Punto Banco – Rules & Strategy
Punto Banco is one of the most popular variations of Baccarat as it is the most simple.
In this article, we’ll show you how to play Punto Banco, explain the rules and also the differences compared to other forms of Baccarat.
Baccarat is a general term for the game and when you choose to play it either in a land-based casino or online, you will be playing one of the games variations.
There are three main types of Baccarat which are:
- Punto Banco (North American Baccarat)
- Chemin de Fer
- Baccarat Banque (a deux tableaux)
Punto Banco Differences
The main difference between Punto Banco and other variations of Baccarat such as Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque is that in Punto Banco, players can bet on the Banker, the Player or a Tie whereas in the other two variations, players must always play the hand of the Player.
The rules of both Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque can vary depending on the casino that you’re playing in. However, the rules of Punto Banco generally remain the same across all casinos which is one reason why it is the most popular variation of the game to play.
Punto Banco Rules
The rules of the Punto Banco game are relatively simple.
The game is played either with 6 or 8 decks of cards in the shoe.
Tens and and cards with the value of ten (picture cards) count as nothing. Aces count as 1 and all other cards have their own value eg 4 hearts = 4, nine diamonds = 9 etc.
The casino is the dealer and before the cards are dealt, the player has the choice of betting on either of the following:
Once all bets have been placed, the dealer will draw four cards on the punto banco table. Two to the Player and two to the Banker.
The aim of Punto Banco baccarat is to have cards totalling 9. You will win the hand if your cards total nine, or are closest to nine compared to the other set.
After drawing the first set of two cards, should the total be double digits, the first digit is removed before the third card is drawn.
For example, if you bet on the Player and the first two cards drawn were a 6 and a 4 (10 total), your total before the third card is drawn would be 0.
Similarly, if a Queen & a Jack were drawn (20 total), your total before the third card is drawn would also be 0.
Here are some simplified rules for when a third card is drawn:
- If the Players cards total 6 or 7, they stand.
- If the Players cards total 8 (small natural) or 9 (big natural), bets on the Player win.
- If the Players cards total 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5, they are drawn a third card.
|Players Cards Total||Action|
|8-9||No more cards drawn|
- If the Bankers cards total 7, they stand.
- If the Bankers cards total 8 (small natural) or 9 (big natural), both the Player and the Banker stand.
- If the Bankers cards total 0, 1, 2 or 3, a third card is drawn no matter what the Player is holding.
- If the Bankers cards total 4, a third card is drawn if the Players’ total is 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7.
- If the Bankers cards total 5, a third card is drawn if the Players’ total is 4, 5, 6 or 7.
- If the Bankers cards total 6, a third card is drawn if the Players’ total is 6 or 7 and the Player has drawn a third card.
|Bankers Cards Total||Draws when giving||Stands when giving|
|8-9||No more cards drawn||No more cards drawn|
Punto Banco Payouts
The payouts are different depending on whether you bet on the Player, a Tie or the Banker.
- Bets on the Player (Punto) pay 1:1
- Bets on the Banker (Banco) pay 19:20
- Bets on the Tie (Egalite) pay 9:1
Bets on Banco incur a 5% commission which is why the payout is less than 1:1.
Punto Banco House Edge
The house edge when betting on the Bank in Punto Banco is 1.06%.
The house edge when betting on the Player in Punto Banco is 1.24%.
The house edge when betting on the Tie in Punto Banco is 4.84%.
As you can see, betting on the Tie is extremely bad value. It is often a popular bet due to the high payout should it win but the house edge is significantly higher compared to betting on either Punto or Banco.
Where To Play Punto Banco
Online Punto Banco is the most popular form of Baccarat and widely available at several casinos.
The punto banco casino sites that we have listed below are recommended by us and they all have several live and simulated Punto Banco online games available to choose from.
Click below on any of our recommended casinos to play punto banco online.