Another unusual blackjack version, with British roots. This Pontoon rules are very close to classic blackjack, but have several key features that make this game variety interesting for online players. The goal of the Pontoon game is to beat the dealer by collecting the maximum number of points, but not more than 21.
The first thing that may surprise the beginner is the Pontoon terminology. The usual commands that are used in other varieties of blackjack can be replaced by the British version: Hit on Twist, Stand on the Stick, Double down on Buy, etc. The most valuable combination in this game is called “Pontoon”, although it consists of the same cards, as “blackjack” (Ace + “ten”). The game has a second special combination, which is inferior in strength only to “pontoon” – “Five Card Trick”. This combination consists of any five cards not exceeding a total of 21 points.
- From 2 to 10 – corresponds to the card face value;
- Jack, Dame, King – 10 points;
- Ace – either 1 or 11 points (at the request of the player);
- Card suits do not matter.
Pontoon game features
- the dealer plays with two hole cards;
- the player loses any tie;
- the dealer has to stop at “hard” 17 and get the card on “soft” 17;
- Pontoon and five-card trick combinations are paid 2 to 1;
- there is no surrender and insurance against blackjack.
At the beginning of the round, the player receives two open cards for each paid box. The dealer deals two closed cards to himself and checks them for the presence of a “pontoon”, since when this combination comes up, the round should automatically end and all bets will be lost. Even if one of the players in the hand received a “pontoon”, he loses the “pontoon” of the dealer, because there is no tie in this type of blackjack.
A player can double bet, having no more than four cards on the box. Click on the appropriate button for this – Double down or Buy. The player automatically receives another card on the box, and an amount equal to the initial bet will be withdrawn from his account. After doubling the player can continue the usual set of cards. However, doubling on one box is allowed to be done only once.In the Pontoon game, split can be done only 2 times before the formation of 3 hands. You can divide any pairs of cards, including “tens”. At the same time, if you split two “tens” and Ace comes to them in a couple, then such a combination is also considered a “pontoon” and will be paid for 2 to 1. There is no such possibility in ordinary blackjack.
The combination of “five-card trick” is another opportunity to reduce the casino’s advantage in the game. This combination consists of five any cards without busting. Five Card Trick beats almost all combinations, including 21 points. The 5-card hand loses only the “pontoon”, but it also pays – 2 to 1.
In the game, Pontoon is the most intriguing showdown. After all, both dealer’s cards remain closed until each player makes a final decision. It seems that such a nuance should increase the casino share, however, in fact, everything goes exactly the opposite. If you play according to the optimal strategy designed for Pontoon, then the advantage of online casinos can be as low as 0.39%. Therefore, the British version of blackjack is considered one of the most profitable, despite the presence of a number of peculiar rules.
A player gets a win if:
- collected more points than the dealer. Payouts – 1:1;
- dealers’ bust. Payouts – 1:1;
- the player received a “pontoon” at the hand, while the dealer has any other combination. Payouts – 2:1;
- the player received a “five-card trick” on the hand, while the dealer has any other combination, except for “pontoon”.
The payout is 2:1.It is worth considering that the individual rules or payments’ size may vary depending on the online casino and Pontoon version. Therefore, we recommend before starting the game to familiarize yourself with all the rules and the payment table on the online casino site.