The “punto banco” rules for Baccarat dictate how the hands must be played after the deal. These rules will be made clear at the casino and are always followed. Furthermore, there is also a strict format that the deal follows.
If you are playing in a casino where the shoe is passed around the table then all cards go from the shoe to the dealer and then from the dealer to the appropriate player as necessary. If this is the case the dealer will give verbal directions, otherwise the dealer will perform all functions related to the deal. One card is dealt face down to the individual with the highest bet on Player; this will be the Player hand. The next card is dealt face down and left beside the shoe; this will be the Dealer hand. This process is repeated once more so that both hands have two cards. Out of tradition the individual holding the Player hand will view the cards then the dealer will request they be returned and they will be placed face upon the table, their point total announced. The same will then happen for the Dealer hand. In online casinos this whole process will be ignored and the hands will be displayed immediately.
The points for each hand are based upon the right most digit of the sum total of the hand’s card value. Cards two through nine are worth their face value, tens are worth zero as are face-cards and aces are worth one. So let’s say the hand dealt is a six and an eight then the total is fourteen making the hand worth four points which is the right digit in fourteen.
If on the draw the Player or Bank hand has a point value of eight or nine the round ends and the winnings are distributed accordingly; this is called a natural. However if the Player hand is less than or equal to five a third card must be drawn for the Player hand. If the point total on the initial deal is between six and nine inclusive then the Player hand stands.
The Bank hand rules are determined by what happened to the Player hand. If the Player hand stood off the initial deal then the Bank will draw if its hand is between zero and five inclusive, or stand if it is between six and nine inclusive. The remainder of the rules are as follows based on the Player hand drawing a third card:
- If the Player hand received a 2 or 3, the Bank hand draws if it has 0–4, and stands if it has 5–7.
- If the Player hand received a 4 or 5, the Bank hand draws if it has 0–5, and stands if it has 6–7.
- If the Player hand received a 6 or 7, the Bank hand draws if it has 0–6, and stands if it has 7.
- If the Player hand received an 8, the Bank hand draws if it has 0–2, and stands if it has 3–7.
If the Player hand received an ace, 9, 10, or face-card, the Bank hand draws if it has 0–3, and stands if it has 4–7