Punto Banco

Punto Banco is a popular game in all Holland Casino establishments. The rules seem complex but the game play, if you know the rules, is very simple.

In online casinos the game is still played under the old name Baccarat. Baccarat with a live dealer is particularly popular at online casinos.

Punto Banco Explanation

Punto Banco is a simple game that’s easy to learn. As the rules may vary from casino to casino we advise you to study the rules before playing.

In this way you can avoid unpleasant surprises during play and unnecessary loss of money. In general Punto Banco is played as follows, the main objective being to get as close to 9 as possible:

The game is played with 6 to 8 decks of playing cards, so with a total of 6 x 52 = 312 playing cards. Cards with numbers have the same values as the one shown on them, except for the card with the number 10. An Ace is worth 1 point and all the pictures and the ten are 0 points.

How do you play Punto Banco?

  • You choose a bet and place it on Banco (bank or dealer), Punto (player) or on Tie (draw also known as Egalité).
  • When you have placed your bet, Punto and Banco are both dealt two cards.
  • Now you are going to add up the points to see who can get closest to 9, they win. Only the last number counts. So if you have a 7 and an 8, which together have a value of 15, then you have 5 points (tens are dropped). In case you spin two pictures you will end up with 0 points.
  • It can happen that the Banco or Punto has made 8 or 9 points with these 2 cards: a so-called “natural”. No more cards are dealt.
  • When are more cards dealt?
    Before answering this question it is important to realize that there is a dealer who deals and knows all the rules exactly. The importance for you to know all the rules precisely is not very great because the course of the game is beyond the control of either you or the dealer.

    Punto actions:
    * Punto has 0 – 5 points and in this case receives a third card except when Banco has 8 or 9 points.
    * Punto has 6 or 7 points and receives no more cards. Banco gets another card if it has 5 or less points.
    * Punto has 8 or 9 points and in this case no more cards. Banco also does not get any more cards in this situation.

    Banco actions:
    * Banco has 0, 1, 2 points and in this case gets a third card except when Banco has 8 or 9 points.
    * Banco has 3 points and in this case receives a third card unless the third Punto card was an 8 or Punto has 8 or 9 points.
    * Banco has 4 points and receives a third card when Punto has had a third card and the value of this card has been 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7.
    * Banco has 5 points and receives a third card whenever Punto has had a third card and the value of this card has been 4, 5, 6, or 7.
    * Banco has 6 points and always passes when Punto has passed. Banco does take a card when Punto has had a third card and the value of that card is 6 or 7.
    * Banco has 7 points and always passes.
    * Banco has 8 or 9. Both Punto and Banco do not receive a card.

How are the payouts?

  • Punto wins:

    Your bet is doubled if you win. For example you bet €100 and get paid €200. The probability of Banco winning is 44.62% and the house edge is 1.24%.

  • Banco wins:

    Again, your bet is doubled and then 5% tax is deducted from your winnings. For example, if you bet €100 you get €100 (your stake) and €95 (€100 winnings less 5%), a total of €195 paid out. Despite this tax the house edge with Banco is only 1.06% and thus smaller than with Punto. This is because due to the rules, Banco is more likely to win.

  • Egalité (tie):

    If you bet on a tie then you win 8 times your stake. This seems nice but from a probability point of view it is an unfavorable bet. You have a 1 in 10 chance of winning a tie but you only get paid 8 times. This makes the house edge a whopping 14.36%! In casino terms, this is very high. Of course, you may bet on Equal if you like to take some risk, but it cannot be used in conjunction with a strategy and you are reducing your own chances of winning.

  • Sidebets:

    In addition to these three bets, at different casinos there are often sidebets such as betting on two of the same cards and what exact number of points Punto or Banco achieve during a game round. Payouts are commensurate with the risk and usually the house edge is very high.

Betting limits

If you are going to play with real money you must take into account the betting limits that are applied. These are different per casino and often per gaming table.

The minimum and maximum bets are clearly stated at the gaming table. Are you going to play against the software? Then the minimum bet is usually €0.10 at a regular table and at a high stakes Punto Banco variant bets start from €5.00. The maximum bets against the software are often between €100 and €500. Playing Punto Banco in the live casino means that the stakes can be slightly higher.

