How to Play Baccarat (Punto Banco)

How to play Baccarat - Punto BancoLearn how to play Baccarat or Punto Banco as it became known when it was taken to Cuba in the 1950’s. Baccarat is still often known as Punto Banco today, especially in the online casinos.

In a real casino Baccarat is normally played in a segregated area. When playing at an online casino it can be played with a live dealer. In a real casino the game is played with casino chips. Baccarat is strictly a game of chance, no skill is involved.

It has become a popular game particularly with Asian gamblers. Punto Banco is the most highly played game in the casinos of Macau. You do not need to go to Macau learn how to play Baccarat, just read on.

A real Baccarat table is about 4 metres long and 1.5 metres wide. Three dealers are involved because the game can be played by up to 14 people.

The Procedures

The playing cards are shuffled and placed in the “shoe”, a container from which cards can be drawn face down. Six decks of cards are used. The dealer will draw two cards from the shoe and place them face down under the shoe. Two further cards are drawn from the shoe and given face down to the player who has placed the highest bet.

The betting is pretty simple once you get the hang of it. Each player and the banker may bet on Banker or Player (Punto or Banco) or the rarely used tie. It is customary for the dealer to bet on the Banker.

The shoe remains with the player as long as the bank wins, after losing the shoe passes to the next player who then becomes the banker. Dealing is optional the shoe can be passed on to the next player and so on.

The object of playing Baccarat is to be on which of the two hands which have been dealt will win. The player who is dealing will turn over the four cards so they are face up. The casino dealer will then announce the result. If either hand has total of 8 or 9 it is designated as a “natural” and no more cards are dealt. If it is not a natural the dealer may ask for third card to be dealt. The three card rule. The casino rules determine when a third card is dealt.

After dealing has been completed the hand with the highest value wins. The losing bets will be cleared from the table before the winning bets are paid. The dealer is responsible for the payouts.

The Rules

It is important to remember aces are low in the game of  Baccarat. Cards of ten and above have no value. Cards with a value of less than 10 are counted at face value, including the ace with a value of one. The suit of the cards dealt do no matter, they have no relevance in Punto Banco.

An interesting twist in the game is that when the total value of the cards in each hand reaches double digits the left digit is dropped. Therefore a hand total of 12 becomes 2 and a hand total of 15 becomes 5. So on and so forth.

The three card rule can be complicated but you really do not need to know because it is enforced automatically by the casino. For those of you who are interested we will explain it. Please note the three card rule can be varied by the casino.

As we said, if the sum of the two cards is 8 or 9 no further card is dealt.

If the player’s hand total is less than or equal to 5 the player’s hand draws a third card.

The bank hand will draw a third card in the following circumstances:

When the bank hand total is 2 or less.

If the banks total is 3 unless the players third card was an 8.

When the banks total is 4 and players third card was 0, 1, 8 or 9.

If the banks total is 5 and players third card was 4, 5, 6 or 7.

When the banks total is 6 and players third card was 6 or 7.

If the banks hand total is 7 then the bank stands.

The Odds

Banker: 1.17% – Player 1.36% and Tie 14.12% with and 8 to 1 payout.

The reason for the difference in odds between the banker and player is a win on the bank generates a small commission, usually 5%.

Read about the  History of Baccarat.

Learning how to play Baccarat can seem a bit daunting but you can learn as you go. Step up and have a go!

Read more about Baccarat.

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