Punto Banco is one of the easiest card games you can expect to play at a Vegas Nights event, which is great news! The objective of Punto Banco is to bet on a ‘side’ whose cards have a total point value closest to 9. There are three sides to choose from: the ‘Player’, the ‘House’ or a ‘Tie’.
It is important to understand that all betting in Punto Banco takes place before the first card is dealt. Once the cards are dealt, you have no further input or control over the outcome of the hand.
Punto Banco Card Values
In Punto Banco cards are valued as follows: Picture cards and 10 cards count as 0, 2 to 9 cards keep their value and aces count as 1. At no point during the game can the card count ever be higher than 9.
For instance, if you are dealt two 9s, the point value is taken as 8, not 18. 9 and 6 is taken as 5, not 15. You get the idea.
The Vegas Nights dealer deals two cards face up for the player and two cards face up for the house. If the cards total 9 or 8 for one or both of the sides, then the hand is over and the bets are paid out according to the bets placed. An 8 or 9 is known as a ‘natural’ in Punto Banco.
For example, if you bet on the house and the house points total 9, you will be paid out. If you bet on the house and both sides are tied at 9, you will lose your bet.
However, what if after the initial cards have been dealt, there is no natural and no tie? In this case, the dealer can deal one more card to each side as long as the following rules and conditions are met:
If the total of the initial player hand is 6 or over, an extra card cannot be dealt. If the total is 5 or under, an extra card can be dealt. If the total of the initial house hand is 7 or over, an extra card cannot be dealt. If the total is 2, 1 or 0, an extra card can be dealt.
Punto Banco Winning Hands
Should the house cards add up to 3, and the player’s 3rd card is anything except 8, the house will be dealt an extra card. If the house’s cards add up to 4, and the player’s 3rd card is anything except 9,8,1 or 0, the house will be dealt an extra card.
If the house cards add up to 5, and the player’s 3rd card is a 7,6,5 or 4, the house will be dealt an extra card. Finally, If the house cards add up to 6, and the player’s 3rd card is a 7 or 6, the house will be dealt an extra card.