Punto Banco Guide
Punto Banco is an American version of Baccarat and has grown in popularity since the 1950s. Here the dealer works with an eight deck of cards which makes it unique from other variants, which usually has six decks. The rules are simple to follow and wins happen purely by chance though certain useful strategies can be kept in mind.
The objective of the game remains the same as found in other baccarat games, such as Mini Baccarat. Here you will strive to get a score to 9 and as close as possible to that. You could assume the role of a player or a banker. You would be summing up the card values you hold in each hand.
You would be seated around an oval table. There would be a dealer or croupier beside the banker and the players. Once bets are placed the same cannot be changed during that round.
Punto Banco Rules
There are certain points to remember when playing Punto Banco:
- Card values are summed up as per the hand you are dealt;
- If the total of the card values exceed 9 the value is then reduced by removing the left digit; hence, if the card value sum is 12 then 1 is dropped and 2 becomes the value;
- Twelve players can participate in the game at a particular time;
- The casino takes on the banker role while the player is one who is the highest bidder;
- The player can bet on a tie between player and banker;
Playing the Game
When you have sat down for a session of Punto Banco it unfolds in the following way:
- The dealer gives out the cards and these are dealt and placed face down;
- After you turn over the cards caller counts points secured by the players;
- If you have obtained 8 or 9 points in this round you become the winner and no more cards will be dealt;
- If you get points between 0 to 5 then you are allowed to take another hit;
- If you get above 5 you need to stand;
Bets You can Place
The highest payout comes when you bet on a tie. If you bet that there will be a tie between the house and the banker then you stand to get a payout of 8:1. When you bet on player’s payout is 1:1 whereas betting on banker is reduced by 5% since the house stands to advantage in most cases.
Your main objective is to bet whose hand, whether that of the player or the banker, would come close to number 9. There are usually three bets available, that of the player, that of the banker and the tie between player and banker.
Strategies between Players and Banker
|Card Hand Values||Player and Banker Stance|
|Total of 8 or 9 in the first round||Cards are not dealt with players and the highest number holder wins|
|No one reaches a total of 8 or 9||Game continues|
|A score of 0 to 5 for players||They can draw another card|
|A score between 6 to 7||Players stand|
|A banker with a score of 0 to 2||Will draw a third card|
|A banker with a score of 3||Draws against players who have scores between 0 to 9|
Payments to Expect
Punto Banco is a baccarat variant that you will find lucrative to play. That is because the house advantage is lowest with banker paying 5% commission for all bets won.
When you are a player you will attract a house edge payment of 1.24% only. Betting on a tie attracts a house advantage that is high, 14.44%. You might refrain from betting on a tie since this outcome is a rarity though the payout is high.
Playing Punto Banco at a Casino
Most online casinos have rooms set aside for this variant of baccarat. You can try the live casino section at many sites. Here, you will enjoy an immersive playing experience with others around a virtual dealer table. Evolution Gaming and Microgaming are some of the major brands whose platforms offer this variant, as well as other baccarat versions in live-streaming format.