mention the gameplay also has startling differences. Mainly, Sic Bo is much easier to understand than Craps. Also, the betting options are always the same. Although the difference is obvoius, many people still refer to Craps as an equivalent for the game of Sic Bo.

The game of Sic Bo has been in China for a long time. Many historians claim that it has been around for almost 2,000 years. Strangely enough, it has become very popular only in the recent years. The game spread throughout the world with Chinese explorers, and when people from China left their home country they brought the game with them to their new homes. It traveled throughout the world in this way. Also, the industrial age really caused an extra influx of Chinese laborers in many large cities throughout the world. Soon, it was brought into carnivals and played among spectators. The gameplay remained similar to the original version, but the game was given altered names at some points to grant it more popularity among people who fancied nationalism. It was once given the name “Chuck-of-Luck” and another name of “Grand Hazard” depending on what part of the world it was being introduced to and at what point in time.

The name has other meanings, as well. Some historians suggest that since the name of the game can be translated to mean “dice pair” that the game may have once only required two dice to play it. The modern version uses three dice. There is also an interesting poetic rumor that states that the game was originally played by tossing two bricks, each with dots on them, instead of using proper dice. This would make sense seeing as dice as we know them were not easy to find!

Gameplay of Sic Bo

The Chinese game of Sic Bo is played almost exclusively in it's modern day form with three dice being rolled. This is true with real life and online casinos.

The game consists of a table layout and three dice. The object of the entire game involves players betting on how the three dice will be rolled by the dealer. This is a very popular game because of how simple it is and how easy it is to understand how to play.

The gameplay is very simple for Sic Bo. After the players sit down, they place their bets on the board or table. Then the dealer will close the bets. When all bets are closed, the dealer will shut the dice cage and shake the dice up finely. When the dice are released they will be displayed to whoever's at the table.

Some variations of Sic Bo will have other sightly different options for gameplay. Some have the dice being displayed differently, for instance. Others change up the betting practices altogether.

Knowing the Rules of the Game of Sic Bo

The rules of Sic Bo betting will depend on where the game is being played. Every table across the world and across the web has their own special rules for betting, however, there are many betting rules that are consistently common among almost all games of Sic Bo.

The betting style of choosing Big or Small is a good way to start out. Betting big means that the total amount of points from all the die would add up to equal a number between 11 and 17. Betting small refers to the end number of all the points adding up to a number 10 or lower. Also, placing odd or even bets are easy for new players. The player who places a winning prediction of the dice throw will win an even amount of the prize money. And rightly so! However, that same player will lose in the event that the dealer rolls Triplets. Triplets are just like they sound. They are when the dealer rolls three die of the same number.

Using Strategy in Sic Bo

Sic Bo is a game of chance, luck and fortune, so it is not really a game where strategy will help players win. There are still things players can know that will increase their chance of winning. Knowing statistics of bets will always come in handy!

The statistics that have the lowest house advantage are also the most likely to win. In the game of Sic Bo there are two types of bets that always have a low house advantage. Betting high or low and even or odd will guarantee a low house advantage. Knowing these low house advantages will put players in the right position to succeed at Sic Bo. With this statistic and proper understanding of all other bets, players will have as close as any strategy that ever aided a grand master player in chess tournaments!

Backgammon Gaming Guide

Backgammon is a popular board game that is specially furnished for two players. It is a dice game where players attempt to remove their pieces from the board before their opponent. The pieces are similar to checkers and are often called by that name. It is one of the oldest board games, said to have been around during Egyptian times! It is often studied as intensely by computer scientists as the game of chess. Playing online Backgammon is popular, as well.

History of Backgammon

There is a wide range to the history that can be told about the game of Backgammon. Many historians attribute the popular board game to the occult. Some others claim that it is as old as mankind's oldest known civilizations. They claim that it was played by the Egyptians, by the Sumerians, by the Romans and by other ancient civilizations.

They have proof for their claims, of course. It might be hard to believe, but archeologists and historians have discovered drawings and hieroglyphics that depict Egyptians playing board games! There is even a game they are seen playing that closely resembles what modern mankind knows as Backgammon. The Egyptians called the game Sen't or Senat (the actual pronunciation is unclear since the Egyptians did not record the sound of most vowels). If the drawings aren't enough proof, there have been artifacts discovered in Egyptian ruins that should provide enough evidence. Tombs contained board games and pieces that are believed to be from as far back as 3000 B.C.

