Punto Banco card casino game
Punto Banco is a classic card casino games online, a simplified version of the famous Baccarat. The essence of the game is to get a hand of 9 points and set certain bets. Punto Banco is quite an old gambling play, which was firstly mentioned in Italy in the Middle Ages. Initially, it was played only by aristocrats and people of middle and upper classes. And nowadays, Punto Banco requires making large bets, much higher than in average poker and roulette.
In the Middle Ages, the rules of casino game Baccarat (that was the name of the game in those days) were a little bit different from current variant. People played not against a dealer, but against each other, also they decided for themselves whether to take an additional third card or not. Centuries later, the game evolved and became known as Punto Banco, which is played in majority casinos all over the world. However, Baccarat has not disappeared and stays popular in certain circles too.
Rules of the game
So, what makes Punto Banco and Baccarat different? First of all, opponents. Baccarat players compete with each other, while in Punto Banco a significant role is played by a dealer. It competes with the player and also affects an outcome of the game.
Basic rules of casino game on net Punto Banco are quite simple and uncomplicated. At the beginning of the round, a gambler and a dealer receive two cards. The essence of the game is to gather 9 points. Before the game, player has to make a cash bet. Bets are placed at the following positions:
- Personal victory;
- Dealer’s victory;
To win in Punto Banco casino games on net, a person needs to collect a combination of cards equal to nine. At the beginning of each round, a player and a dealer are dealt two cards. If a total number is less than six, the participants have the right to take another card. Below, there is a list of cards classification:
- ten, jack, queen, king – 0 points;
- ace – 1 point;
- cards with 2-9 are equal to its face value.
If collected combination is higher than 9 points, then it's necessary to subtract 10 points as long as a hand is less than 10. For example, a player has 26 points hand. Subtract 10 from 26 twice – 6 points remains. Outcome: a participant scores 6 points.
But getting the greatest score winning is not the same. At the beginning of each round, player place bets. They are of three types:
- Punto – bet on a player’s win;
- Banco – bet on the victory of a dealer;
- Tie – to bet on an equal number of points.
Let’s consider a typical game of Punto Banco casino games online play. A player makes a bet on his victory, then he and a dealer are dealt two cards. A participant opens cards and sees four and ace. Total had five points. He gets another card, and there is a nine – 14 points in total. We subtract 10 and get 4 points. A dealer’s hand is 7 points at the end of the round, he wins and takes the bankroll. It's simple and fun.
If 8 or 9 points fall to any of the participants, the winner is announced immediately after the deal. If this combination did not appear and a player’s hand is less than 6, he can take an additional card.
Casino games play for free Punto Banco is primarily attractive due to simplicity, but do not fall into this trap. The simplicity is imaginary and money bets are high enough. Since the past centuries, baccarat was famous for the fact that it was played by aristocrats on a lot of money. This tradition has been preserved until now.
In modern casinos, you can meet two versions of casino games for free: paid version and free version. Free version does not require any special efforts from a player, it is enough to launch the slot and start to bet virtual currency. Paid version becomes available to gamblers only after necessary registration and making a deposit of real cash. Needless to say, that the version of the game for real money will give a user a lot of unforgettable experience, though a free game won’t put at risk the financial condition of a player. In any case, each person chooses for himself what kind of Punto Banco impresses more.
Each outcome implies a individual payout coefficient, so you need to bet wisely. If two cards are not enough for the desired sum, a player and a dealer can take the third one, but only if the sum of cards on the hand is lower than 5 points. Detailed description of Punto Banco rules can be found in the corresponding article on this site.
Countries and casinos where the game is popular
Ancestor of Punto Banco first appeared in Italy, casino games are especially popular among European countries. Below there is the list of casinos that most of all value and respect this type of gambling entertainment:
- Baden-Baden, Germany. Baden-Baden is the oldest and largest casino in Germany. Inside its halls people play 24 card table games, and a place of honour among them is occupied by Punto Banco and Baccarat. The gambling venue at first time opened its doors at the beginning of XVIII century. At the time, venue visited such famous persons: Queen Victoria, Wilhelm I, Berlioz, Gogol, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and many others. Now the casino has greatly changed, it contains a large network of international restaurants, dance floor and of luxury boutiques.
- Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. It is not just a casino, this is a real hotel and entertainment complex. It was established recently in 2011. The gambling hall occupies really huge area and includes 2300 slot machines and more than 500 tables for card casino games, including Punto Banco. The Marina Bay Sands values and respects this game, but while sitting at the table, you should be prepared for large bets.
- Atlantis Resort, Bahamas. One of the most expensive complexes in the world. The cost of one night in the hotel reaches USD 24,0000. Casino includes 980 slot machines and 78 tables for card entertainment. Punto Banco and Baccarat occupy pride of place at the club and are very popular among guests of the complex.
- Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. The popular hotel and entertainment complex in Las Vegas. Pop stars of Hollywood often visit Caesar's Palace. The hotel and casino are decorated in classical ancient Roman style and provide 3,000 rooms. The playing area includes casino slot machines and Punto Banco is no exception.
- Circus Circus Casino, Las Vegas. A unique casino, oriented on fans of circus and bright shows. Circus Circus Casino was captured by cameras while filming a lot of movies, the most famous of them is “Fear and loathing in Las Vegas”. The gambling hall of the complex is really huge, it contains a little less than a dozen gaming tables for Punto Banco. The complex also has private chapel, amusement park and bookmaker.
Beside these casinos, Punto Banco is popular in the following gaming venues: The Hippodrome (UK); Bellagio (Las Vegas); Casino de Monte Carlo (Monaco), and many others.
Do not ignore casino online free, because Punto Banco has an electronic version, where its rules do not differ from the original. A table can serve up to three players, in some versions of the game – up to five, plus the dealer. After cards are dealt, the round begins according to classical rules. An advantage of the electronic version of Punto Banco is that fraud is absolutely out of question, if you play in a credible casino. Cheats and fraud types will be described in the corresponding section. Electronic casino game online Punto Banco is available in major casinos in Europe, the US and Russia.
Origin and history
No one knows for sure when and where exactly Punto Banco appeared at first time. Some historians claim, that initially time it was played in France, the other mention Italy. The most popular theory is that the game was invented by the Italian Felix Falguiere. In the Middle Ages, Baccarat (aka complicated Punto Banco) was played with Tarot cards and only centuries later players switched to classic cards.
According to unverified sources, Falguiere invented the game basing on one old Etruscan ritual, which determined fate of virgin girls. The ritual was performed with a nonahedron cube. If the roll was eight or nine, a girl became a priestess; if the roll was six or seven, she was forbidden to ever conduct sacred rituals; less than six meant the girl's death by drowning. Of course, Felix Falguiere significantly simplified the rules and removed the cruelty from them, leaving only the core.
Now it is difficult to say, why nobles liked this casino board game so much. Perhaps it is all about the ritual core or it was just a coincidence, but historians say with certainty: poor people could not even guess about the game of Punto Banco to the XX century.
It just so happens that all gambling casino games are attractive for people, who like creating and using the perfect strategy to them. Some kinds of game are more popular, some – less, but the fact remains.
Punto Banco attracts players thanks to high stakes. If there is someone, who can build a 100% working strategy, he would become a rich man in a few days. But unfortunately or fortunately, no one has created such a strategy, yet. At the moment, the most popular tactic implies changing the size of bets depending on outcomes of previous games. This quite common strategy is used in most card games, and in this case, do not pretend to be unique.
The only unique strategy for Punto Banco is constant placing money to the dealer’s victory, because gambling club has higher chances for winning with a bet on a player than on the bank (dealer).
Also, apart from everything else, you should always feel stop-time and play only for the money you can afford to lose. This is the basic rule and the main strategy in all casino games for money.
Kinds of the game
As it has been mentioned above, Punto Banco is more simplified version of Baccarat – quite an old game. The main differences lie in the fact that Baccarat`s participants could play against each other and not only against a casino. They also have the right to take a third card at any time and in any case. What of the two versions is better? It is a personal choice of each individual player. In modern casinos, both easy casino games are conducted, so a gambler with any preferences is able to find a gambling venue to his favour.
