The name punto banco refers to the two opposing sides of the game; there is the player (punto) and the bank (banco). In brick and mortar casinos, punto banco was traditionally played on an oval casino table there were as many as 14 numbered seats and three dealers. When the casino room is small, the game will be played on tables the size of blackjack tables with one dealer. It is worth mentioning that punto banco is closely related to Baccarat which also has other variants like Baccarat en Banque and Chemin de fer.
The reason why this game has become popular is the fact that the game has good odds for its players. A lot of players avoid the game because it is liked by high roller players, but there is no reason to avoid the game. In this post, we will discuss reasons you need to love the game, understand it and learn how to make the edge be on your side.
How to Play Punto Banco
The reason you need to love this game is that it has a small house edge which makes it possible for the punters to double their money with ease. Playing the game is easy, all you have to do is choose whether you will bet on Banco or Punto. Both opponents will get two cards, at this point, rules are determining whether the dealer is required to draw more cards. The winner of the hand needs to have a hand with a value of nine or close to nine. There can be a draw, and this is the point where the casino gains its edge.
In this game, court cards do not have any value; aces are worth one and the rest of the cards retain their face values. The value of your hand will be arrived at by adding the value of the cards, and when you have a double-digit number, the last number acts as the real value of the hand. For instance, if your hand value is 17, your hand value will be taken as 7.
When it’s time to place a bet, you are supposed to place your chips in the designated areas which are banco, punto or tie. Two cards are dealt; one to the dealer and the other to the player’s hand. Each card issued will add a certain number of points to the hand. The best possible score for your hand should be 9 and the worst zero. The round will play depending on the status of the two hands when the player or banker manages to get an eight or nine after dealing two cards, then the hand will end, and no more cards will be dealt. When this does not happen, the tableau rules are followed to determine the winners. The first rule will be to deal another card if the hand value is five or less. When the value is six or more, they will stand.
When the player stands, the banker will follow this same rule; they get to deal another card when the value is five or less and will stand when the value is six or more. When a third card is dealt with the player, the banker will have some more rules to follow, and they will be based on the banker’s hand and the value of the third card given to the player.
These are the rules:
When the player draws a 2 or 3, the banker will draw with 4 or less.
When the player draws a 4 or 5, the banker will draw with 5 or less.
When the player draws a 6 or 7, the banker will draw with 6 or less.
When the player gets an 8, banco draws with 2 or less.
When punto gets a 0, 1 or 9, banco draws with 3 or less.
After all the drawing rules are adhered to, the final score of the two hands are compared, and the highest score wins. The winning hand bets are paid out, and the bets on the loser will be lost entirely. All the wins on the punto hand will be paid out in even money, and all banco bets are returned even money, and a 5% commission is deducted. The tie is referred to as the egalite, and when it happens, all the punto and banco push and will be given back to the bettors. There is the option to make a tie bet when the game begins, and this will pay out 8 to 1, but this is when the hand ends in a tie.
Punto Banco is one of the games that has attracted masses of players across the globe. This has prompted punters to come up with strategies for centuries. In this section, we will talk about some of the strategies that will lower the house edge for you.
Should I bet on the player, banker or tie?
Here, we look at the odds in punto banco. There is the tie bet which will rarely happen, and when it does, it will pay out handsomely. For the tie win the odds are 10.5-1 while the payout is 8 to 1. As for the banker and player, they have similar odds, but the payouts differ since the banker payout will be subjected to a 5% commission.
To get the best strategy in punto banco, you need to understand that if you do not bet on a tie and the hand’s tie, you are supposed to get your wager back. When calculating the house edge, it will be effective for you to disregard the tie bet. Without the commission, the probability of the banker being the winner is 1 in 2, and this is better compared to tossing a coin. When the vigorish is allowed, the banker bet is more than 1%. As for the player bet, it has a higher house edge which is about 1.25%, but in this, there is no vigorish which means nothing will be subtracted from your win. With such a small house edge, the banker bet is said to be the safest baccarat bet.
Don’t bet to lose
For some baccarat players, they will find betting on the banker as something abnormal; they see it as if they are betting against themselves. This is most of the time experienced by players who play blackjack as they are always doing their best to beat the banker.
What you need to know is that in baccarat, you are betting on the winning hand and you are not the one playing it.
Why the 1-3-2-6 system will not work
Some of the baccarat strategy sites will recommend this system. Some are selling it in the guise of an unbeatable baccarat system. This is a good system for Sic Bo and Roulette but will not work well with baccarat, and this is because of the 5% commission imposed on a banker bet. Sites that are recommending this system will claim that a losing fourth bet will make you even. This is not the case a losing fourth bet will lead to a loss of 0.3 units. This system will only apply to the player bet which does not have a vigorish. The player bet has a higher house edge, and this makes it less likely for you to bag a win.
Tips that will make you better at Punto Banco
Your objective in baccarat is simple; you place a bet based on whether the player or banker will get a hand with a higher value or whether the two will tie. Similar to other casino games, winning in punto banco will be purely on luck since the outcome has no influence from external factors. Since this is a game of luck, you need not have fancy strategies that you spend a lot of money on. You can make use of a couple of tips, and they will make better your odds of winning.
Track your scores
You will come across players who have spent a lot of their time on a baccarat table tracking their score with the belief that they will be able to predict their next outcome of the upcoming hands. There are punters who believe in this, but we consider this a waste of time and each winning is achieved independently and not influenced by previous results. Tracking your scores will not harm your gaming, but this will not work for you in the long run.
Bet on the banker
Placing a bet on the banker will give you one of the lowest house edges in the casino. This makes betting on the banker a good strategy. The banker bet has a house edge of 1.06% with the odds of winning being 45.9%. As for the player bet the house edge is 1.36% with the winning odds being 44.6%. When it comes to the tie bet, it has a house edge of 14.4% with the odds of winning being 9.5%.
Don’t go for the tie bets
As we have seen in the above paragraph, the tie bet has a house edge of 14.4% and the chances of winning stand at 9.5%. These states clear it clear that this is not a bet worth going for. Players who go for this bet are lured to it by the payout on the bet which is 9 to 1.
Other casinos to play Punto Banco
Abandon the game when you’re leading
This is baccarat’s golden rule, and this should be applied as much as possible so that you do not chase your losses. Baccarat will be lucrative if you have luck on your side; this same game can make you fall victim to placing bigger bets and being at risk of chasing your losses. To make sure that baccarat is entertaining and enjoyable for you, you need to set a limit before you start playing the game. Have a profit target that you are happy with and this will help you control your wagering habits.
Sign up for the right casino
You need to choose your casino wisely. Go for a casino that has low commissions on the game and one that makes use of a lower number of card decks. The casino you choose needs to be run by a reputable software company and will have a customer support team that is available around the clock. On our site, you will come across a comprehensive list of casinos you can enjoy baccarat. Read the reviews we have written, and you will be in for a great gaming experience.