Pontoon Blackjack

Pontoon is a British card game, which is one of the many blackjack variations available on the internet today. Pontoon blackjack is different from the classic version of blackjack, although the goal in both these games is to make a hand higher than the dealer’s hand or closest to 21, without exceeding the sum. Around 5 to 8 players, of which one has to be the banker or dealer, can play this game with decks of 52 cards.

How to play Pontoon Blackjack

Pontoon is similar to the classic game of blackjack, where each player gets two cards that have to be bet on. If the sum of the two cards comes up to 21, which can be with an ace and a 10 value card (ten, king, queen or jack), it is called Pontoon, like blackjack, and is the highest hand.

Pontoon Rules

Here are the basic rules of Pontoon you should keep in mind.

  • The cards are dealt face up to all players and face down for the dealer.
  • The Pontoon is the highest hand in the game. A 5-card hand that is less than 21 is the second highest with the 3 or 4 card 21’s ranking third. The next in rank would be 3 or 4 card totals of 20, 19, 18 and so on.
  • If your cards are less than 15, you should hit or buy additional cards, dealt face down, by increasing your original wagers by one or two times. You can buy up to 5 cards in this fashion till your hand is higher than the dealer’s or you get busted.
  • Alternatively, you can get an additional card faced up without having to buy it or increase your wager.
  • Players get their bets back, irrespective of the value of their cards, if the banker gets busted.
  • Pair splitting is allowed up to 2 times, and doubling is allowed for a hand with 2, 3 or 4 cards.
  • The player who is dealt a Pontoon in the current round becomes the banker for the next round.

Pontoon Strategies

To win the game of Pontoon online, you should learn not just the rules of the game but also its strategies. Here are a few Pontoon strategies you can use for increasing your chances of winning.

  1. The first thing is to try not to get busted. For this, you should ‘Stick’ or ‘Stand’ when you have a card value of at least 15.
  2. Secondly, you should try to use the 5 card trick, in case you don’t get a Pontoon. This will increase your chance of winning when no other player or banker has a Pontoon.
  3. Try to maximise your winnings by ‘buying’ a card, rather than ‘twisting’ it, and double your wager amount.
  4. Split your cards only when you get a pair of 8s or aces for the best odds.

Pontoon is an appealing blackjack variant as it has one of the lowest house edges of 0.38%. This is why you should look for online casinos that offer attractive bonuses for Pontoon blackjack and use the strategies of the game to clear them as soon as you can.


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