Learn Punto Banco: Comprehensive Rules & Strategies

Written by Richard Grant
Reviewed by Richard Grant

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.

The majority of casinos on the internet 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.

How to Play Punto Banco

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.

Punto Banco General Rules:

• 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.
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• 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.
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• If the banker has a total of 3, they will draw a 3rd card unless the player’s 3rd card was an 8.
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• 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.
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• 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.
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• 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.
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• 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.

Punto Banco Strategy

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
Bankers Total 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
7 S S S S S S S S S S
6 S S S S S S H H S S
5 S S S S H H H H S S
4 S S H H H H H H S S
3 H H H H H H H H S H
2 H H H H H H H H H H
1 H H H H H H H H H H
0 H H H H H H H H H H

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.

Punto Banco Odds

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 %
Tie 475,627,426,473,216 9.5156 %
Total 4,998,398,275,503,360 100 %

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 favoured towards the casino, we recommend playing it just as a bit of fun as opposed to trying to win money.

Punto Banco Tips

Bet the Banker – As with most other types of Baccarat, the Banker bet in Punto Banco Baccarat is the best one in terms of the 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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Editor
Richard has from an early age been interested in casinos and the thrill of playing casino games. After finishing his degree in Law and business he started this platform in 2007 as a complete resource to online gaming with the primary objective of reducing the house edge for players. Specializing in game guides, reviews, and strategic insights, Richard is devoted to helping you hit the jackpot.
Last Updated: Jun 13, 2024

FAQ

What is Punto Banco Baccarat?

Punto Banco is a very popular version of Baccarat. There are certain rules that separate the two, but the two are similar enough to where they are considered the same game by many experts.

Can I play Punto Banco if I already know the classic game?

Yes. Punto Banco largely follows the same rules as the classic game of Baccarat. So, you will have no problem getting the hang of Punto Banco if you have already mastered the game properly.

Where can I play Punto Banco for real money?

Punto Banco can be played at a number of brick and mortar gambling establishments around the world. However, most land-based casinos will likely feature the classic games. So, you might have better chances finding Punto Banco at one of the numerous online casinos around the internet.

How many decks is Punto Banco played with?

Punto Banco Baccarat is traditionally played with 8 decks, much like the original game. Sometimes, you will find places that use 6 or even less decks. However, the standard casino will likely feature the game with 8 standardized 52-card decks.

How do I win at Punto Banco Baccarat?

In order to win at Punto Banco Baccarat, you must be dealt cards with a score of an 8 or a 9 (or an 18 and a 19, where only the last number is counted).

What happens if nobody gets an 8 or a 9 in Punto Banco?

When the two initial cards are dealt, and nobody has a score of 8 or 9, a third card is dealt depending on the scores that each of the players (including the banker) has.

What happens if the Punto Banco banker gets a 7?

If the banker gets a 7, they must stand. At that point, no third card is drawn.

What happens if the Punto Banco player gets a 7?

If the player gets a 7, what happens next depends on the banker. If the banker has a 6 or 5, no third card is drawn, and the player wins. If the banker has less than a 5, then a third card is drawn.

Should I bet on the banker in Punto Banco Baccarat?

Yes. As with any other version of Baccarat, betting on the banker is always a smart idea. Most experienced gamblers will tell you the same thing. Following the banker’s bets is the safest way to wager. It is the gamble with the lowest house advantage, and the highest chances for a payout.

Should I avoid a tie in Punto Banco Baccarat?

Most players might be tempted by the tie, as it offers the best odds in the game. However, it is also the wager with the highest house advantage and lowest chances for a payout. If you are a high-stake, high-risk, high-reward gambler, go ahead and chase the tie. However, for those of you who don’t like to take too-big-a-risk, the tie should absolutely be avoided.

How many hands should I prep my bankroll for?

Prepare your bankroll for at least 40 hands of Punto Banco Baccarat. Once you’ve done so, divide your bankroll into smaller amounts, and assign each amount to a round. Do not exceed the assigned amount when betting during that round.

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