Backgammon went through many revitalizations and changes over the years. Some of these changes have been carefully documented by historians. Others are lost, and they remain like a piece of the puzzle to understanding its evolution. The modern popularity of Backgammon is due in part to a Prince Obelensky and his desire to have tournaments during the 1960s. This was also a popular form of entertainment for soldiers during many wars throughout history. It has retained its popularity in many parts of the world.

Gameplay of Backgammon

Backgammon is a game that is played by two players. Players sit on either side of a board. The game board has twenty four triangles that alternate in color. On either side of the board there are pockets.

Each player has a home board (to his right) and an outer board (to his left). Together these four quadrants make up the entire playing space. Then the center part of the board is called a bar. The bar is there for functionality also because the game can typically be folded in half and stored away like a briefcase.

Each player has fifteen pieces that are arranged in a particular way. The easiest way to learn this arrangement is to play internet Backgammon games. Also, in the internet games the board will already be set up.

Each player tries to move all of their checkers by moving them to their side of the home board. Once they have done this then, they must bare them off to their respective pocket.

The first player to move all of the fifteen pieces into their pocket wins the game.

Pieces are moved with the roll of dice. A die roll is usually how players settle who goes first. Although there are rules for different variations of the game that have white or black always going first.

Knowing the Rules of Backgammon

The players can only move their own checkers, of course. They must move them in a forward direction only. The dice indicate how many moves the player may move their pieces.

A player can only move their piece into an open triangle point. They can only move to that space if less than two of their opponent's pieces are there. In that case they move to that space. If it is occupied by an opponent's single piece then, that piece is moved to the bar.

The dice may be split up as separate moves for different pieces. They may also be used for one continuos move of one piece. The continuous move must have a spot for the player's piece to move to, in order to use one of the die before the other die can cause the second move to occur.

There are some rules of luck to remember that help players take their pieces home! If a player rolls a pair of the same number then, that player gets to move twice. The total moves will essentially be four separate moves of the number that is shown. For example, if a player rolls two 1's then, the player gets to move 1 space four different times.

This basic gameplay is all the information that most players will need to get started on playing Backgammon and interested players can always learn more rules as they go. There are many more terms and strategies not discussed here. For instance, a Gammon and a Backgammon are rules that will add an element of betting to the game. With these rules the player who loses will lose less if they have at least one checker that they could bare off. These rules vary based upon where the game is being played, of course.

If players are planning on betting in the game of Backgammon then they should be familiar with the funny numbered dice piece that sits, seemingly unused. The Doubling Cube, as it's called, has the numbers 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64 on its sides. The rules of using the Doubling Cube are far too complicated to explain completely in an introductory guide. Basically, the player who decides to use the Doubling Cube may use it at the beginning of their turn and at no other time. When the Doubling Cube is played it will raise the stakes of the bet.

Using Strategy in Backgammon

The main strategy in Backgammon uses one of the rules called hitting. When a player lands on a space that has only one of their opponents pieces on it then, that piece is placed out of play. The piece is placed on the bar (center part of the board). The player that had their piece hit must now get that piece back in on their side of the board before moving it around the board once again and being able to bare it off, if they're able to do so.

By using the strategy of hitting players can keep their opponents stalled while they complete their portion of the game. This strategy works great when the opponent has no open spots to bring in their piece. The spot must be open in order to enter their piece. In the case that there are no open spots to enter their piece the opponent loses their turn! At that rate the opponent will be counting on luck in order to roll the right combination of dice to enter their pieces. If they do not get Lady Luck on their side soon then, the other player will surely win the game!

Pai Gow Gaming Guide

Pai Gow is a game of dominoes that has it's origins in ancient China. It is possibly as old as the Song Dynasty, over a thousand years old. This game is quite popular in all forms, including online Pai Gow. It is played in casinos in Asia, America, Canada, and many more places.

History of Pai Gow

Pai Gow literally translates to the phrase “making nine.” This is is reference to the scoring of the game, which will be discussed later on in this guide. The game is reported to have lead to the creation of the popular game of Baccarat. According to that legend, the explorer Marco Polo brought Pai Gow from China to Italy where it later evolved into the modern day version of Baccarat. Interestingly enough, the ancient game of Pai Gow is still popular after all these years.

