The game uses three dice with special symbols instead of regular numbers. Image: YouTube
Fish Prawn Crab, also known as Hoo Hey How, is a Chinese dice game which can be played in online and live Asia-facing casinos. The game is quite similar to another Chinese dice game Sic Bo that is more popular in casinos around the world. If you have come across Fish Prawn Crab and you have been intrigued by its name and wanted to learn more about the game itself, you have landed on the right page.
The traditional version of Fish Prawn Crab uses three dice which have six sides but instead of regular numbers, they feature six characters on each side. As you can guess, Fish, Prawn and Crab are the main ones, while others include Stag or Coin, Gourd and Rooster. The game begins with the dealer picking up the dice and putting them on a saucer. Players are asked to place bets on the betting layout and once all bets have been placed, the dealer takes the dice from the saucer and rolls them in a bowl. The dice are placed back on the layout while the bowl is removed to reveal the symbols.
When it comes to payouts, each bet placed on a correct symbol wins. If one of the face-up symbols is the one you placed your bet on, you are paid 1 to 1. Should the symbol appear on two dice, you are paid 2 to 1 and if all three dice show the symbol you bet on, you win a payout of 3 to 1. When playing this type of bets, Fish Prawn Crab comes with a house edge of 7.9%
You will notice that the betting layout resembles the one used in Sic Bo, so you can make wagers on other combinations as well. For instance, you can bet on triples and win if three symbols of a kind appear on the dice. This bet can earn you a 30 to 1 payout, but be careful with this one as it comes with the house edge of 13.9%. As some brick-and-mortar, this bet pays 24 to 1 and which increases a house edge to 30%.
Similar Games Played in Other Countries
Besides its similarities with Sic Bo, Fish Prawn Crabs bears a resemblance to several dice games that are played in the United States and Asia. The US version of the game is called Chuck-a-Luck or birdcage and it also uses three dice. While the payouts are similar to the ones in Fish Prawn Crab, the key differences are in the dice which feature standard numbers and two additional bets, high and low. In this version of the game, the dice are shaken in a metal cage which resembles a birdcage, which explains an alternative name of the game. Over the years, the game has become almost obsolete in land-based casinos and is considered more of a carnival game than a real casino game.
The Vietnamese version of the game is known as Bầu Cua Tôm Cá. Just like the Chinese game, the game played in Vietnam features pictures of Fish, Prawn, Crab, Rooster, Gourd and Stag and players place their bets on a layout with six pictures. The game pays the same way as the Chinese version, with one die paying 1 to 1, two dice paying 2 to 1 and finally, when the chosen symbol appears on all three dice, 3x the bet.
Another similar game is Crown and Anchor, a dice game played by British sailors. Instead of standard numbers or animals used in the Asian versions of the game, the British game uses crowns, anchors, diamonds, spades, clubs and hearts. It pays the same way and is not available at live casinos.