Punto Banco

Punto Banco is a type of Baccarat that’s especially popular in North America. In Europe, other types of Baccarat (baccarat chemin de fer och baccarat banque / baccarat à deux tableaux) are more common although Punto Banco can be seen in casinos as well. Online, a long row of different gambling sites offer Punto Banco so if you want to learn how to play Punto Panco you have ample opportunity to do so in a stress free environment where there will be no other, more experienced players rushing the game.

How to play Punto Banco – summary

Punto Banco is a card game where you play against the house, not against other players. Normally, six or eight decks of cards are used. The decks are ordinary 52-card decks (French decks).

As a player, you have three different betting options.

  • Betting on the player (punto)

  • Betting on the dealer (banco)

  • Betting on tie (egalité)

A punto banco hand consists of two or three cards, and the aim is to get nine points. The closer a hand is to nine points, the better it is.

Card values in Punto Banco

Ace – 1 point

King – 0 points

Queen – 0 points

Jack – 0 points

Ten – 0 points

9 – 9 points

8 – 8 points

7 – 7 points

6 – 6 points

5 – 5 points

4 – 4 points

3 – 3 points

2 – 2 points

The suits are of no importance when playing Punto Banco

How to calculate hand value in Punto Banco

You calculate the hand value by adding the point value of the two or three cards included in the hand. If the sum is double digit you remove the first digit. A hand comprised of two sevens is thus worth four points, because 7 + 7 = 14 and when you remove the first digit you get 4.

How to play Punto Banco

To begin with, Punto (the player) and Banco (the dealer) receives 2 cards each. A third card will be handed out in the following situations.

  • Punto gets a card if the sum of Punto’s hand is 0-5 while Banco does not have 8 or 9.

  • Banco gets a card if

    – The sum of Banco’s hand is 0-2 while Punto does not have 8 or 9.

    – The sum of Banco’s hand is 3 while Punto’s third card isn’t 8.

    – The sum of Banco’s hand is 4 while Punto’s third card is 2-7.

    – The sum of Banco’s hand is 5 while Punto’s third card is 4-7.

    – The sum of Banco’s hand is 6 while Punto’s third card is 6-7.

If the initial two cards form a hand worth 8 or 9, this is called a natural punto (for Punto) or natural banco (for Banco).

How to play Punto Banco strategically

Punto Banco is strictly a game of chance, unlike the two other types of baccarat where the player gets to make choices that can affect the outcome of the game. It is therefore not possible to increase your chances of winning by employing any particular strategy when playing Punto Banco. The house edge does however vary drastically between the three different betting options, so the best strategy for Punto Banco is to stick to the betting option that offers the lowest house edge.

Bet

Probability

Payout

House Edge

Banco to win

0,458653

95% of wager

1.06%

Punto to win

0,446279

100% of wager

1.24%

Egalité

0,095069

8 x wager (9 x wager in some casinos)

14.44%

If you want to learn how to play Punto Banco, one of the most important pieces of information to remember is to put your money on Banco and stay away from Egalité.