It's believed the game was first brought to the United States by Chinese immigrants, who played it with their colleagues. They called it Si-Wu-Liu meaning "four-five-six". The game is still popular today, mostly in urban areas. Many hip hop artists have referenced the dice game "Cee-Lo" in rap songs since the 1990's. The references usually come from east coast rappers including Kool G Rap, Nas and Notorious B.I.G; as well as many other hip hop artists. Cee-lo has seen a resurgence of popularity in American settings.
Others say that it came from France - based on a game called passe-dix, meaning "pass-ten". Played by French executioners, passe-dix also used three dice, but always with a banker and the number of players is unlimited. The game began when a cafter made a wager, apparently placing it into a box, and the surrounding gamesters followed suit. The cafter then threw the dice. If the sum of dice was less than 10, then the cafter, along with the other gamesters lose their stakes to the banker. If the cafter throws the dice and the sum is above 10, then the banker pays the gamesters - and all other players double their wager. The role of cafter and banker would rotate.