How to play Punto Banco
Punto Banco is a luck based game of baccarat popular with high rollers. It literally translates to ‘player-banker’ and the game involves placing a bet on whether the player (punto) or the banker (banco) will have the better hand, or whether the hands will tie. Given the simplicity of this format, most online baccarat games use punto banco rules.
Read on to find out how to play punto banco baccarat games, what punto banco games are available online and the best places to play for real money.
Best punto banco games online
Online casinos provide instant-play punto banco games which can be played directly over your web browser without the need for any additional downloads. Given the lenient wagering requirements offered by online casinos, baccarat is no longer reserved just for high rollers. The best baccarat games using punto banco rules you will find online are discussed below.
NetEnt Pro Series Punto Banco
The Punto Banco Pro Series from Net Entertainment is one of the slickest online games you’ll find using the traditional, straight-forward rules of punto banco. The Pro Series includes standard, low limit and high limit punto banco, with minimum bets to suit all bank rolls as follows:
Low Limit – $0.10 minimum bet / $10 maximum bet
Standard – $1.00 minimum bet / $100 maximum bet
High Limit – $10 minimum bet / $1000 maximum bet
NetEnt Punto Banco pays 9 to 1 for a correct bet on a tie and 2 to 1 for a correct bet on the punto or banco. A standard 5% commission is deducted on all banco wins.
The Net Entertainment Professional Series of Baccarat is essentially exactly the same as the punto banco series, except for the game table uses the English words player and banker in place of the Spanish punto and banco.
Both the Punto Banco and Baccarat Pro Series from NetEnt are highly recommended for online players in search of a sophisticated and enthralling casino game which comes with potentially high payouts and these get our vote for best baccarat games on the Web.
Microgaming has three versions of punto banco to choose from – Baccarat, Baccarat Gold and High Limit Baccarat. With a reputation as being the best casino software provider on the market, these quality games each provide a reliable platform to try your luck at online baccarat.
While Baccarat and High Limit Baccarat are both pretty standard versions of the game, Microgaming Baccarat Gold has a couple of fancy features that will appeal to those who like a few twists on classic gameplay. The gold series uses a much larger betting table, and even gives players the option of squeezing cards.
Microgaming baccarat games pay out 8 to 1 for a correct tie bet, and 1 to 1 for a correct bet on the player or the banker, less 5% commission on all winning banker bets.
When it comes to online punto banco baccarat, NetEnt and Microgaming are the go-to software providers for the highest quality games that play to classic punto banco rules. If you’re looking for something a little different, you can try Baccarat Star or Baccpro from AppleJack Gaming, both available at LeoVegas.com and offering a spin on punto banco rules.
How to play punto banco baccarat
Playing punto banco baccarat is easy and as a luck based game, it requires no particular skill to play. While there are some recommended strategies to employ, this game is as suited to newbies as it is to seasoned pros. Simply place your bet on which hand you think will win (player, banker or tie) and watch as the cards are dealt, with your fingers crossed for a nice win.
How to place bets online: To play online, head to one of our recommended real money casinos, load your chosen baccarat game and click the chip corresponding with your desired bet amount. You’ll then be required to place your chip on the betting table, on either player/punto, banker/banco, or tie to signify which hand you’re betting will win.
Click the deal button and the croupier will deal two cards to both player and banker. In punto banco baccarat, the winning hand is whichever has a value of nine points or comes closest to nine points. If your bet is on the correct hand, wins are automatically credited to your account.
Cards in punto banco baccarat are valued as follows:
- Ace = one point
- Two to nine = face value
- 10, J, Q, K = zero points
The highest a hand of cards can score is nine points. Any hand of 10 or more automatically becomes the value of the second digit, for example a hand with a value of 14 becomes four points.
Once the player and banker have received two cards, the rest of the game play depends on the value of their initial hands. If either hand (or both in the event of a tie) consists of eight or nine points, it’s considered a natural win and the game is over. If a natural win doesn’t occur, the following rules apply:
- If the players hand is valued at six or seven, the hand stands and no more cards are dealt
- If the players hand is valued at five or less, a third card is dealt to make up the final hand
- If the players hand stands with two cards, the banker plays as detailed above
- If the player is dealt a third card, the banker acts depending on the value of their two-card hand, as detailed below
Banker score of two or less = dealer always hits
Banker score of three = dealer stands against an eight, or otherwise hits
Banker score of four = dealer hits on two through seven, or otherwise stands
Banker score of five = dealer hits on four through seven, or otherwise stands
Banker score of six = dealer hits on six or seven, or otherwise stands
Banker score of seven = dealer always stands
The beauty of playing online is you don’t really need to know these rules to play, so if this seems like too much to remember then don’t worry and let the computer do the work for you. The only choice you need to make is whether to place your bet on the banker, player or tie.
The house edge when playing punto banco baccarat rules is different depending on which bet you’ve placed:
Player/punto bet = house edge of around 1.36%
Banker/banco bet = house edge of around 1.06%
Tie bet = house edge of around 14.4%
Player and banco bets typically pay one for one, with the house receiving a 5% commission on all winning banker bets.
As a luck based game, there’s not much strategy a player can employ when playing baccarat other than simply hoping for the best. Given the high house edge on the tie bet, it’s generally advised players avoid the tie bet entirely, as even though the wins are tempting, with only a 9.5% chance of winning the odds are well and truly against you.
Real money live dealer punto banco
Those wanting to enjoy the sophistication of playing punto banco in a real life casino without the effort and costs involved can opt to play live dealer punto banco baccarat at online casinos like Royal Vegas Casino, Guts, G’day Casino, Thrills and Leo Vegas.
Live dealer baccarat games are hosted by real human croupiers from real casino studios so you can enjoy the social aspects of playing against a person rather than a computer but still indulge in the comfort of playing at home. The top live dealer punto banco games include:
- Microgaming Live Dealer Baccarat
- Microgaming Live Dealer Playboy Baccarat
- Evolution Live Baccarat
- Evolution Live Baccarat Squeeze
- Ezugi Live Baccarat
- Extreme Gaming Live Dealer Baccarat
Live dealer games can’t be played in demo mode, so real money accounts are required to access these live dealer suites.