Overview of Punto Banco: Most Common Baccarat Variation

2021-10-06

Punto Banco is a common variation of baccarat in the USA, UK, and Australian casinos. The game was first played in Argentina before its entrance into the US in the 1950s. Technological developments have seen software developers made an online version of the game. Today, you can play live Punto Banco in many USA virtual casinos. One of the reasons the game attracts gamers is the ease of learning the moves. Read about the basic Punto Banco moves, rules, and beginner tips to help you master the game.

Overview of Punto Banco: Most Common Baccarat Variation

Gameplay Description

Similar to baccarat, punto banco players bet against the house. As such, the game is very different from poker, where players bet against each other. The Banker represents the house hence the name “banco,” and “punto” refers to the players.

The winner in punto banco is the first to draw cards worth nine or closest to nine without bursting.

Online Punto Banco

The live version of Punto Banco is very similar to playing the game at a physical casino. All bets are the same. In addition, the banker shuffles, cut the cards, and deals in real-time. Live casinos add a social aspect to the game through the live chat button, HD-Cameras with different angles for viewing, and realistic sound effects.

Online Punto Banco allows players to test their skills in demo mode. There, you can play with no deposit and switch to real-money wagers when you feel confident enough. Furthermore, players can seek help from customer care or the Banker in case they encounter any issues.

Card Ranking in Punto Banko

Aces in Punto Banko have a value of one. The King, Queen, and Jack have no value. All the other numbered cards have the value that is stamped on the front face.

Calculating the Hand Value in Punto Banco

To get the value of each hand, add up the value of the first two cards. According to the rules, no hand may have a value greater than ten. Therefore, if the sum of the two cards is more than 10, subtract ten from the sum to get the actual value.

Basic Rules and Additional Cards

Here are the rules for both sides. You will note that in some circumstances, the Player or the Banker is allowed to draw an extra card:

Rules that Apply to the Player

  • When the Player has a hand whose total value is less than five, they draw a third card.
  • When the hand has a total value of six or seven, the Player must stand
  • When the value of the hand is a small natural (eight) or big natural(nine), the Player wins

Rules that Apply to the Banker

  • If the Banker’s hand totals zero to three, a third card is drawn regardless of the Player’s hand.
  • If the total of the Banker’s hand is four, a third card is drawn if the Player’s hand is two to seven.
  • If the Banker has a five, a card is drawn, and the value of the Player’s hand is four to seven.
  • A Banker's hand that totals six and a Player’s hand that is six or seven allows for a third card to be drawn if the Player has already drawn a third card and the total has been made with all three cards.
  • The Banker must stand if the hand is seven.
  • A value of eight or nine means that both the Banker and the Player stand.

Punto Banco Payout

At the end of the game, a winner is picked. Here is the payout ratio for each possible outcome:

  • Punto bets pay 1:1
  • Banco bets pay 19:20
  • Egalite bets pay 8:1

A Few Things to Note

The house takes a 5% commission from the banco bet before paying winners in each round. In case of a tie, only players who placed the egalite bet get paid. That is not to say the banco and punto bets are lost. Instead, the players get a chance to change their bets, withdraw, or use them for the next round.

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