This popular card game has many variations played worldwide. These are the most popular baccarat variations: Punto Banco, EZ Baccarat, Super 6, Baccarat Chemin de fer and Baccarat Banque. keep reading our guide and you’ll get familiar with all the worldwide variation of baccarat.
Punto Banco Baccarat
Punto Banco is often known as “North American baccarat”, and is so popular it is almost synonymous for baccarat altogether. This is perhaps the most known variation of baccarat. This version of Baccarat is exclusively a game of chance, based on the cards in one’s hands alone and not on any move made by the player or the dealer. On one hand that means you can’t exactly get to be a master of the game, but it also means you can’t really be bad at it, because it’s not a game based on skill. What’s interesting about that is that it makes punto banco baccarat a very social game, where many players enjoy testing their luck with groups of friends.
Punto Banco is named after the names of the two participants of the game. Punto refers to the player and Banco refers to the banker. Punto Banco is the most popular game among the baccarat variations in the Western Countries. In this game, the casino banks all the sessions and has to play both hands according to a set of rules called the ‘tableau’, which is French for ‘board’.
The game is played off a shoe with 4, 6 or 8 decks of cards. The game is ended when either the player or the banker has a set of cards totalling to 8 or 9. If neither the player nor the banker has a total of 8 or 9, it is decided according to the rules, whether the player should receive a third card. If this still does not result in the player having a sum of 8 or 9, it is decided whether the banker should receive a third card, and so on. The one with a number closest to 9 is the winner. The game can never result in a burst as the first number will be struck off to leave a number between 1 and 9.
Punto Banco Baccarat Rules
The baccarat rules governing the hit or stand of the player and the banker are as follows:
- If neither the player nor the banker has cards totalling to 8 or 9, the player can draw an extra card if the player’s cards sum up to a value lower than 5. If the player’s cards total to 6 or 7, the player is required to stand.
- If the player had cards totalling to 6 or 7 and had to stand, the banker is required to follow the same procedure as the player. In other words, the banker will have to stand if the banker’s cards sum up to 6 or 7. If his cards add up to 5 or less, the banker can draw.
- In the instance that the player draws a third card, and draws a 2 or a 3, the banker is required to draw if they have cards totalling to less than 4. If the banker has cards totalling to 5, 6 or 7, then the banker is required to stand.
- In the occasion that the player drew a third card, and drew a 4 or 5, then the banker is required to draw if the banker’s cards sum up to less than 5. The banker is required to stand if his cards total to 6 or 7.
- If the player drew a third card and drew a 6 or a 7, then the banker is required to draw an extra card if his cards sum up to 6 or less; and stand if his cards total to 7.
- If the player drew a third card and drew an 8, then the banker is required to draw an extra card if his cards total to 0, 1 or 2. With a sum of 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7, the banker is expected to stand.
- If the player drew a 9, ace, king, queen or jack, then the banker is expected to draw if his cards sum up to 0, 1, 2 or 3 and is expected to stand if his cards sum up to a number between 4 and 7.
Among all the baccarat variations, this might be the most complicated one, and the Punto Banco rules can be hard to remember. They are arrived at through a mathematical formula which is not easier to understand but is easier to remember. The formula takes the number 8 as -2 and the number 9 as -1. The number that the player picks is to be divided by 2, and the result is to be rounded off, but down towards 0. Then you add 3 to the result. If the banker’s total is this number or something lower, then the banker can draw. If the sum of the banker’s cards is above this number, then the banker has to stand.
Basic Punto Banco Rules
That is why casinos will usually put the Punto Banco rules out in a much easier to remember form as follows:
- If the banker’s cards sum up to 0, 1 or 2, then the banker will draw a third card no matter the card picked by the player.
- If the banker’s cards add up to 3, then the banker can draw an extra card in all situations except when the player picks an 8.
- If the banker’s cards total to 4, then he can pick a third card if the player picked a card valued at between 2 and 7.
- If the banker’s total is 5, then the banker can take a third card if the player picked a card valued at between 4 and 7.
- If the banker’s total is 6, then the banker can draw a third card if the player picked a 6 or a 7.
- If the banker’s cards total to 7, then the banker has to stand regardless of what the player picked.
