Casino players come from all walks of life with an array of differences, but one thing some may have in common is the belief in patterns from certain casino games. This can be especially true with many baccarat players, which is where the tradition of keeping score in baccarat began.
Even though there is no evidence of these scorecards ever working, many baccarat players have not given up the tradition. So, is there more to it other than trying to predict the outcomes of the game? In this post, we unveil the truth behind baccarat scorekeeping, including how it is done and why people keep track.
How Do You Score In Baccarat?
Baccarat is often confused or compared with blackjack, but it is a different type of table game with unique scoring. The goal is to try and get a hand that is as close to 9 as possible. It can be played with a deck of 52 cards, where most cards have points, and some have no values.
For example, cards 2 to 9 are worth their face values, meaning a 2 of spades would be worth 2 points. A king, queen, jack and a 10 are called face cards and do not have any points, and an Ace has a value of one. For example:
- Ace = 1 point
- 2 = 2 points
- 3 = 3 points
- 4 = 4 points
- 5 = 5 points
- 6 = 6 points
- 7 = 7 points
- 8 = 8 points
- 9 = 9 points
- 10 - 0 points
- Jack - 0 points
- Queen - 0 points
- King - 0 points
So, to determine the value of your hand, you add the point values together for each card you have. Because the objective of baccarat is to get a hand valued at 9, the point values of your cards cannot exceed 9.
But what happens then if you are dealt a 7 and a 9?
Instead of a 16, you would have a 6. The 10 automatically cancels out.
A hand closer to a 9 is called a natural. For example, if you have an 8 or 9, your hand would be considered a natural, and you win the round.
But, if your hand is less than a 5, you will draw a third card. If the banker also does not have a natural, they will draw based on the third card you have drawn. But, this can be done differently in some online casinos, depending on the rules.
So, for example, if your third card is an 8, the dealer will not draw a third card. However, if the card you drew was 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7, the banker draws another card. Then, the person with a hand closest to 9 wins. If both you and the banker have winning hands, it results in a tie, and your initial bets are given back to you.
Why Do People Keep Track In Baccarat?
Scorekeeping in baccarat can be regarded as a form of card counting. This strategy supposedly helps players try to gain an advantage and increase their chances of potentially winning. But remember that this is all theoretical; there is no proven record of winners who won because they kept score.
Another reason why baccarat players may keep score is to keep track of any possible patterns of winning hands. Or losing hands, based on the preference of the player, but the most common is to identify winning hands, though some players may keep track of both.
Keeping score in baccarat is not illegal. As a matter of fact, most pay by mobile casinos provide players with scorecards and pens to help them keep score. They then have boards which display the results of different hands, which is where you can get your information for scorekeeping. These are called roadmaps, and they come in different patterns. Some of the popular roadmaps include:
- Bead plates - Shows each score of each hand, up to 60 hands.
- Big road - shows trends in changes to consecutive wins.
- Big eye - helps you spot trends in the shoe as a whole rather than a single hand.
- Small road - this method works exactly like the big eye, but it only starts recording after the first hand has been played.
- Cockroach pig - Works like a small road but skips two recording columns.
Is It Worth Keeping Score In Baccarat?
Perhaps, baccarat players genuinely believe that keeping score can be a helpful tool for their betting decisions, but still, it does not change the outcomes of the game. Therefore, your wins or losses are not affected by the scorekeeping.
So, is it worth it? The answer depends on your personal preference. If it makes your gaming experience better or more enjoyable, then you can keep at it as long as you understand that baccarat is a game of chance and no amount of scorekeeping can guarantee you will win.
In addition, some players see scorekeeping as a distraction and does not give them the opportunity to immerse themselves in the game entirely.
In conclusion, while baccarat scorekeeping does not do anything real, it is considered a tradition by many baccarat players.
But, ultimately, keeping a score in baccarat will not help you win more or lose less; the game is random and relies on chance. So, although you may win some and lose some, scorekeeping will not persuade the results in your favour.