Punto Banco is the most popular Baccarat game around the world. Whether it is Las Vegas, Macau, London, Monte Carlo or online, there is always a Punto Banco table.
The version of this table game that took the name Punto Banco originated from George Raft’s Capri Casino in Havana.
Then Tommy Renzoni brought this game to Las Vegas in the late ’50s where it saw a massive success straight away.
Today most casino players refer to Punto Banco simply as Baccarat.
This is because most baccarat games are based on the punto banco baccarat version. The other two versions of baccarat Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque are not as popular and this is why we don’t find them as often in online casinos or land-based casinos.
How to Play Punto Banco
Punto Banco is a very simple card game. Unlikely the other two versions where players bet against each other, this is a game that the player competes against the dealer.
This is where the name derives from as well. Punto means Player and Banco means Bank (referring to the dealer).
The game is usually played with six or eight decks of cards.
The aim of the game is to get card values of 9 or close to 9 and compare your hand with the dealer’s hand. This is how easy you can play Punto Banco!
There are 3 designated betting positions on the table for bets on the Punto (Player), the Banco (Bank) and the Tie.
In land-based casinos, there are 12-14 seats on a table and sometimes even less if it is a mini-baccarat table. However, when you play online there are some tables with unlimited seats so you can play at any time.
Live Punto Banco Baccacrat
As this version of Baccarat is a version that you play against the dealer it is the ideal game to play in live casinos. This is why all the major live casino games providers like Evolution and Playtech have live Punto Banco tables and this is why every online casino has a few live baccarat tables with various betting limits and also different variations.
When you play live dealer Baccarat you just bet on one of the 3 possible outcomes:
- Banker Wins
- Player Wins
Here is the step by step procedure:
- The cards are dealt
- The dealer will deal two cards to both the Player and the Banker position. If required the dealer will deal a third card.
- Whichever position has a winning hand wins! If the banker’s hand is better than the player’s hand then Banker wins and vice versa. Or there is a Tie of course if both hands have cards that are the same value.
As you play with six or eight-deck cards it is very difficult to predict the outcome of the player or the banker card especially if you have to take a third card. You place your bet before the cards are dealt anyway so your hand is already determined and you cant take any further action.
Punto Banco Casinos
As we have already mentioned every online casino table for this game. The most popular ones are the ones with live dealers which you can find in the live casino section of any online casino.
Today we can find a few different variations of live baccarat like Baccarat Squeeze, Dragon Tiger, Lightning Baccarat and many more. These might be different variations of the game but are all based on punto banco.
*All the online casinos that we are recommending on our page are licenced and regulated by the UK gambling commission.
Like in any of the other baccarat versions, 10s, Jacks, Queens and Kings have zero value in Punto Banco while Aces worth one point. The rest of the cards have the same points as their face value. If the total value of a hand is 10 or over then 10 is subtracted. For example, if you have a total of 16 then this is actually a 6.
Odds, House Edge and Commission
At most casinos, there is a 5% commission that is applied to your bets. The baccarat commission only applies to bets on the banker’s hand. There are also some baccarat tables that have no commission but then some of the odds are also changing so you need to make sure you are comfortable with that. Player Win pays 1:1 or even-money, a Banker Win pays 1:1, minus a 5% commission and a Tie pays out usually 8:1.
A lot of casino players compare this game with Blackjack because both are card games, both have to do with card values and both are played against the dealer. However, there are significant differences between the two games. For example, the player has a choice whether to hit or stand in blackjack, which is not the case in baccarat.
The house edge for Baccarat is 1.06% when you bet on the Player which is great.