Myths and facts about Punto Banco

Like many other casino games, Punto Banco is the subject of myths. However, don’t let these myths guide you too much. They can easily influence your perceptions and choices in the game.

Myths are traditions that sometimes contain a grain of truth but are often exaggerated. Here are 5 myths about Punto Banco that you shouldn’t believe too much in.

Counting cards

Myth: Counting cards in Punto Banco is perhaps the most important myth of the game. It is believed that in Punto Banco, as in blackjack, you can easily count cards and influence the game in a positive way. This is assumed because Punto Banco and blackjack have some similarities in appearance.

Fact: Counting cards in Punto Banco is simply not possible. This is because played cards no longer return (directly) to the deck, so the whole strategy of counting cards in Punto Banco can be consigned to the waste garbage can. This also ensures that counting cards is not an option.

It’s hard to win

Myth: Punto Banco is one of those casino games where you have the least chance of winning. Certainly people who don’t know the game believe this myth, probably because Punto Banco is known as a game where you need a good bankroll.

Fact: Anyone can win at Punto Banco. Admittedly, it remains a game of chance and thus relies in part on the luck factor. In practice Punto Banco is also one of the games with the lowest house edge, only 1.06% to 1.24%. This is much lower than games like roulette (2.70% to 5.26%) and blackjack (between 1% and 5%). Hard to win at Punto Banco is thus a pure myth; don’t let it distract you.

Discovering patterns

Myth: Recognizing a ‘natural hand’ is possible, that is, you can tell when you are dealt a hand with two cards and a total value of 8 or 9. By recognizing this natural hand you can easily bet extra money and win more.

Fact: Punto Banco, like other casino games, is a game of chance. You don’t need to be a natural to do well at this game and recognizing patterns is not possible. You can of course just like in roulette or blackjack go with your gut feeling but it doesn’t give you more or less chance of winning.

Progressive betting

Myth: With a special strategy like Martingale you can hardly lose in Punto Banco. Within the Martingale strategy you start with a low bet and double your bet each round when you lose. Statistically, after x-number of rounds, you cannot lose.

Fact: While the Martingale strategy carries a certain amount of risk with all games, this is especially true with Punto Banco. Punto Banco is simply unsuitable for doubling systems, because the game is not based on ‘the possibility’ that something will happen again after so many rounds. Of course you can use strategies like Martingale, but you can never be sure. You also need to have a bankroll that says ‘yes’ to doubling, because doubling goes up very quickly after three or four rounds.

Tips for new players

1. Play for free and practice

Find a casino where you can practice for free and watch the games,

2. Play with money

If you intend to go for the win, you’ll have to gamble with real money. How can you play with money at a casino? It’s very simple. Go to a land based casino and buy chips

3. Do not play on a draw

The highest Punto Banco prize can be won if you place a bet on a draw. If you win this bet you will receive a payout of 8 times your stake.

However just like insurance in Blackjack it is not wise to place a bet on a tie. Although it can be the most profitable, the chance of a payout is the smallest of all. If you play 100 sessions you will find that most of the bets placed on Punto and Banco are won. Only a small proportion will be won on a draw, which indicates the risk of betting on a draw.

4. Take into account the house edge

Apart from the fact that betting on a tie can be dangerous, there is also the house edge. If you manage to win at Banco, there is a commission that has to be paid to the house.

This is called the house edge that is applied. Despite the fact that this 5% commission is taken on the winnings it is not at all a disadvantage to play Banco. Not at all if a round of play turns out to be several times profitable on this bet. Even though you pay commission, there is still a profit left over. The home advantage thanks to the commission is not 5%, because with other results no commission is earned. The home win percentage for Punto Banco is therefore set at 1.1% for a bet on Banco.

5. Finally. Don’t play above your limit!

Before you start playing Punto Banco, know what you have to spend and set a limit for winning or losing.

When you start winning it’s wise to cash out, no one has eternal luck on his or her side. Similarly, if you lose, it is wise to stop when your limit is reached. This will prevent feelings of revenge from causing you to withdraw more money and lose even more.

