Live casinos that offer Live Baccarat - Punto Banco

Live Baccarat/Punto Banco is fun and quite a bit easier than many would think. The overwhelming majority of casino baccarat games in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Finland, and Macau, are "Punto banco" baccarat. In Punto banco the casino banks the game at all times, and commits to playing out both hands according to a predetermined system of drawing rules, unlike the other more historic Baccarat games where each hand is played by a separate person who can choose freely whether or not to draw an additional card.

Casinos that offer Live Baccarat - Punto Banco


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Play live casino games from the USA. (live roulette, live blackjack, and live bacccarat)

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Customers may bet on either the "punto/player" or the "banco/banker", which are merely designations for the two hands dealt in each game. In some countries, this version of the game is known as "tableau" (French: "diagram") which refers to the rules for drawing cards which both hands are obliged to follow. The live dealer is there to answer any questions regarding the betting or hands being played.

While the rules may seem a bit confusing, keep in mind that there really is no need to know them precisely. It's pretty much a game of chance, all you really have to do is decide which hand you think will win, and bet accordingly. However, knowing the basic rules will certainly help you follow what is going on, making the game a lot more enjoyable. All selections are easily made on the table using the mouse and betting is quick and easy.

Two hands are dealt, one for the "player" and one for the "banker". You can bet on one or the other. If the hand you bet on wins, you receive a 1 to 1 (even money) payoff. You can also bet that the hands will tie, but as mentioned above, it is not recommended. You receive an 8 to1 payoff, but ties occur less than once out of every ten hands, making the tie bet a poor choice.

At the start, each hand receives two cards. When necessary, additional cards are drawn according to the rules. The hand closest to 9 wins. Tens, Jacks, Queens and Kings count 0. The Ace counts 1 and cards 2 through 9 are at face value. The hand that comes closest to a count of 9 wins. Hands don't bust like in Blackjack, because the first digit of a two-digit number is always dropped. For example, if 5 and 7 are drawn for a total of 12, the count is 2. When there is a tie, nobody loses.

If the first two cards total 8 or 9, the hand is called a "natural" and it wins automatically, unless both hands have equal value "naturals", in which case it's a tie. If neither hand has a natural additional cards are drawn to determine a winner. A dealt total of 8 or 9 points is called a natural, and no additional cards will be drawn. It is an automatic win unless the opposing hand has a higher natural (a 9 vs. an 8), or the hand is a tie.

The Difference Between Baccarat and Mini Baccarat

A natural of 8 points is called le petit, a total of nine, le grande. On all other totals, 0 through 7, the drawing of an additional card depends strictly on established rules of play. There is never more than one card drawn to a hand in any case. The player need not be familiar with the rules for drawing on the third card for the caller will direct the action and request that a third card be drawn if the rules require it. Just follow the caller's instructions. The Player's hand will be acted upon first, and then the Banker's. Despite the different variations of baccarat, the third card rules for draw are consistent for games around the world.

Depending on where you play you might find that some online casinos offer baccarat and others offer mini baccarat. If you have only ever played one or the other you may be worried that you don't know how to play the other variation. The great thing is that there are very few differences between the two games so if you have played one you will easily be able to play the other. If you are new to the game you can choose to play with either game just remember that if you switch to the other variation that there will be some small differences.

Breaking Down the Differences

The first difference that you will notice on the mini baccarat table is that the dealer will deal all hands and the players do not handle the cards. With most baccarat games the dealer will deal and the players are allowed to handle the cards. This is perhaps the most important distinction because in games where the players are not to handle the cards it is frowned upon when the cards are touched. If you aren't sure about the rule, ask the dealer whether or not the players get to handle the cards ahead of time. If you're playing online there is a lot less confusion about this since you aren't physically presented with the cards like you are in the brick and mortar casino.

The other difference between the baccarat and mini baccarat games is that the betting minimums are usually lower on the mini baccarat tables. For this reason, a lot of people like to learn to play on the mini tables because they are risking less money. Those that are familiar with the game often like to play on the full size tables because they're willing to risk more to win more.

Other than not being able to handle the cards and lower betting minimums the games are virtually the same. You may find small differences from casino to casino, but this could be said for any time. If you are in doubt, you should simply ask the dealer, or if you are online you should read through the rules before you begin play. Having all of the information can affect your play just because you can be more focused when you have all of the rules in your head.

Many online casinos offer both the full size and the mini baccarat games, so you can choose which you like better. You may want to change it up from time to time, just for something new and exciting. With the games being virtually the same except for those two small details, it is simple to move back and forth between the two.