Punto-Banco - An Introduction
This is played entirely as a casino game at a table with bases for 12 players, and spaces for the casino 'chips operator' between bases 6 and 7 and croupier between spaces 1 and 12. The actual banker and punter are both phantom inasmuch as all players must bet with the casino, not with each other. They may either bet 'Banco', that the phantom bank will win the coup, or 'Punto', that the phantom punter will win the coup. Each player in turn deals the cards to the croupier from the shoe, retains it if he wishes after a phantom 'Banco' win, but may pass it to the next player if he prefers and must do so after a 'Punto' win.
The croupier dictates the game according to normal Shimmy rules, except that there is no a. volente, the punter always drawing a card to a 5 and the banker always drawing a card when holding 3 after giving 9, or when holding 5 after giving 4. After each coup the casino 'chips operator' takes in all losing stakes, and pays off winning Tunto' bets at even money or winning 'Banco' bets at even money less five per cent commission.
At first sight it would appear better to consistently bet on Tunto' rather than on 'Banco', having regard to the casino commission on winning bets on the latter, but because of the built-in Shimmy odds favouring the banker (stepped up slightly with the disappearance of a volente situations) it will be found in practice that the banker's edge is 2.5%, extracted more or less evenly from the 'Banco' betters and the 'Punto' betters.
'Marker chips' denoting 5p and 25p are used at the table to cover casino commissions and these chips can be acquired by changing £1 tokens (usually the minimum stake at this game).
Staking variations, such as the Pyramid system, described in Bulls and Bears, Roulette, etc., are useful in assisting one's gaming technique at Punto-Banco. Originally baccarat/punto banco wasn't available online with the casino software companies focusing on slots, blackjack and roulette. Now though you can play baccarat at all good online casinos.