The Rules of Baccarat
Baccarat is built on a very simple idea. There are two positions, Player and Banker, and you need to bet on which one will be closer to 9 at the end of a round. The game has just three possible bets, Player, Banker, and Tie. At the start of a round you need to place your bets, and then the cards will be dealt.
Initially, two cards are dealt to each position. In Baccarat, Aces count as 1, the number cards 2 to 9 count as their face value, and tens and face cards count as zero. If the sum of the two cards is ten or more then the first digit of its value is ignored. For example, a hand of 7 and 6 is worth 3 not 13 and a hand of 4 and 6 is worth 0 not 10.
In some situations, a third card will be dealt. At first, the rules governing a third card may appear a little confusing. However, you do not need to worry about this, as the game will automatically deal the card if necessary (or the dealer in the case of live dealer play).
If the Player or Banker has a hand worth 8 or 9, it is called a Natural and no further cards are drawn. If the Player hand is worth five or less then the hand receives a third card. If the Player does not receive a third card then the Banker hand stands if it is worth 6 or more and draws if it is worth 5 or less.
If the Player receives a third card, then the Banker receives a third card in some situations. If the Banker total is less than or equal to 2 then a third card is drawn. If the Banker total is 3 the Banker receives a third card if the Player third card is not an 8. If the Banker total is 4 then the Banker draws a third card if the Player third card is not a 0, 1, 8 or 9. If the Banker total is 5 then the Banker draws a third card if the Player third card is a 4, 5, 6, or 7. If the Banker total is 6 then the Banker draws a third card if the Player total is 6 or 7. The Banker will stand on a total of 7 or higher.
As mentioned, these rules can appear confusing at first, but you will soon get used to them and in the meantime, you can rely upon the games to take the appropriate action for you.
Once all of the cards have been dealt the totals are compared and you are paid out for any winning bets. In nearly all Baccarat games, a winning Player bet pays 1:1 a winning Banker bet pays 1:1 minus a 5% commission and a Winning Tie bet pays 8:1.
The reason a Banker bet pays slightly less is that statistically it has a slightly better chance of winning. This is because of the third card rules. The rules governing the Banker hand are not the same as the rules governing the Player. The Banker’s rule involves considering the Banker’s initial cards, whether the Player has received a third card and if so, what that third card is. As a result, the Banker position has an advantage over the Player.
You will find that many Baccarat games feature Roadmaps. These are scorecards that people use to keep track of past results and try to spot any trends or patterns in the game. There are many different Roadmaps, some more common than others, and all of them can at first appear to be very confusing. However, you will find that they quickly become clear once you have read a little about them. Here is a simple guide to the most common ones.
This roadmap takes its name from the fact that in many land casinos a plate is provided to Baccarat players and they are able to keep track of the game by placing different coloured beads on the plate to represent different results from each hand. If the Banker wins the hand then it is marked with red, if the Player wins it is marked with blue and Ties are marked with green.
If the game you are playing offers the Perfect Pairs side bet then you can also use the Bead Plate to keep track of it. If the Player or Banker receives a pair from the initial deal then the Player’s pair is marked with a small blue dot in the lower right hand corner of the grid position for that hand, while a Banker’s pair is marked with a red dot in the upper left hand corner.
The Bead Plate usually has a standard layout of six rows and at least twelve columns, so they can record the results of at least sixty hands. The hands are recorded starting in the top left hand corner and will 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.
The Bead Plate is there to record the results of individual hands. The Big Road roadmap has a slightly different purpose. It is used to spot trends in the results of hands by emphasising consecutive wins for the Player or Banker. The roadmap itself looks similar to an inverted bar chart with alternating columns containing blue dots (representing Player wins) and red dots (representing Banker wins). Each time the winning hand changes, from Player to Banker or vice versa, then a new column is started. Consecutive wins are recorded by adding a mark to the most recent column.
For example, if the Banker wins the first hand from a new shoe then a red mark is placed at the top of the first column. If the Banker wins the second hand then a second red mark is added to the first column. If the Player then wins the third hand, a new column is started with a blue mark.
If a round ends with a tie then it is marked slightly differently. Instead of starting a new column, the red or blue mark that recorded the last win is struck through with a green line. The reason for this is that Ties are very rare and the chance of consecutive Ties is extremely small.
The standard size of the Big Road is columns that are six rows deep. If a particular bet wins more than six times in a row then it is carried over to the next column and this is called a Dragon Tail. Once again, Pairs are recorded with dots on the edge of each mark, blue for a Player Pair and red for a Banker pair.
Big Eye Boy
The Big Eye Boy roadmap is used to interpret data from the other roadmaps. The idea is to give players insights into whether the deck is producing random results of whether there are discernible streaks and patterns.
This means that it is used together with the Big Road roadmap. Every time that a new column starts on the Big Road a mark is placed on the Big Eye Boy. The two scoreboards look very similar and they usually use the same colours. However, on the Big Eye Boy, the red and blue dots do not represent Banker or Player, instead red represents consistent repetition and blue represents the opposite.
The idea is to use the two roadmaps together to build a strategy for your next bet. If the Big Eye Boy is showing a lot of red then you may choose to follow the pattern shown on the Big Road. For example, if the results of the last six rounds were Player, Player, Banker, Banker, Player, Player, then it will be visible on the Big Eye Boy and a player may choose to bet on Banker in the hope that the pattern continues.
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.
This is a similar concept to the Small Road. However, it skips the previous two columns on the Big Road and it does not start until one hand after the first mark in the fourth column on the Big Road. It is also different in that it uses diagonal lines rather dots or beads.
Using Baccarat Scoreboards
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.