Baccarat has always held an air of mystery for me, ever since I saw it being briefly played in a couple of James Bond movies. Visions of the casino floor, beautiful people standing around the table, and Bond in his tux, just added to the romance of the game.
While watching I had no clue what was going on, how the game was played, or even how the winner was determined.
Fast forward quite a few years and I’ve discovered that Live Dealer Baccarat is essentially a very simple game in its concept. No skill is required of the player, just the ability to predict which will be the winning hand, Player or Banker.
You wouldn’t think that something as simple as that could be made to look so complicated. But the art of predicting what hand will win has been turned into a science (not an exact one at that) and that’s where Baccarat Roadmaps come into play, as they can help you predict baccarat results.
The roadmaps have been developed to help players quickly assess the history of the game, to identify trends, and help to predict future results.
The roadmaps look like one of the scariest tools around and it’s because of them that I stayed away from this game for as long as I did. It’s only when I’ve been doing some research into what they’re all about, that the mystery has been turned into something I can understand. It’s taken me a while to find an understandable description of Baccarat Roadmaps and how they are constructed, but find one I have.
What Are Baccarat Roadmaps
What are these roadmaps we’re talking about? Well, they are basically a tool that is based on tracking previous baccarat patterns in order to provide the player with better assets to analyze past situations and improve on future betting decisions. Casinos are quite welcoming on the idea of it and often, as you play your live dealer baccarat game you can access posted graphical representations of the results of the previous rounds. These roadmaps, or scorecards, can be presented in different styles by using icons arranged in a rectangular grid of empty square fields, showing the recorded history for the current shoe.
There are five roadmap representations in total and they go by the names of Bead Road, Big Road, Big Eye Road, Small Road and Cockroach Pig. The Bead Road chart can be considered the simplest one as it merely shows the results of previous hands marking every time the player or the banker won, and also all hands that resulted in a tie. One icon corresponds to one round, and all icons are neatly arranged inside a rectangular grid – 1st round at the top left corner. Analyzing game history in this way can be helpful in the process of looking for familiar trends.
History Of The Baccarat Roadmaps
Baccarat’s roadmaps or scoreboards were created in the then-Portuguese colony of Macau. The second Macanese casino concession holder, Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau, introduced the game in 1962 or shortly after, and it was an instant hit.
Many players around the world believe that game results can be analysed to find trends that can be used to make predictions. At the early VIP Baccarat tables in Macau, the host recorded the results of each hand.
Over time, different ways of analysing those results were used. The five roadmaps are known as Big Road, Big Eye Road, Bead Plate, Small Road, and Cockroach Pig.
5 Standard Live Baccarat Roadmap Patterns
If you’re serious about playing baccarat with a live dealer there are 5 Baccarat Roads you need to become familiar with. These will help you work out a baccarat pattern strategy and that starts with baccarat pattern recognition. There are five standard roads:
- The Big Road
- The Bead Plate
- The Small Road
- The Big Eye Boy
- The Cockroach Pig
Baccarat Roadmap & Scoreboards 1: The Big Road
The Big Road is the main roadmap. Its most common form is as a grid of 6 rows and between 36 and 50 columns. The result of the first game is recorded in the top left corner.
If the result of the second game is the same as the first, it is recorded below the first result. If the other hand wins the second game, the result is record to the right of the first. Banker wins are represented by red circles, and Player wins are shown as blue circles.
Ties are recorded as a green line across the last circle. Natural winners receive a yellow dot in the centre of the circle. Winning pair bets are shown as red or blue dots on the edge of the circle.
- The first game result is recorded from the top left corner of the grid.
- If the second game result is same as the first game then it is recorded below the first one.
- If the second result is different, the top right corner of the grid is used.
- A tie win won’t receive its own row; they are represented as a green diagonal.
- The circles and dots work in the same way as in bead plates.
- Banker win is marked as red circled whereas blue circles show player win.
- Natural Winners are represented by a yellow dot in the circle.
- Winning pair bets(banker or player) are marked on edge of the circle.
Baccarat Roadmap & Scoreboards 2: The Bead Plate
At the vast majority of land casino Baccarat tables you will find the standard bead plate layout, you will also find it in online versions of the games. The bead plate is exactly what the name suggests, a simple grid that is filled with different coloured beads, or dots, to record the result of each hand. Banker wins are marked with red, Player wins are marked with blue and Ties are marked with green.
If the game you are playing offers the Perfect Pairs side bet then the bead plates can also record if the Player of the Banker were dealt a pair on the initial deal. A Player’s pair is marked with a small blue dot in the lower right corner of the grid position for that hand, a Banker’s pair is marked with a red dot in the upper left-hand corner.
The majority of bead plates will have six rows and at least a dozen columns, allowing you to record the results of 60 hands or more. The hands are recorded starting in the top left hand corner and move down each column one place at a time. When the bottom of a column is reached then the record starts again at the top of the next column to the right.
Baccarat Roadmap & Scoreboards 3: The Big Eye Boy
The Big Eye Boy is another method that aims to record the behaviour of the shoe. It involves recording the data from other outcome-orientated scoreboards and interpreting it in a certain way. The idea is that it will give players insights into whether the deck is producing results that change with each hand or whether there are streaks and repetitive patterns occurring.
Hence, the Big Eye Boy is used together with the Big Road scoreboard. A mark is placed on the Big Eye Boy every time that a new column begins on the Big Road. The two charts have very similar layouts and typically they will use the same colours. However, on the Big Eye Boy red and blue do not correspond to Banker and Player, instead, red represents consistent repetition and blue represents the opposite.
The idea is to use the Big Road scoreboard in conjunction with the Big Eye Boy to decide which bet should be placed next. If the last records on the Big Eye Boy show a lot of red then players will normally follow whatever pattern can be seen on the Big Road. For example, if the results of the last six hands were: Banker, Banker, Player, Player, Banker, Banker, the Big Eye Boy will show that and most players will then bet on Player in the hope that the same pattern will continue.
Baccarat Roadmap & Scoreboards 4: The Small Road
This is very similar to the Big Eye Boy. However, it skips the previous column on the Big Road and does not start until one hand after the first mark in the third column on the Big Road.
Results start being recorded on the Small Road at the end of the first hand in the Big Road’s third column. If there are no patterns in the results, solid blue circles are used. If a pattern can be identified, solid red circles are used.
Baccarat Roadmap & Scoreboards 5: The Cockroach Pig
Cockroach, the last baccarat road is another variation of Big eye boy. The name Cockroach has have been derived from Cantonese and Mandarin-speaking players as it’s quite similar to the Cantonese pronunciation Whereas Pig simply represents Roads in Chinese. It’s again similar to small road concept with the difference that:
- You have to skip two columns instead of one as in small road map.
- The next thing to keep in mind is to not start until the first entry has been completed in 4th column on the big road.
- It uses diagonal lines instead of dots or beads.
There is a great deal of superstition surrounding Baccarat and many people take these roadmaps very seriously. However, it is a game of chance and the results of one round will have no impact on the results of the next. Therefore, using the roadmap is no guarantee of success. However, they can be a fun addition to the game and they certainly won’t decrease your chances of winning.