Punto Banco

Baccarat is a really simple casino card game to play, but really hard to understand at first. Since it’s so hard to understand and follow, I’ll try to present them in the most simple way possible.

Baccarat has a few variations. The one described here is the most common one, called Punto Banco. It’s played with multiple decks (4, 6 or more) and there is a set number of players (usually 6).

People around the table can usually also bet, but sometimes the croupiers have to allow them to participate first. The classic baccarat game has 3 dealers running it, but there are smaller games with only one dealer too.

Object of the game

The object of the game is to win money:), but you don’t necessarily have to actually have the winning hand or even play in the game.

How it’s played

All players get 2 cards and the dealer(bank) gets 2 cards. There are set rules on when someone gets the third card(you don’t need to know these to play, since the dealer do everything automatically):

  • A player that got a hand with the value between 0 and 5 gets a third card, otherwise he stands (doesn’t get another card).
  • If the banker total is 2 or less, then the banker draws a card, regardless of what the player’s third card is.
  • If the banker total is 3, then the bank draws a third card unless the player’s third card was an 8.
  • If the banker total is 4, then the bank draws a third card if the player’s third card was 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
  • If the banker total is 5, then the bank draws a third card if the player’s third card was 4, 5, 6, or 7.
  • If the banker total is 6, then the bank draws a third card if the player’s third card was a 6 or 7.
  • If the banker total is 7, then the banker stands.

At the end, the winning hands are the ones that are better than the bank’s hand. The closer the value of the hand is to 9, the better. If a player and the bank have the same hand, it’s a tie and they get the bets back.

Value of cards:

  • Ace = 1
  • Kings, Queens, Jacks and Tens = 0
  • 2-9 of all suits = their face value

If a value of a hand exceeds 9, then only the second digit counts.


  • 7 and 9 = 16 = 6
  • 5 and 8 = 13 = 3
  • 2 and 8 = 10 = 0
  • Jack and 6 = 6


Here’s the fun part. You don’t have to bet on your own hand, instead you can bet on the bank.

People that are not playing can also bet on players hands or on the bank.

The only thing is, if you bet on the bank, you have to pay a 5% commission when the bank wins.

All winning bets are doubled and the house takes all the losing bets.

Special stuff and formalities

There are a bunch of different formalities that apply in closed off high roller games, but they don’t really have an impact on the actual game. Here are some of them:

  • Each player deals out the cards once and has to bet on the bank (it’s passed around)… but he can also decline and pass the dealing(or the shoe) forward.
  • A croupier announces the winning hands and deals out third cards. He sits in the middle and two dealers around him collect bets with a pallet.
  • There is a whole bunch of shuffling, cutting and dealing nonsense around how the cards get shuffled and dealt.