There are 2 versions of Punto Banco Baccarat, one with a large table that can seat up to 14 players all playing against the banker, and a small version where there is just 1 player at a time.
In our Punto Banco how to play article, we will explain the following. You may click on any of the links below to bring you to that point within the article.
The majority of online sites have the smaller version, in both cases, it is 1 player against the banker and even if there are other players at the table you don’t need to worry about what they get.
An example of a table layout for Punto Banco Baccarat is shown above.
Punto Banco Rules
As in all versions of Baccarat, Aces are worth 1 point, a 10 and all face cards 0 points and all numerical cards equal their face value. The aim of the game is to score as high as possible up to a maximum of nine. It is worth remembering that in Baccarat, only the last digit of the total counts, therefore if your cards add up to 17, the value of the hand is 7.
The game is played with either 6 or 8 decks of cards depending on the casino where you are playing, and the suits don’t make a difference to the outcome.
Your main decisions are how much to bet and whether to bet on who will get the highest total – the player, banker or whether their scores will be tied.
Once bets have been placed, 2 cards are dealt face up to the player and to the banker. If either has a score of 8 or 9 – or 18 or 19 s only the last digit counts – then the game ends here and winnings paid.
If neither the player or banker has an 8 or a 9, a 3rd card can be dealt depending on what each has.
As a general rule:
- If the player has a 6 or a 7, the banker will draw a 3rd card if they have a total of between 0 and 5.
- If the player has a total of between 0 and 5, they will draw a 3rd card.
If the player draws a 3rd card, the banker may also draw a 3rd card according to the rules below:
- If the banker has a total of 0, 1 or 2 they will always draw a 3rd card.
- If the banker has a total of 3, they will draw a 3rd card unless the player’s 3rd card was an 8.
- If the banker has a total of 4, they will draw a 3rd card unless the player’s 3rd card was either a 0, 1, 8 or 9.
- If the banker has a total of 5, they will draw a 3rd card unless the player’s 3rd card was either a 4, 5, 6 or 7.
- If the banker has a total of 6, they will draw a 3rd card unless the player’s 3rd card was either a 6 or 7.
- If the banker has a total of 7, the banker will always stand and no 3rd card is drawn.
Once the above has been completed, the winner of the hand is announced, whoever has the highest total is the winner and bets paid out on anyone who bet on them. If the scores are level, bets are paid on the tie.
Strategy Punto Banco
It isn’t necessary to remember all the above requirements as the casino will automatically deal hands, it is useful however to remember it and a handy little table is shown below with details on when the banker needs the 3rd card:
|3rd Player card|
S = Banker Stands H = Banker Hits
In terms of payouts, if you bet on the player and they have the highest score, you win your bet at odds of 1 to 1. So a £10 bet sees you return £20.
If you bet on the banker and they have the highest score, you win your bet at odds of 1 to 1 but pay a 5% commission to the house. Therefore, a £10 bet sees you return £19.50.
If you bet on the tie and the scores are level, you win the bet at odds of either 8 to 1 or 9 to 1 depending on the casino. Therefore, your return from a £10 bet will be either £90 or £100.
Despite the higher odds for a tie, the likelihood is less than 1 in 10 and therefore represents the worst bet of the 3.
The chances of each bet coming in on Punto Banco Baccarat are shown in the table below:
|Result||No. of Combinations||Probability|
|Banker Win||2,292,252,566,437,888||45.8597 %|
|Player Win||2,230,518,282,592,256||44.6247 %|
As you can see from the above table, the most likely outcome is the banker to win, however with the 5% charged by the casino on this bet, in the long term the best option will be to bet on the player.
As Punto Banco Baccarat is a pure game of chance and no skill is involved and each bet is favored towards the casino, we recommend playing it just as a bit of fun as opposed to trying to win money.
Bet the Banker – As with most other types of Baccarat, the Banker bet in Punto Banco Baccarat is the best one in terms of house edge, even with the commission factored in. Therefore, the majority of your bets should be on this, some players always bet the Banker until it loses, wait for 1 round and then start again hoping for a winning streak.
Avoid the Tie – Although the Tie offers the best odds by far, this bet also has the highest house edge and should be avoided at all costs – in the long run, you will lose more than if you bet on the Banker and/or Player.
Control you bankroll – As in any game at a casino, when you start a session of Punto Banco Baccarat, ensure you have a bankroll that will last at least 40 or so hands to ensure you maximize your chances of winning the session and enjoying it at the same time.
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