Punto banco is a baccarat variant which also known as “Tableau” in some parts of the world, and it has versions of its own. This version of baccarat is popular at land-based casinos as well as online casinos. Punto means “player”, and banco means “banker” – these words are used to refer to the hands which are dealt. Players in the game can then back any of the two hands. With its roots in North America, this is a game of chance enjoyed by many South Africans. So, skills and strategies are not determining factors in whether the gambler wins or loses.
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Punto Banco Rules
There are many rules in punto banco, and they might seem confusing at first to beginners. However, the more gamblers play and learn about the game, the easier it will become. Gamblers who are new to the game can even practice by playing free baccarat in this version. Below are some basic rules of this baccarat version.
- There are usually 6 or 8 decks in the dealing shoe from which the cards are dealt – 8 decks are commonly used.
- The banker and the player are dealt an initial two cards each.
- A third card may be dealt to the player if neither the banker or the player gets an 8 or a 9.
- Depending on the player’s third card value, the banker may be dealt a third card.
- The game can result in either the banker winning, the player winning or a tie.
Punto Banco Variations
Although punto banco is a variant of a table game, it also has variants of its own. These include Super 6 (also known as Punto 2000), Midi and Mini Punto as well as EZ Baccarat. It is important for gamblers to know how these variants differ and how the house edge is affected. Below are a few pointers on how the above-mentioned punto banco versions differ.
In the Super 6 version players receive even money for winning banker bets. However, if the banker wins with a 6, the payout is 50% of the bet.
Midi and Mini Punto
The Midi Punto version usually has a smaller table that is only operated by one dealer. Similarly, in Mini Punto, the table is also smaller. Mini baccarat also has lower betting limits, meaning the stakes are also lower.
In this punto banco baccarat version players get an even money payout on a winning banker bet. But, this is not the case when the banker’s winning total is 7 after they have been dealt the third card. In this punto banco baccarat variant, players also get the additional options between the Dragon 7 and Panda 8 bets. The Dragon 7 bet pays 40 to 1, with a house edge of 7.61% and it is a wager on the banker totalling at 7 points with three cards. On the other hand, Panda 8 pays 25 to 1, with a house edge of 10.19% and it is a wager on the player totalling at 8 points with three cards.
Punto Banco Baccarat Conclusion
It is advisable for gamblers in South Africa to learn all the game rules before playing punto banco for real money. Baccarat is a favourite table game among many SA gamblers, and this is one of the most common versions of it. It is also important to bear in mind that this version of baccarat has versions of its own. So, looking into the differences will also help players in finding the game that is best for them.