Free Punto Banco Casino Game

Strategy & Odds for Punto Banco
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Free to play punto banco casino games

If you find yourself in land-based casinos frequently, it’s likely you’ve seen people playing Baccarat, or it’s close relative Punto Banco. Today, we’re going to be dealing with the latter, but if you’ve already mastered the game of Baccarat, Punto Banco should be a breeze to pick up, because it’s basically no different.

Without further ado, here is your initiation and basic play guide to the casino table game called Punto Banco.

How to Play the Game

In most land-based casinos, a Punto Banco set up is similar to Baccarat. A large table, usually able to seat 14 players is serviced by three dealers. Digital Punto Banco is a bit different. In theory, the table has 5 different areas where different players could place separate bets, but because the game pits a single player against a single dealer, these spaces are just for show (i.e. you could place bets on any of 5 ‘punto’ spaces but it all counts as one bet for the player).

The spaces are labeled ‘punto’ (player), ‘banco’ (dealer/banker) and egalité, which is a tie. Betting is limited from a minimum of 5.00 credits to 500.00 credits per table. You could, in theory, place bets for all three outcomes at once, but since they are mutually exclusive, this would not be a wise strategy.

The Rules of Punto Banco

Once you place your bets, you just watch the action. The rules are difficult to remember, but once you have them down, the game is quite simple.

  • The objective for both the player and the dealer is to get a hand with a value as close to 9 as possible, higher or lower.

The following rules come into play only after each player has been dealt two cards:

  • If the player’s hand equals 0-5 a third card is dealt
  • If the player’s hand equals 6 or 7 the hand stands as dealt
  • If the banker’s hand equals 0-3 a third card is dealt
  • If the player’s hand is 2 to 7 and the banker’s hand equals 4 another card is dealt to the banker
  • If the player’s hand is 4 to 7 and the banker’s hand equals 5 another card is dealt to the banker
  • If the player has a 3-card hand equal to 6 or 7 and the banker’s hand equals 6 another card is dealt to the banker
  • If the banker or the player have an 8 or 9, no more cards are dealt. This is what’s called a “natural” and whoever has it wins.

Punto Banco Outcomes

Notice that the rules seem to favor the banker more than the player? This follows the unwritten rule of casino table games that says games must always favor the house in the long run. Punto Banco and games like it are unique, though, in that you may bet on the banker. This may seem like an advantageous strategy, except that bank wins take a commission of your wager. Here are the odds on various outcomes in Punto Banco:

  • Player wins: 1 to 1 odds (you win double your wager)
  • Banker wins: 19 to 20 odds (you win double your wager minus 5%)
  • Tie: Tie bets pay out 8 to 1 because this outcome is rare

The Bottom Line: Punto Banco

Because of the popularity of Baccarat in modern casinos, Punto Banco is not seen much on casino floors, leaving you with two options: play Punto Banco in the comfort of your own home or settle for a different version of the same game.

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