Apart from the other baccarat variations of the game, this one much more closely resembles the original form of the game. The key difference in this game is that the bankers bet is paid out in a ratio of 1:1. In the event that the banker wins with a card total of 7, then the game is nullified and the result is a push, meaning that the gamblers get their money back. The game can only be nullified in this way if the banker already had three cards.
The rules of EZ baccarat are similar to regular punto banco baccarat, but with a few exceptions:
- All wins pay out even money.
- if the banker wins with a three-card total of 7, then the banker bet will push.
- There are additional side bets, called the Dragon 7 and Panda 8.
The Dragon 7 bet wins when a banker wins a three-card hand with a total of 8. This kind of bet, called a “dragon” bet is popular in mini-baccarat, and is described in more detail in the Baccarat Side Bets section of this article.
Here are the odds for a Dragon 7 bet on an 8-deck game of EZ baccarat:
The Panda 8 bet wins when a player wins a three-card hand with a total of 8.
Here are the odds for a Panda 8 bet on an 8-deck game of EZ baccarat:
Super 6 baccarat is also often known as Punto 2000 baccarat, though most people are calling it Super 6 these days. It’s a kind of baccarat with a very slight variation from the classic rules. The game starts out the same, with bets placed on banker, player or tie. The payout rates for the player and tie bets are the same as in normal baccarat: 1 to 1 on the player and 8 to 1 on the tie. But the difference lies on the banker bet, where the payout is 1 to 1 instead of .95 to 1, EXCEPT if the banker wins with a score of 6 points, and then the payout is .5 to 1. That turns the tables quite a bit, making the usually safe banker bet into a much edgier and riskier bet.
The game is closer to the game of Punto Banco, except for the fact that the casino does not take a cut in the event that a gambler wins with a bet in the banker.
Super 6 Bet
There is a side bet which acts as insurance against the banker winning with a 6, which is called the Super 6 bet. A Super 6 bet is placed on the banker winning with 6 points. The Super 6 bet pays out 12 to 1 if successful, so it’s quite a lucrative option to try out.
It is played on a smaller table than other forms of baccarat. It’s a scaled-down version with the intention of spreading the popularity of baccarat to the main-stream of casino culture. There are also certain side bets which are commonly placed in mini-baccarat, making the game even more exciting.
Baccarat Chemin de fer
This kind of baccarat translates to “railway baccarat” in French. Baccarat has a strong connection to France because that is where it was born, during the 1800’s, and it is still the most popular version in France today. It is the most popular type of baccarat played in Europe and South America. Chemin de fer baccarat is different from punto banco because one player is designated as the “banker” and the others are then designated as “punters”, and the banker position rotates counter clockwise each round over the course of the game. The banker decides how much they wish to wager, and one player per round may “go bank”, betting against the banker’s wager, with the other punters wagering in turn.
This is also a popular game among the baccarat variations. In this version, one player is made the banker and the other are the punters. The role of the banker is passed in order around the table in a counterclockwise direction. The rest of the gamblers who are not bankers play the role of the player as one. The cards are dealt to the banker and to the punters. The player with the highest wager handles the cards on behalf of the rest of the players. If either the players or the banker has an 8 or a 9, the game ends. In any other case, the players can choose whether or not to pick an extra card.
In chemin de fer, the players can apply strategy to increase the chance that they will win against the banker. The strategy is similar to the kind of logic applied in blackjack. The player should deal when they have cards below 5 and stand when they have cards totalling to anything above 6.
Baccarat banque is quite similar to baccarat chemin de fer, with the main difference in the role played by the banker. In chemin de fer, the bank only continues as long as the banker wins and ends when they lose. By contrast, the banker in baccarat banque stays in this position until all the cards in the three-pack deck have been dealt, or until they decide to pass the banker position on to the next player.
Baccarat banque is among the baccarat variations which is much more related to Chemin de fer. In fact, the variation is even called Baccarat Chemin de fer. In this variation, one of the players assumes the role of the banker, and the rest of the gamblers become the players. However, unlike in chemin de fer, the gambler who has designated the role of the banker does not have to give up his role until he loses a game. Otherwise, the gambler retains the role or can give it up by their own free will.
Baccarat Variations – Conclusion
We hope you now have a better understanding of different baccarat variations you can play. Baccarat is an immensely popular card game of chance and it worth exploring different variations.