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Find Out What Punto-Banco Is and How It Is Played?

Find Out What Punto-Banco Is and How It Is Played?

Playing cards can be an amazing source of entertainment. The best thing about cards is that they are used to play a number of different games, all over the world, and each region has its own favourites. There are also a number of occasions when new games were created either based on already popular games or by creating totally new concepts and methods of play. Belonging to the former type is Punto Banco; looking at the game it is obviously based on Blackjack.

How to Play Punto Banco

Loosely based on the game of Blackjack, Punto Banco is totally based on luck. Where Blackjack is a game between the dealer and the player, Punto Banco is totally different. The basic concept is that the players bet on whether the banker or the player gets a total as close as possible to nine. The essential elements of the game are as follows:

1. Who Plays?

Though as many as 12 players can participate, the basic game is in between the banker and the player. While the banker is the casino (and hence the dealer), the player is the one with the highest bid. So, though the other members play they essentially are betting whether the player or the banker gets a total nearest to 9.

2. The Setup of the Game

The American version of the game is played with an 8-deck shoe, and the total is derived by calculating the total value of the cards held by the player. Different cards in the deck have different values. Generally, all the number cards are considered to have a value equal to their face value. The picture cards or the king, queen and jack, along with the number 10 have zero value. If the total value of the cards adds up to more than 9 then the actual value considered is the total value minus 10.

3. How Is the Game Actually Played?

Basically being a game of pure luck, the cards are first dealt face-down for each player. Then one by one the cards are counted, and the total of each player determined. If any player has a total of 8 or 9, he is declared the winner. Players with a total of anything from 0 to 5 are given the chance of another hit and players with a total of over 5 have to stand.

4. How Do Players Bet?

Basically, players have to bet on who gets a total nearest to 9, the banker or the player. Additionally, they can also bet that they will be a tie and this, in fact, has the highest payoff of 8:1. The odds of betting on the player are 1:1, and one can even bet on the house to win. But winners have to surrender 5% of their winnings due to the concept of house advantage and the house always winning. This is how betting happens in Punto Banco and why it is a purely luck based game.

How Similar and How Dissimilar It Is to Blackjack

Punto Banco has similarities as well as fundamental dissimilarities with Blackjack. Let us discuss the similarities first. So, basically, both are card games and both work on the principle of the total value of the cards being nearest to a particular number. But the similarity ends there. Though both are cars games, the ultimate aim of the game, the value that is considered, the way to win the game, the value assigned to the cards all differ. Here are some of the dissimilarities between Punto Banco and Blackjack.

  • How both the games are played are both different. Which in Blackjack your ultimate aim is to have a total value of less than 21 in the game of Punto Banco you aim is to predict who will have a total near to 9.
  • In Blackjack, the magic number is 21 while in the other it is 9.
  • The value of each card is also different in both the games. While with Blackjack every card has a value of 1 with picture cards having a value of 10 each with Punto Banco picture cards and 10 cards have zero value while the value of the number cards is equal to the number on the card.