Punto Banco is an exciting, fast-paced game and is one of the easiest games to play in the casino. Originating in Italy in the 15th Century, Punto Banco is a version of Baccarat that developed in Cuba and then became very popular in the USA after Fidel Castro closed all of the casinos in Havana.
James Bond’s favourite game, Punto Banco is considered to be the most glamorous of all casino games and due to its relatively high limits, many high rollers are drawn to play the game in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
How to play Punto Banco
The Dealer will deal 2 hands and the only decision you have to make is whether to place a bet on the “Punto” hand (i.e. the Player) the “Banco” hand (the Banker) or Egalité (a tie between the two hands).
The objective is to bet on the hand that you think will come closer to a total count of nine. Picture cards and tens count as 0; Aces count as 1, and all other cards count as face value. If required, a third card is dealt to each hand (according to rules on below table).
If the point value of the first two cards drawn for either hand is 8 or 9, that is known as a “Natural” and no additional cards will be drawn.
Hands don’t ever exceed 9 (bust), because the first digit of a two-digit number is always dropped. For example, if 5 and 7 are drawn for a total of 12, the count is 2.
The hand with the highest point total closest to nine wins.
Winning “Punto” &”Banker” bets are paid even money. The only time when even money does not apply is when the Banker wins with a total of 6. This is paid at odds of 1 to 2 or half the stake. If both hands result in identical totals, the Egalité bet wins, paying 8 to 1. When Egalité occurs, all bets on the “Player” and the “Banker” are neither paid nor taken.
When Banker has a 3 and Punto`s third card is an 8, the bank stands and no more cards are drawn.
Punto Banco in the Fitzwilliam is played with 6 decks of cards. The minimum bet is €10 and the differential is €4000* on any one game.
The maximum for Egalité is €250 per table (on a first bet down basis).
*Differential – this is the maximum bet the casino will accept on any one hand (both Punto and Banco sides added together).