Baccarat’s a pretty simple game right? I mean leaving any exotic variations aside, your plain old garden variety baccarat gives you 3 bet options and a deal that takes care of itself. Bet on Banker, Player or a Tie and let the dealer do the rest, and if all goes well, pocket your extra cash.
Why is it though that when you play baccarat, whether online or in a traditional casino, you are usually presented with really confusing looking matrix filled with differ coloured shapes and/or numbers? Do you need to know what this is all about? Are you missing out on some crucial information if you don’t?
Well the short answers are: probably not, and no. But it’s always nice to know what’s going on when playing any real money casino game. And if you’re a baccarat system player, then these colourful little boxes become very important in the execution of your system (whether that is in fact a good thing or not).
What’s a tracing indicator?
Presented in a number of forms, these boxes/matrices/grids are known as tracing indicators or trend plotters. Essentially they convey a short history of deal outcomes and serve to highlight any trends. They are just like the indicators you always find on roulette games showing you which numbers and colours came up on previous spins to tell roulette players whether any patterns are emerging.
Now in the case of roulette, in the absence of an unbiased wheel (lets take this as a given) and a croupier not spinning sections (can’t always take this as a given) outcome history has absolutely NO impact on the outcome of the next spin, as the next spin is an independent event.
In baccarat, (live baccarat and ‘bricks and mortar casino’ baccarat, NOT RNG) the deal is from a shoe of cards that is depleting. The cards that have already been dealt from the shoe will have some bearing on which cards will be dealt in future rounds so an element of dependence does exist here. For this reason baccarat tracers are arguably more useful that roulette history stats…but exactly how useful is a whole other topic.
Tracing indicators are presented in a number of formats. Some of the better known ones are:
- Big Road
- Bead Road
- Big Eye Boy Road
- Small Road
- Cockroach Road
Above is the big road you’ll find on Playtech’s interface. Each of the symbols depicts the outcome of each past deal/round, moving from left to right (ie the right is more recent). It also stacks successive outcomes vertically to illustrate any patterns.
So from the above I know the last round was won by the Banker (right/bottom red circle). The 2 rounds before were also won by the Banker, clearly shown as a 3 circle column, then Player, Banker, Player, Banker, Tie and so on.
Easy. Now I know the winner of prior rounds…but I still don’t know the value of each winning hand.
This is where the Bead Road helps you.
The bead road (this shot again taken from a Playtech baccarat game, simply shows not only the round winner (again: red = Banker | blue = Player | green = Tie), but is also shows you the value of the winning hand.
Again the succession is left (older) to right (recent) and top (older) to bottom (recent).
Here the last few round winners in order from most recent to less recent are:
- Banker with 8;
- Banker with 9;
- Player with 5; and so on.
Big Eye Boy Road | Small Road | Cockroach Road
Shown below are shots of Evolution Gaming’s baccarat tracing indicators. In addition to the Big Road, you can choose to view the Big Eye Boy Road, the Small Road or the Cockroach Road.
For a detailed explanation of how Big Eye, Small and Cockroach roads are constructed, click here.