Learn how to Play Punto Banco
Objective of the Game
Punto Banco is one of the most popular casino table games both live and online, simply because it offers a very small house edge, providing players with a high chance of doubling their money very easily. Punto Banco is very simply to play, as the player simply needs to choose whether to bet on Punto (Player) or Banco (bank).
Both Punto and Banco are dealt a minimum of two cards each and from there, there are rules towards if the dealer needs to draw more cards towards one of the two. The winner of the hand is determined by which of the two that reaches nine or the number closest to nine. There is a also the possibility of a draw, which is where the casino gains its edge, but the chance of a draw is very small.
Only the players seated a table in real casinos are allowed to place bets, while online you will be able to place bets whenever you are inside a Punto Banco game. You will then place a bet on either Punto or Banco to win the game and once all bets has been placed, the game will begin. Players can also place a bet on draw, but very few does this, as it is a rare occurrence due to the casino using eight decks of cards in the game.
The dealer will then deal two cards face up to both the Punto and to the Banco and will accordingly with the rules either deal one more card or leave it as it is. The total value of the cards are then calculated and the side closest to nine will then win and the players are paid out. A very simple game to understand, as soon as you know what the card values are. In the next section you can get to understand how the values of each card is determined.
Let's have a look at the card values, so you easier understand exactly what each card is worth when the dealer begins to turn them around:
- 10's, Jacks, Queens and Kings counts as 0
- 2-9 counts as its natural value
- Aces counts as 1
Now you are probably wondering how the game can only count to nine, since both Punto and Banco are dealt two cards, which easily can provide values over nine. In the next section we will write about the rules and we promise everything will make a little more sense for you.
The most important rule to understand in Punto Banco is the rule where everything that goes over nine starts back from zero. This means that if the dealer deals Punto two eights, then the value is not 16 but instead only six and so forth. With this in mind, there are different rules for when Punto and Banco have to hit another card on the tables, which is explained below:
Punto Drawing Rules
- 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 in value - Draw one card
- 6 and 7 in value stands
- 8 and 9 are "naturals" and always stands
Banco Drawing Rules
- 0, 1 and 2 is always a draw
- 3 draws when Punto has 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9
- 4 draws when Punto has 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7
- 5 draws when Punto has 4, 5, 6 and 7
- 6 draws when Punto has 6 and 7
- 7 stands
- 8 and 9 are naturals
These are the basic rules of Punto Banco, which may take some time to remember completely, but by time you will remember. The dealer will also always announce which move he/she has to do, so in a live casino you will be able to follow the action as easy as you can online.
The payouts when you play Punto Banco depends on which of the options that you choose to place your bet on. If you place a bet on Punto winning then you will be paid even money on your bet if you win, while placing a bet on Banco will pay 19-20 in odds, which means that there is a 5% "tax" or "commission" for winning bets placed on banco.
Should you want to place a bet on draw, then you get even higher odds due to the chances of you winning are very low. Most casinos will write that tie's pay 9-1, which in reality is 8:1 on your money. The casino edge on bets on tie's are a massive 14% compared to 1.27% on Punto or Banco, so remember this if you feel like placing a bet on a tie.