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Punto Banco Pro
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Punto Banco Pro

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Punto Banco is a very pleasantly-realised version of baccarat from NetEnt. The immediate question you are probably asking yourself is what is the difference between punto banco and baccarat? The answer, effectively, is very little!

'Punto Banco' simply means 'player banker', and refers to two of the three bets that are typically available in baccarat, namely betting on the player to win, or betting on the banker to win. The other bet is to bet on a tie, which in this version of the game wins you 9-1 when a tie occurs.

Punto Banco is effectively the version of baccarat that became popular in North American casinos. In the two other versions of baccarat - chemin de fer and baccarat banque - the player decides how to play their hand. In punto banco there is no decision-making involved as the dealer plays both hands, and follows a strict set of rules that dictate what happens in all possible circumstances.

To play this nice-looking game, you simply select your chips from the stack in the bottom right hand corner of the screen and place them in one of three spots, marked 'Punto', 'Banco' and 'Tie'. Once you've made your selection, hit the deal button. The dealer will then deal the player's hand, then the banker's hand. The object of the game of course is to score as close to nine as possible. You cannot bust in baccarat as if you go beyond nine then it is just the right-hand digit of your score that counts, so a nine and an eight is worth seven, not seventeen.

Once both hands are dealt the player may receive a third card depending on his total. There are then other rules that dictate whether the banker gets a third card or not. When the deal is complete the winning hand (or a tie) is declared, and you get paid if you picked correctly. A player or banker win is paid at evens, less five percent commission if you bet on the banker.

Punto Banco is played with six decks as opposed to the eight used in NetEnt's Baccarat Pro game. This decreases the house edge for a banker win from 1.058% to 1.056%, but increases the house edge for the player bet from 1.235% to 1.237%. The house edge for a tie increases as well, from 14.36% to 14.44%. As you can see from those odds, betting on a tie is never a good idea.


Punto Banco or baccarat has yet to take off in the online casino realm - or at least it is not as popular as blackjack or roulette. It's quite an autonomous game, but plenty of punters do find it enthralling, particularly gamblers in Asian casinos.

If you enjoy your baccarat, then this version of the game is well up to NetEnt's usual standards. If you're going to go 'banco', then you'll find a more favourable house edge here than most online baccarat games, thanks to only six decks being used.

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