Pontoon Blackjack is a variant of the popular Casino game Blackjack. Its rules resemble that of Blackjack Classic - but subtle differences make it clear to a different game. Read this article and you will discover a whole new way to play the card game.
"Pontoon" has two different meanings
Pontoon can refer to different card games. Some games from Southeast Asia are called pontoon. Another game that looks a lot like Blackjack Classic is played in the countries of the British Commonwealth. Pontoon can also be a different name for Spanish 21. So it is a bit confusing which game is exactly meant when "pontoon" is offered somewhere.
In this article we limit ourselves to the pontoon game that you meet most at gambling sites. You can also find this card game at many online casinos who welcome Australia people.
The game rules of Pontoon Blackjack
Broadly speaking, pontoon expires as many other blackjack variants. We summarize the rules here.
Goal of the game
The purpose of pontoon is to get a better hand than the dealer. A hand with 21 points is ideal, but you can never collect more than 21 points. The cards have the following values:
- Cards with the value 2 to 9 have their own value.
- The ten, the farmer, the lady and the Lord have the value ten.
- The bait is worth 1 or 11 points. A hand with a bait is called a "soft hand".
Each player, including the dealer, gets two cards. The dealer holds his both cards closed. With other blackjack versions, one or both of the dealer's cards are often visible. Every player can now buy tickets until he is satisfied with his hand. He can also split his hand and double his insert. It is not possible to buy insurance with this game.
The dealer plays
If all players have been, the dealer plays. They must buy tickets until he has at least a hard hand (without ace) with 17 points. With a hand with 16 points or a gentle hand (with ace) of 17 points, the dealer must buy a card. The exception is a hand with 5 cards - then the dealer may also stop.
At the end of the game, the hand of each player is compared to that of the dealer. The following order applies to this:
- Pontoon (bait and a map with the value ten).
- Five Card Trick (every hand with 5 cards).
- A hand with the value 21 (no pontoon).
- Every other hand.
Differences with blackjack
As you can read above, pontoon on many points correspond to other blackjack games. But there are a few striking differences that can have a considerable influence on the game and at your chances.
No open dealer card
With other versions of the game you can often see one or both cards from the dealer. That gives you important information about which hand that can get, and how far you have to play. That the dealer cards are close, makes pontoon more exciting, but harder.
With this game you cannot buy insurance against a pontoon (bait and ten). In the beginning of the game, the dealer looks at his own cards. If he has a pontoon, he immediately wins.
Fit, split, double
At pontoon the player also has a minimum value that he must collect. He may only fit if he has 15 points - or five cards with a value below 21.
The player can split several times in succession. Also on split hands may be doubled. A split hand with a bait and a ten is counted as pontoon. With other versions, a split hand with a bait and a ten does not count as a blackjack.
Winning and payouts
You win at Pontoon only if you have a better hand than the dealer. You have lost your commitment to a draw.
Some pontoon benefits are higher at most online games than with blackjack. With both the winning combinations and Five Card Trick you get 2: 1 paid out. All other hands provide a profit of 1: 1. The chance to get a higher payout is one of the great points of the game.
Conclusion - Is Pontoon Blackjack worth it?
This game has both benefits and disadvantages if you compare it with other blackjack games. Although the game at first sight looks very similar to blackjack, small deviations in the rules for another game experience. This is a short comparison of the UPS and Downs.
The benefits of pontoon
- Higher payouts in good hands.
- The dealer fits a lower hand value (16 or soft 17).
- Favorable rules for splitting and double.
The disadvantages of pontoon
- No open dealer cards.
- The dealer wins with a draw.
- The player must also reach a mandatory hand value (15).
Pontoon has a low house advantage of only 0.38%. That is just as good or better as with most other blackjack games. Are you so related to a new blackjack variation with exciting rules? Play a pontoon once online. And see how this interesting game turns off for you.
Frequently asked questions about pontoon
In terms of base, the game is actually the same as Classic Blackjack. But there are two major differences in the game. This way you can double with two cards and the 4 tens are removed from the game. This makes it more difficult to score a blackjack and you have to take more cards.
This is an additional game line at Pontoon. If you take 5 cards and you don't go over the 21 points then you win the game regardless of your score. Unless the croupier has a blackjack hand. This is the only way the croupier can still win. You will only come across this line from this variant of blackjack.
The house advantage is quite low 0.42%. The chance that you win as a player is quite large with this game. The house advantage is calculated over several rounds. So you have to hold on as you want to win.
As a player you have a few extra benefits, so that the house advantage fails fairly low. That is why there are extra rules to the game to actually disadvantage the player. An extra line with this game is that the couch always wins at a draw. Normally you simply get the bet at a draw.
Unfortunately it is not one of the most popular variants of Blackjack. As a result, you will not come across this version everywhere. If the casino has a version, it usually stands between the table games.