More about Punto Banco strategy

It is difficult to have a strategy for the game of Punto Banco. The game doesn’t lend itself to a pattern of expectation. By this we mean that you can’t predict what the next card will be.

In this respect Punto Banco is best played with strategies that also apply to roulette, despite the fact that both games are completely different. However, at the end of the day it’s still a game of chance and you can’t be sure of winning.

Martingale strategy

When we talk about the Martingale strategy, playing Punto Banco becomes a lot easier. You have to choose whether you want to gamble on Punto or Banco, taking into account that 5% commission on Banco.

Once a choice has been made, playing a bet according to this strategy is very simple. This is because with the Martingale strategy you always play with a basic bet. This can be €1, for example. Do you lose? Then you double your bet until you win. It is therefore possible that you successively gamble with, for example, €2, €4, €8 and €16 before you continue with the basic bet. An easy-to-apply strategy that is sure to win.

Fibonacci sequence

Have you chosen the Fibonacci strategy to increase your profits at Punto Banco? You’ll be using a series of numbers.

For example if you play with €1 as your base you can choose a sequence of 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8. The sequence you make indicates that the previous two numbers always form the new bet. As soon as you win, you step back in this sequence to a maximum of the base. If you lose, you move forward one step until you win and then you move back again. This Punto Banco strategy can ensure that if you lose more than once you can still make a profit.

Paroli strategy

The Paroli strategy is the opposite of the Martingale strategy. Still, this strategy is certainly interesting. If you apply the Paroli strategy you gamble with a fixed stake.

Suppose you do this with a base of €1, then two situations can arise. If you win, you double the bet to win one more time. When doubling, you can take more money in winnings, which is therefore beneficial to your balance. Keep in mind, however, that your chances of winning successively become smaller and smaller. We therefore recommend doubling up to 3 times in a row. In case of a loss you keep the basic bet. This will reduce your losses, which can soon be absorbed by a few consecutive wins.

Spot a pattern

Another option you have is to follow patterns during a gaming session. Do you not use statistics? Then write down how often the win is for Punto or Banco.

Also note whether or not a draw is common. After you have been playing for a while you can use the statistics you gather to judge your chances of winning a bet. The pattern spotting Punto Banco strategy is regularly used by many players to go for the win.

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Frequently Asked Questions

♥️ How do I win money with Punto Banco?

You win a hand at Punto Banco if you have made the correct prediction on the bank or player. You can also bet on a tie.

  • A winning bet on the player pays 1 to 1.
  • A winning bet on the banker pays 1 to 1 – 5% commission.
  • A bet on a tie pays 8 or 9 to 1 (depending on the casino).

♣️ Who wins or loses?

The player and bank both try to get as close as possible to a value of 9. In each round, it is possible for a tie to occur or for the player or bank to win, depending on who is closer to 9.

♦️ What is the difference between banco, punto and tie?

Banco means bank in Italian. Punto means player in Italian. Tie refers to a tie.

♠️ Is the outcome in Punto Banco random?

Yes, the outcome is random as it is in all card games.

♥️ Why do players bend cards?

Because Punto Banco has a rather dull gameplay, it is common in casinos to bend the cards. This slows down the showing of the results and builds up the tension more.

There is even a live Punto Banco version available where live dealers bend cards for you. This game is called Baccarat Live Squeeze.

♣️What about Live Punto Banco?

Punto Banco can also be played in a Live Casino setting where you can watch the dealer at work live via webcam and therefore follow the game in ‘real time’.

Live Casino Punto Banco is played in a real land casino and you can participate in the game from behind your own PC or Mac. Most casinos that offer live Punto Banco have several Punto Banco rooms where you can play. There’s always room for you.

What do we think of Punto Banco?

Actually we don’t think much of it. The game is completely directed by the rules and so as a player you don’t have to make any decisions after you have bet. Punto is pure gambling and more than once we have seen players win a fortune when they had a “good run”. That’s great to see and even better to see for yourself.

The fact remains that as a player you are quite passive and that is not our preference.