Punto Banco

Punto Banco is a popular variation of the classic casino card game Baccarat. It is often simply referred to as Baccarat in many casinos around the world, particularly in North America and the UK. Punto Banco is a game of chance, with the outcomes heavily reliant on the cards dealt, and it requires no skill or strategy from the players.

  1. Gameplay Basics: The game is played with multiple standard decks of cards, typically six or eight shuffled together. The main objective in Punto Banco is to bet on which of two hands – the “Punto” (Player) or the “Banco” (Banker) – will have a total closest to 9, or whether the hands will tie.
  2. Card Values: In Punto Banco, cards have specific point values. Aces are worth one point, cards 2 through 9 are worth their face value, and tens, jacks, queens, and kings have no point value (zero points).
  3. Dealing the Cards: Two hands of two cards each are dealt from a shoe. One hand is dealt for the Punto and one for the Banco. In some situations, a third card may be dealt to either or both hands based on the game’s rules.
  4. Third Card Rules: The rules for drawing a third card are fixed and automatic. They depend on the point totals of the first two cards in the Punto and Banco hands. Players do not make decisions regarding the drawing of additional cards.
  5. Winning Hand: The hand with the total closest to 9 wins. If the totals are the same, the hand is a tie. The maximum total value for a hand is 9; if the total exceeds 9, the value returns to 0 (e.g., a hand totaling 15 is counted as 5).
  6. Betting Options: Players can bet on the Punto, the Banco, or a Tie. Betting on the Banco usually includes a commission (commonly 5%) paid to the house, as statistically, the Banco has a slightly higher chance of winning.
  7. House Edge: Punto Banco has one of the lowest house edges among casino table games. Betting on the Banco has a lower house edge than betting on the Punto, while betting on a Tie has a significantly higher house edge.
  8. Popularity and Accessibility: Punto Banco is popular in casinos worldwide due to its simplicity and the low house edge. The game is particularly favored by high rollers but is accessible to all types of players due to its straightforward rules and easy-to-understand gameplay.