Decoding Baccarat Patterns: Mastering the Art of Following Baccarat Trends

Baccarat is a game that captivates millions of enthusiasts around the world. In Macau alone, there were 23 million visitors last year, contributing to a staggering HK$184 billion (US$24 billion) in gross gaming revenue. And out of this total, baccarat dominated with a remarkable 90 percent share, leaving only 10 percent for all other games combined.

Despite its immense popularity, baccarat remains largely misunderstood. In a previous edition, World Gaming shed light on the technique of card squeezing in baccarat, which garnered enthusiastic feedback from players and industry experts, providing clarification on the mysterious practice of manipulating playing cards.

Now, we delve into another mysterious aspect of baccarat: the art of following baccarat trends. Experienced players know, understand, and love these trends. When I conducted research for this article, I asked many industry friends if they understood the red and blue baccarat trends shown on each baccarat table’s electronic display. Many of them had been working in the industry for decades, and without exception, they all said something like, “The top and bottom trends are easy, but the three in the middle are really complicated. To be honest, even I don’t understand them. But the big players love them and swear by them!”

So now, for the benefit of our readers who do not understand or would like to understand better, World Gaming presents to you the art of following baccarat trends.


Many people believe that Stanley Ho brought baccarat to Macau, but it was actually first introduced by Tai Heng company, who won the monopoly Macau casino concession in 1937 and held it for 25 years. In 1962, STDM was granted the monopoly concession for 40 years. Today, STDM continues to operate, with 17 Macau casinos under its umbrella, including Grand Lisboa and Lisboa. The four founding fathers of STDM were Mr. Ip Hon, Mr. Terry Ip Tak Lei, Mr. Stanley Ho, and Mr. Henry Fok. Mr. Ip Hon had seen baccarat in the US, and the decision was made to offer two baccarat tables. And as they say, the rest is history. Baccarat flourished over time and eventually became the dominant Macau casino game it is today.

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Players have always looked for trends and patterns in the streaks of banker wins and player wins. Initially, these streaks were recorded on paper cards. In fact, this is how the position of ‘VIP host’ came to exist. The VIP host’s responsibility was to record the winning side (banker or player) after each hand. VIP players could refer to these past trends when deciding on their bets.

Methods of Recording

Baccarat results and trends were initially recorded on paper cards, with red circles representing banker wins and blue circles representing player wins. Some players still prefer to use paper and pen to record the trends. But as technology advanced, a device called the ‘bead plate’ was introduced. The bead plate is a tray with cubes of different colors: white for blank, red for ‘banker’, blue for ‘player’, and green for tie. Later, electronic displays were added to baccarat tables in major casinos, replacing paper cards and the bead plate.

These electronic displays show all the information that was recorded on paper and the bead plate, and even more. They are directly connected to automatic card reading shoes, instantly and accurately displaying all the trend information. This convenient feature benefits both casino staff and players, providing access to the full suite of trend information at any time.

In this article, we will use pictures from an electronic display since it is the most common way of keeping track of baccarat results and trends.

Let’s Get This Show on the Road

Baccarat trends are recorded on ‘roads’, which are pictorial representations of the results and trends of the shoe so far. There are five standard roads:

  1. The Big Road
  2. Big Eye Boy
  3. The Small Road
  4. The Cockroach Road
  5. The Bead Plate

Each road uses colored symbols arranged in a rectangular grid of empty white squares called cells. The standard height of any road’s grid is six symbols, while the width can vary. It is important to note that roads only record the current shoe, and at the end of each shoe, the screen is cleared, and new roads are built from scratch.

Different casinos may have slight variations in their displays, but the basic pattern remains the same. The big road is usually at the top, followed by big eye boy, the small road, and the cockroach road. The bead plate is typically shown at the bottom left of the screen.

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The big road and the bead plate directly record the results of the shoe in a simple manner. The derived roads, on the other hand, describe patterns in the big road. These three roads are called ‘derived roads’ because they are derived from the big road. They do not represent the results of the shoe directly, but rather the patterns in those results.

The big road is a grid with alternating red and blue hollow circles representing banker and player wins, respectively. When the shoe begins, the first result is written in the top left corner of the big road. If the second result is the same as the first, it goes under the first, and the same-colored circles continue vertically. When the result changes sides between banker and player, a new column is started. Thus, each column corresponds to a run or ‘streak’, allowing for easy comparison of streak lengths. Ties are represented by a green line across the most recent circle.

The bead plate is an electronic representation of what the cubes in the tray would show. It uses solid colored circles superimposed with a Chinese character representing the result. The bead plate depicts the sequence of results and trends in the big road, but it does not show ties, pairs, or naturals.

The derived roads, including big eye boy, the small road, and the cockroach road, show patterns in the big road using red and blue symbols. It is important to note that these symbols do not represent banker or player. They simply indicate red or blue, and understanding this is key to comprehending derived roads. The derived roads do not start at the beginning of the shoe but rather at specific points determined by the color rules, which will be explained in the next part of this article.

Understanding baccarat trends can be challenging, but once mastered, they can greatly enhance your gameplay. Stay tuned for the second part of this article, where we will explore the color rules, the prediction table, and how to interpret the roads to make more informed bets.

Sources: World Gaming Magazine

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