Pontoon is a similar game to classic Blackjack and was taken around the world with the British armed forces during the 20th Century.
The game is played usually played with 6 or 8 decks of 52 cards but without the 10 spot cards. The court cards are worth 10 points each and a court card together with an Ace card makes a Pontoon as the 2 cards add up to 21.
Even after splitting your hand you can still get a pontoon with a score of 21 whereas in Blackjack, after splitting your hand your score of 21 can no longer be called a ‘Blackjack’ but simply 21 which gives a lower return on your bet.
Stick, Twist and Buy
Slightly different terms such as ‘Stick’ instead of the word Stand, ‘Twist’ instead of Hit and ‘Buy’ instead of Double when a player wants to double his bet are used in the British version of Pontoon.
The object of the game as with Blackjack is to get as close to 21 as possible and beat the dealer with any score over 21 meaning you go bust or lose to the dealer. The player who gets 21 points always beats the dealers 21 points however a tie always leads to the player losing.
How Pontoon is played
The player is dealt 2 cards face up and the dealer 2 cards face down which he can peek at to see if he has a natural Pontoon which is the 21 of a Blackjack. The player has a natural advantage of being able to show a natural Pontoon immediately and win the round as the dealer has no hole card and will not declare a natural until he has drawn his second card and the round ends.
The Dealer must always hit on soft 17s which is when he has an Ace which can count as a 1 or an 11 as with Blackjack. Players who make what is called a 5 card trick which is a total of 21 made up of 5 card values are winners of that hand and get paid out on their bet as if they won a Pontoon.
There are many Pontoon variants at different online casinos so it is advisable to read through the rules that have been adopted by the casino that you have selected to join through our links below to many reputable casinos.