Punto Banco – Online guide to this version of Baccarat

online baccarat guideIf you’re any kind of casino gambler worth your salt, you’ll be aware the majority of Baccarat played in casinos throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden, Australia and Macau is Punto Banco.

To say it’s the most popular form of the game would be true but also a massive understatement. Whenever you hear the word “Baccarat”, you are doubtlessly thinking of Baccarat, even if you don’t realise it. In other words, it is the definitive version of the game.

After originating in Italy and catching France by storm over 100 years ago, Baccarat has gone on to become one of the most widely played card games of all time. The rules are surprisingly easy to grasp but hard to do well.

Let’s take them on one-by-one.

Punto Banco: The Basics

As we’ve said, Baccarat is over a century old, beginning rather humbly in Italy before becoming much more popular among the French court. A lot of money was won and lost, and the game quickly evolved into the many variants we see today.

Here are a couple of examples of Baccarat variants aside from Punto Banco:

  • Chemin de Fer
  • Baccarat Banque
  • Macao

In every game of Punto Banco, you’re playing against the bank, not against other players. The aim is to obtain nine points overall. What’s the most fun about this is the sense of teamwork and comradery among players who participate. Solidarity is pretty unique for Punto Banco.

Punto Banco: Card Values

Punto Banco cards have quite a different value to other card games like Blackjack or Poker. The card values with what normally would be the highest are actually quite low and once you go over a certain number, things get a little complicated.

Here are the values of each card:

  • Zero points: All face cards and all cards with 10 value.
  • One point: All Aces
  • Face value: All cards with value of 2 to 9.

Punto Banco: Make A Bet

The aim is to bet on either the player or banker’s hand and to get as close to nine as possible. Any value that exceeds it will only have the last number count. So, if you have a number of twelve points, the one gets knocked off, meaning you only have two points.

Here are the three main ways you can make a bet:

  • Punto: payout equates to your bet.
  • Banco: payout equates to your bet unless banco wins with six points. In the latter, bets pay out a value of 2:1.
  • Equality: a very unlikely outcome where bets pay out at 8:1.

All croupiers in the game deal four cards, face up. Two cards are placed in the punto area, another two in the banco. Whoever gets the closest to nine points will win the round!