Punto Banco is a simple card game. It comes from the famous baccarat card game, also known as the « rich man’s card game », and is also the favorite game of James Bond.
There are two possible antagonists in Punto Banco. One of them is Punto (player or bettor), and the other – Banco (Banco – banker). In each hand, players can place a bet on any of them and, after a short game, find the winner.

PUNTO BANCO: Basic rules

Punto Banco can be played on both the dedicated baccarat table and the more compact blackjack table. In all cases, the table must be set up so that each player can bet on Banco, Punto and Tie.
The game uses 4 to 6 decks of 52 cards each. The pictures and 10 are equal to zero. The Ace counts for 1 point. The rest of the cards are according to the value indicated on them. Combinations of two or three cards (depending on the situation) are obtained by addition.
The point of playing punto banco is to score a number of points equal to 9 (nine) or as close as possible to that number. As in baccarat, when the total number of points on two cards is nine, then this combination is said to be « natural » and cannot be lost. Eight points from two cards – also called « natural », but lose at nine points. If the players have the same combinations, then it is a draw. The lowest score is 0. When the total of the cards is higher than ten, 10 must be deducted. For example, 4 + 8 = 2, not 12.

HOW PUNTO BANCO WORKS

At the beginning of the game, players place their bets on « punto » or « banco » and/or a draw. As soon as the bets are made, the dealer takes 4 cards out of his shoe and places them face up in front of him in the following order: 1st card for « punto », 2nd card for « banco », 3rd card – again for « punto », the fourth is for « banco ». The dealer plays with his voice – punto – banco, punto – banco. Hence, apparently, the name of the game. When all the cards are dealt, the dealer decides whether to take an extra card for « punto » (as opposed to baccarat, where the player himself holds the cards in his hands and thinks about whether to take or not, which considerably reduces the speed of the game). The dealer makes a decision according to a predetermined pattern:

  • 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 points – the third card is taken;
  • 6 and 7 points – the card is not taken;
  • 8 and 9 points – the card is not taken, the banker cannot take the card either.
  • After determining for the punto, the dealer decides whether or not to take a card for the « banco », according to the following diagram :
  • 0, 1, 2 – a card is always taken (except for 8 or 9 points for a punto);
  • 3 – is taken in all cases, except when the punto has the third extra punto card – 8;
  • 4 – is only taken when the third additional punto card 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or when the punto has not taken a card at all;
  • 5 – is only taken when the additional punto card is 4, 5, 6, 7 or when the punto has not taken a card at all;
  • 6 – taken only when the extra card is punto 6 or 7;
  • 7 – the extra card is not taken;
  • 8 and 9 points – no card is taken, punto cannot take a card either.

When the combination for the banco is also determined, the dealer announces who has won and pays the bets. Bets on punto are paid 1-to-1, on banko 19-to-20 (or 1-to-1, but a 5% commission is charged). The draw pays 8 to 1 and no bets are lost.

Punto Banco: Strategies

Punto Banco is a game where both beginners and experts have great chances to win. Most novices find it fairly easy to learn the game as most online casinos provide you with useful tips while you play. Once you understand the basics, setting up your own strategy will make the game fairly easy and enjoyable, and in no time at all, winning will become a routine. The basics of this game are that you must score as close as possible to the number 9. You have three options to bid; the banker, the player or the draw. Let’s take a look at some of the strategies you can use to ensure a win.

– To win, you need to understand how the game works. Most players are against betting on the banker because they see it as betting against themselves. However, you must remember that in Punto Banco, the winner is the person who bets on the winning hand and not the person who plays.
– It is often better to bet on the player or the banker. The odds are most often in favor of both with equal odds. Betting on a tie rarely results in a win. The most common winner is the banker because of the third card rule.
– Look for a pattern. Spotting a pattern is often useful for learning your opponent’s strategy. It will make it easier for you to effectively implement your winning strategy. You can spot a pattern by observing and recording your opponent’s gains and losses. This will allow you to adjust your strategy to fight them appropriately.
– It is important to note that no hand is a win or loss in this game. This ensures that the game retains some suspense and makes it all the more enjoyable.
– Bet on the hand that has previously won. Striations are common at Punto Banco and this strategy can increase your chances of winning.
– It is possible to reduce the house/bank advantage by looking for games with less vigor (casino commission). This will increase your winnings when betting on the banker.

Using the Punto banco strategy will make the game more fun and help you win. It’s easy to learn as long as you are interested. You can increase the excitement of playing the game by using betting systems. You can also take advantage of all the bonuses available to enhance your gaming experience. The more you play, the more expert you become. This is the main way to increase your chances of winning.