Apparently, the Pai Gow tables in casinos can be unwelcoming to newer players. Until recently the game was mostly enjoyed by Asian people. Though there were a fair amount of people with non-Asian heritage that knew the game well. Enthusiasts in today's world of the internet and online gaming have a luxury of learning to play well in the comfort of their own homes.

There is a reason that Pai Gow can be difficult for people who are not of Asian background. This reason is because much of the game is based on legends and mythology. It has been said that the pairing of dominoes in Pai Gow can be likened to the creation of the universe. In this legend of the creation of the universe there is a combination of dominoes that stands for the Great Creator, which is the supreme pair of dominoes. Following next in value are the pairs of dominoes that have all the dots filled in, which stand for the creation of the Heavens or the filling of void. Then, there is the creation of the Earth, which is represented by a pair of dominoes with single dots. This legend goes on further to describe the pairs and makes it easy to remember.

This legendary game is as old as the Song Dynasty in China, which dates back at least a thousand years. The modern version of this game is called Pai Gow Poker, and it is relatively new. It was invented California in 1985. This strategy guide refers primarily to the legendary game. However, there are some similarities to Pai Gow Poker that can be observed. Also, interestingly enough China is also the birthplace of dominoes.

Gameplay of Pai Gow

Pai Gow is played with a set of 36 Chinese dominoes. The game is typically played at a regular casino table. After joining a game, the first thing that a player must do is place a bet. The dealer has tiles that are in stacks of four. All of the tiles are facedown before they are dealt. Casinos may use any different color variation of tiles, for the color bears no significance.

Then, each player is dealt four tiles by the dealer. The players must rearrange their tiles in order to beat the dealer's tiles. That is the object of the game, to beat the dealer's combination. This is where there are many strategies for the players to use. There are 36 tiles with nearly 36,000 unique combinations.

Each player will roll the set of three dice. Players will take turns doing this to see who goes first. The players must organize their tiles into a lower hand and a higher hand. They then take turns presenting to the dealer.

In order to win the game and prize, both sets of the player's tiles must beat both sets of the dealer's tiles. If both sets beat the dealer, the player wins even money (apart from any commissions taken away by the casino). If only one set of the player's tiles wins against the dealer then the player neither wins nor looses money, but breaks even. If neither pair of tiles beats the dealer then the player loses money.

Knowing the Rules of Pai Gow

The main rules a player must know in order to succeed in Pai Gow are what pair amounts to assemble their tiles into, and there are very many combinations. This guide will serve as a great introduction to these concepts and later it will demonstrate some strategies that can be used.

There is a rule about the total number of dots that players must understand in order to succeed at this game. It is similar to the game of Baccarat. The object of each combination is to get the total dots on the pair of dominoes to be as close as possible to nine dots. The rule players must know about here is that if the total number goes over 9 then, the first digit of the total is dropped. For instance, if the dots on one domino are 5 and another domino is 8 then the total would be 13. In this case the 1 would be dropped and the actual amount would be 3. This is simplified, of course. Further understanding of the points system is where Pai Gow can be tricky for new players, for there are exceptions to this rule that allow the player to get a score of 10 or 11. This score will beat the 9.

Using Strategy in Pai Gow

One strategy is called banking. Some casinos that have Pai Gow will allow players to act as the bank or as the dealer. In this case, there is a substantially higher reward to be earned by the player. Although, with high rewards will com a higher risk, and the player must have enough money to cover all losses that can be incurred.

The object of the game for the player is to beat the dealer's tiles with their own tile combinations. In some cases it is not possible to beat both sets of the dealer's tiles. When this is true it is much better for a skilled player to attempt a tie. In the case of a tie a player does not lose their money to the dealer. They break even. The only way to achieve a tie is for the player to beat one of the dealer's tile sets.

It is advisable that every player know most of the best hands in Pai Gow. Learning these hands by memory is similar to learning statistics. That is why many great Pai Gow players also get to know some kind of story that goes along with the pairs. The story of the creation of the universe is one example that has helped many players remember these pairs. As a general rule of strategy, pairs of dominoes are useful in winning at Pai Gow.

Pai Gow is a complex game that can be best learned through playing the game. Learning when to use banking (if it is available at the casino) in combination with knowing when to tie with the dealer can be valuable assets for any new player to understand. Building a strategy may take time, but with patience every player can learn how to play this rewarding game from ancient China!

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