In this article we will try to explain the difference between baccarat and punto banco. First of all, it is important to know that baccarat is the general term for the game. There are multiple forms of the game, of which punto banco is one of them. There are generally three forms of baccarat, in total:
We will first shortly discuss the three forms and then further explain the differences. For more information about the game as it’s played in the casino, we’d like to refer to the baccarat game rules.
The most-played form of baccarat these days is Punto Banco. It is also the most standardized version, so the game is easier to understand. In this form of baccarat, the casino will always be the dealer, and a player can bet on banker, tie or player. The only thing a player has to do, is place a bet on one the three options, and the rest of the game will develop based on the standard punto banco game rules. The best punto banco strategy has also become quite easy, because of the simplified version of the game.
Chemin de fer is the original version of baccarat. Chemin de fer means 'railway' in French. The game is called like this, because when the bank loses a round, the banker will change. Because of the fact that the cards were kept in an iron box, the box looked like a train when it moved to another player. The player left from the original banker, became the new banker, or dealer.
Chemin de fer is a game that is played with multiple players. One of them is the dealer; the others are called the 'pointers’. Without explaining all the game rules, the goal of the game is to take over the bank, by beating his hand. The banker first decides the bet he wants to risk. After that, the players can decide each turn if they want to challenge the bank for this bet by yelling ‘Banco’. If no one wants to challenge the bank for this bet, they can also challenge the bank together by putting their bets together. After that, the game is played according to the same principles as explained in the game rules. The bank will only play against one other player, the one with the highest bet (or in the case of equal bets, the player right of the dealer), but this hand may represent multiple opponents. If the bank loses, he has to pay every player’s bet. This amount can increase quite rapidly if the bank plays against multiple players. He will also loses the right of the bank if he loses, and the players left to him will become the next banker.
Baccarat banque is also known as 'a deaux tableaux', (which is French for ‘two tables’) because the banker plays against two hands. He plays against the left and right side of the table, which will each get a hand, too. The hand of cards can, just like in chemin de fer, represent multiple players. Each side of the table has five chairs, so there is room for five players, but if these five players do not want to bet enough to challenge the dealer, the crowd can also chip in to reach the right amount. If the player whose hand is challenged (one the five on his side of the table) loses, the player on his left will receive the next hand. A player is only allowed to challenge the dealer, if bets the full bet of the dealer. The other players are not participating in this round. First, the player on the right of the banker is allowed to decide to call ‘go bank’, then the player left on the banker, and this will go on.
After that, the rules for a hand winning or losing are the same as in the other versions. You can find these rules in the baccarat game rules. The banker will be the same player for as long as he can afford this. If the bank is unable to do this, the bank will shift to the next player. He can also quit the bank, in which he will decide an amount the next player has to place in the bank. So this is a difference with chemin de fer, where the bank will switch players after every lost hand.