Baccarat and Punto Banco
Baccarat, Midi- and Mini-Punto Banco are all similar to the game of baccara. The main differences are the table sizes and the speed at which the casino games are played. Baccara is generally played on larger casino tables and at a noticeably slower pace than baccarat, Midi- and Mini-Punto Banco. Also, minimum betting stakes for casino games tend to be higher.
Another major difference between baccara, baccarat and Punto banco is that the casino acts as the banker in baccarat and Punto Banco, whereas players get the opportunity to act as banker in baccara. However, in many American casinos, baccarat players are allowed to act as the casino banker and dealer.
Most of the rules for baccarat and Punto Banco are identical to baccara, such as scoring and betting, with all players betting on the same hand.
Beginning the Games of Baccarat and Punto Banco
At the beginning of the game, the dealer shuffles the cards and a player cuts the card, by simply placing a blank playing card in the deck. The dealer then places the playing cards into the 'shoe' and also inserts a blank card approximately one deck from the bottom, which indicates when the cards should be shuffled next. In the game of casino baccarat / Punto Banco, between four and eight decks of playing cards are used.
Once each of the players have bet on their hand, the dealer places four cards face down upon the casino table. The player's cards are placed in the relevant player's (ponte) part of the gaming table and additional cards may be drawn, as per the general scoring rules of baccara.
When the player's total score has been calculated, the banker's hand is dealt and scored accordingly. Payouts on winning hands are determined as follows:
- Tie - bets on the tie are paid out, and neither the player or banker lose in a tie. Odds on a tie bet may vary depending upon casino rules
- Player Winnings - bets on the player are paid out at evens, 1 / 1
- Banker Winnings - bets on the banker are paid out at evens, less the casino's commission of 5 percent, which equates to odds of 19 / 20
The house advantage in the games of baccara and Punto Banco is as follows:
- Tie - house advantage of 14.4%
- Bank Wins - house advantage of 1.06%
- Player Wins - house advantage of 1.24%