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Online Punto Banco basics

The Complete Guide to Punto Banco

Do not let the name confuse you. Another instance of Baccarat is the game Punto Banco which has Italian meaning -  "Player" (Punto) and "Bank" (Banco). There are two popular versions of the game. These are:

  • Punto Banco
  • Chemin de fer (commonly known as “Chemmy”)

Of these two, only Punto Banco can be played at online casinos. Chemmy is a game that requires players to compete against each other. Punto Banco requires only one player, who plays against the bank. The bank represents the house hand and is a virtual computer-generated player.

Online Punto Banco basics

Baccarat is treated as an exotic and complicated game, but in truth, it is one of the easiest table games to learn, and it has a low “house edge” to boot. You are far more likely to make wins playing this game rather than playing your favourite slot titles.

This guide is designed to walk you through the basics of Punto Banco.

History of Punto Banco

The modern game of Baccarat is derived from the classic Punto Banco and Chemin de fer game versions, which are traced back to 1490 when Italian Baccarat was introduced to France. It proved to be a very popular game amongst French nobility and soon wound its way through various destinations in the world. It landed in Vegas in 1959, where it quickly became an American table favourite.

Game Rules

Punto Banco is played with a 6 or 8 deck shoe. In the online version of the game, the dealer is virtual, and the cards are dealt automatically after you place your bets.

Prior to learning how to play the game, it is expedient that you learn the card values, as this game involves simple arithmetic based on the numbers presented:

  • 10’s or royal cards carry a value of “zero”.
  • Cards 2 to 9 maintain their face value.
  • An “Ace” carries a value of 1.
  • If you have two cards combining to provide a double-digit score, the last digit will determine the value. So, if you are dealt an 8 and a 5, the score is 13, but in Baccarat the value will be 3 for the hand.

Player or Banker?

  • The game consists of two principal bets – Player or Banker (hence the name Punto Banco), as well as a rare third stand-off or tie bet.
  • You will be able to bet on who you think will win the round between the banker or the player. You can also wager on the result of being a tie. The wager can be any amount between the minimum and maximum wagers stipulated at the table.
  • Two hands will be dealt, one for the banker and the other for the player.
  • The object of the game is to bet on which hand will get closest to 9. If either party is dealt an 8 or a 9 with the first two cards, this is called a natural. The hand will end immediately, with the party that received it winning.
  • If the player’s hand is 5 or less, they will receive another card. If they receive a value of 6 or more they will stand. The most you can be dealt is three cards per person.
  • The banker can then follow the same rule. If the player took a third card, the banker may opt to draw a third as well.
  • Once this “to and fro” is completed, the scores are compared and the value closest to 9 wins. Bets on the winning hand are paid out, and wagers placed on the losing hand are lost entirely.
  • If you bet for either the banker or the player and the game is a tie, the bets will be pushed back to the players. But if you bet on a tie then you will win 8:1.

Online Punto Banco basics

Best Bet

Although there are a number of side-bets available in this game, it is safer to stick to the two primary bets of “Player” or “Banker”. Try to avoid playing the Egalité/Tie bet, as the house edge is extremely high here, which means that your chance of winning it are slim.

The safest bet is always for the banker, who has a marginal edge over the player. Below is an indication of the house edge of each play:

  • Punto (Player) carries a 1.24% house edge.
  • Banco (Bank) carries a 1.06% house edge.
  • Egalité (Tie) carries a whopping 14% house edge.

Risky Side-Bets

Various versions of online Punto Banco may offer one or more of the common side-bets associated with the game. Below is a list of all of the wagers that can be made in conjunction with your primary bets so that you can extend your winnings.

  • Pairs: You will win this bet if either the banker or player lands a pair of any value in their hand.
  • Small/Big: You will win if you can guess the total number of cards that will be used in a single hand. The small bet encompasses a total of 4 cards dealt between the player and bank together. The “Big Bet” incorporates 5 or 6 cards being dealt in a combined hand.
  • Dragon Bonus: Can bet on whose hand will be higher. The payout is calculated on the value difference between the two hands.
  • Sum Bonus: This bet wins when the combined value of the banker’s and player’s cards are either below 5 or exceed 14.
  • Tie Bonus: This will pay out in the event of a tie or a 1 point difference between parties.
  • Egalité Bonus: This side bet must be placed in conjunction with a tie bet. You will need to predict the exact number of cards used between parties in the hand. This gives the best payout in the game of 220:1.

Tips and Tricks for Success

The best tip that can be given to anyone when playing any form of the game is to make sure that you understand the rules and gameplay before staking hefty wagers on it.

A good place to familiarise yourself with a game is at a free play online casino where you can play with free cash. Be sure to exploit the free games for all that they are worth. Play side bets, experiment with the bankroll and keep track of wins.

You must realise that this game is based purely on the luck of the drawer. There is no way to predetermine who will win the hand, therefore the outcome is based on your lucky guess.

Taking advantage of one of the latest table games bonuses could help you to start with your journey and bring you only positives in your experience.

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