A Guide to the Top Punto Banco Baccarat Online Casinos
Punto Banco baccarat is a game derived from French nobility, which nowadays is enjoyed by many from all walks of life. Read below for the best tips on how to play Punto Banco at your favourite online casino.
Punto Banco Baccarat – A Latin Take on the Noble Game
From the palaces of Renaissance Italy to the casinos all over the world, Punto Banco baccarat has come a long way. Best of all, the top online casinos now boast at least one form of Punto Banco. Wherever you find a good selection of table games such as roulette or blackjack, Punto Banco baccarat won’t be far behind.
You won’t have to break the bank to play at a Punto Banco casino, either. All of our top-rated casinos offer table games starting at just £1 a hand. You can even try out Baccarat Punto Banco for free before playing for real money.
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The Origins of Punto Banco
As with all casino games, the exact history of Punto Banco has been muddied over time. What we do know is that the game was played in some form in Italy around the 15th century.
A gambler called Felix Falguiere devised a card game where certain cards were assigned a zero value. The word for ‘zero’ – ‘baccara’ – was expanded to become ‘baccarat’ when the game became popular in France.
Over the centuries, simpler versions of the game became popular. By the time baccarat had reached the USA and Cuba, it had morphed into Punto Banco, and later Chemin de Fer in Latin America. While these games are similar to the original baccarat, there are one or two subtle differences.
How to Play Punto Banco
Punto Banco's rules are easy to pick up. You won’t have any problems finding games at casinos licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, and you'll even be able to play games such as live dealer baccarat against a human croupier.
Typically, casino Punto Banco is played with a shoe containing 6–8 decks of standard cards. Aces count as 1, while the cards 2–9 are worth their face value. Picture cards and tens are worth 0.
Dealing the Cards
In a Punto Banco game, four cards are dealt: two each to the banker and player. In a land-based casino, the dealer would assume the role of banker, with gamblers taking it in turns to be the player. The aim is to have a total of two cards as close to 9 as possible.
You can bet on a series of outcomes in a standard Punto Banco game. The online Punto Banco table features betting areas onto which you simply click and drop chips. The Banker pays 1/1 minus a small 5% commission for the casino. Some games, such as NetEnt’s Punto Banco, offer 9/1 on the tie bet.
Most online Punto Banco casino games, such as the one from Red Tiger, also feature additional side bets:
Third Card Rule
It’s important to understand the Punto Banco drawing rules. In some cases, the Player or Banker may hit a “natural”, that is, a starting hand totalling 9. However, the Player or Banker may receive an additional card based on the previous cards dealt.
Player Rule: Player receives a third card if their total is 5 or lower.
Banker Rule: Banker receives a third card if their total is 5 or lower and the player hasn’t received a third card.
They will also ‘stand’ (receive no more cards) on 6 or higher.
Banker Total 3: Banker draws a card unless the player has 8.
Banker Total 4: Banker draws a card unless player’s third card is 0, 1, 8 or 9.
Banker Total 5: Banker draws a card if player’s third card is 4, 5, 6 or 7.
Banker Total 6: Banker draws a card if player’s third card is 6 or 7.
Punto Banco Baccarat – Odds, RTP & More
A standard Punto Banco casino game is easy to play and bet on. Nevertheless, we’ve compiled some useful tips below:
- The third card rule comes into play based on the cards on show, so you won’t need to do a thing.
- Of course, you’ll need to make the right bets, and that means understanding the house edge. By far the best bet to make in Punto Banco baccarat is the Banker.
- At 1.08%, the Banker bet offers the lowest house edge. In comparison, the Player bet carries a house edge of 1.23%. The difference is that the Banker has a few more moves based on what the Player’s total is.
- Of course, you have to factor in the 5% casino commission, but over the long term, the Banker is always best.
- Always avoid the Tie bet. This is a wager on the Player and Banker having the same total. However, the Tie bet only pays 8/1 versus a house edge of 14.61%. It’s a no-brainer to leave this bet alone.
- Similarly, try to avoid the exotic pair bets. While they pay 11/1, the Punto Banco house edge is just shy of 12% for either outcome.
Reading the Roadmap
A standard online Punto Banco casino game also lets you track previous results at the table. While computerised random number generators mean every hand is totally independent, the roadmap still offers a guide to which hand (the Player or Banker) is winning the most.
- Bead Plate: The Bead Plate shows the most recent results, displaying P (Player), B (Banker), or T (Tie).
- Big Road/Small Road: The Big Road and Small Road show a much wider sample of hands. Results are displayed in columns, with a new column started whenever the winner changes.
- Big Eye Boy: The Big Eye Boy is used to denote specific patterns in results. For example, red circles are used to indicate a repeated trend.
Pros and Cons of Playing Punto Banco Baccarat
Now you know how to play Punto Banco, here are some of the main pros and cons to give you a fully rounded idea of the game itself. Don’t forget to look out for and claim a casino bonus or a live casino bonus that you can clear while playing!
- Easy to learn and play
- Low house edge on the Banker bet
- Play live dealer Punto Banco against a human croupier
- Provided by leading software developers such as NetEnt and Red Tiger
- Choose stakes starting at just £1.00 a hand
- House edge can be large on some bets such as the Tie
- Not widely available at UK online casinos
Other Versions of Baccarat
Punto Banco baccarat isn’t the only one of its kind. While the rules are generally the same, there are one or two intriguing rule variations to be aware of.
As you may have guessed from the name, Macau Baccarat takes inspiration from the Asian city of Macau. Note that it has different rules than Punto Banco baccarat, as it is player-to-player without much dealer involvement.
Chemin de Fer
Chemin de Fer (‘Chemmy’) is played mainly in the casinos of Latin America. The rules are similar to the original baccarat and Punto Banco in that picture cards and tens are worth zero. However, up to 12 players compete against each other rather than bet on the Player or Banker.
This online baccarat variant is aimed at high rollers and features only 3 decks. The Banker position goes to whichever player stakes the most, and they can remain as Banker until another player outbids them. Furthermore, two Player hands are dealt instead of the standard one in Punto Banco or Baccarat.
Summary of Punto Banco Baccarat
Punto Banco baccarat is simple to learn and even easier to play. The house edge is low if you get your bets right, and you can use your gaming sessions to clear a welcome bonus. Sign up at the casino of your choice and start playing!
Punto Banco FAQs
You’ll find great Punto Banco baccarat games to play at the best online casinos, such as those we have listed at the beginning of this article. You can also take on a human dealer at the best live casinos.
Yes! You can play at licensed online casinos as long as you are 18 or over. You can even clear a casino welcome bonus by playing online Punto Banco games.
Of course! Download a native mobile casino app and play the best Punto Banco live casino games or play against the computer.
Yes. Stakes for online Punto Banco baccarat generally range from £1–£5,000, but different developers offer different betting limits.