In each game, a dealer plays the same role as any participant. A dealer also takes two cards, of which he must make a combination or take another card in the case of fail. He does not make bets, but if a player puts money on his victory, a dealer is obliged to do everything to win and beat his opponent’s bet.
In Punto Banco dealer’s work is very important, as in most casino games online free. In this case, he does not simply follow the progress of the game and deal cards, he is directly involved in every game and has a direct influence on the course of events.
Fraud and legends
At first glance, it may seem that fraud in table card game Punto Banco is absolutely impossible. Usually, a table is watched by competent dealers, who stays in neighbouring place for a better view. Nevertheless, Punto Banco attracts all sorts of cheats, mainly, due to the fact that the game involves high stakes and therefore there is a possibility to hit a large jackpot. There are several popular stories, where players managed to fool a dealer.
To understand the work of frauds, you need to start thinking like a fraud. Among card players travel fascinating stories. A young man, who lost a huge fortune in one of the casinos in Monte Carlo, shot himself on the bank of a deep river. Some say that he played exactly Punto Banco. Casino employee, who did not want the press to learn about causes of the suicide, found the bloody body at night and put in his pocket 5,000 francs. When an employee of a gambling venue was gone, the young man stood up, dusted his clothes, and went to play to casino and won 10,000 francs with the received money. As it turned out later, his clothes were covered with usual ketchup. The motives of this act are very easy to understand, but to come up with such a grand scam is extremely difficult.
Another story tells about fraud directly at the Punto Banco table. A young man named John Scarne was invited to join the Gambling Commission in Cuba. He came to the manager and said he did not see any sense in the work of this commission, as any skilled sharpie could fool a casino for money. There was a small dispute, which ended with a wager. The owner of a casino permitted to issue Scarne an imaginary loan for ten thousand dollars, so John would lose nothing. The bet was the following: if Scarne was able to double this some with the help of fraud, he would receive $ 500 from his opponent; if not, he had to pay this money. The dispute was very fair, so young people quickly had reached a consensus.
The first half of an hour after the beginning of the game, John made small bets in the number of one hundred dollars. Doubling the sum with at such rates is almost impossible. As time went on, Scarne maintained his money. And then he suddenly put all ten thousand on his victory. When cards were opened, John had a queen and a nine – exactly nine points. Later, when Scarne revealed his strategy, it turned out that he was using a spare deck, which included necessary cards to win from casino card games.
A card shark will be able to cheat in any game, but do not forget about the unscrupulous dealers, who use their position for the benefit. Dealers can also use premade decks. Usually, they are hidden near the hole, through which cards are dealt at the beginning of each round. Many casinos to play make transparent plastic sabot in order to eliminate any doubt and so that players could see that there are no secret pockets at a table.
There are no large-scale Punto Banco tournaments. There are localcompetitions organized by some casinos on their own initiative. But this does not mean that such tournaments do not involve a lot of money. Quite the contrary. Punto Banco bets are already very high, though, in tournaments, they grow up just to incredible sizes.
Movies and literature
Punto Banco is not so popular as poker or roulette, but the game still takes a significant place in world culture. For example, everyone's favourite James Bond likes this game. Due to his natural charisma, Bond manages easily beat all his opponents.
In the literature, Punto Banco is most often mentioned incidentally or in a separate chapter. True fans of the game appreciate the famous book by Dmitry Lesnov and Lev Natanson which is called “Punto Banco”. This book describes rules of the game and not widely known strategies, stories of famous cheaters and more.
The future of Punto Banco
What lies ahead of table casino games Punto Banco? This question is difficult to answer. On the one hand, the game has evolved to the perfect stage and do not require further adjustments. On the other hand, everything is always moving forward, what means the gambling business is moving too. It is likely that soon the current rules of Punto Banco will become out of date and boring to players. That would start the stage of changes and metamorphoses. The one thing can be said with certainty: Punto Banco will live and spread at casinos around the world, capturing not only big casinos but also small gambling venues.