Pontoon Blackjack: From Australia, With Fury
Despite being new to the gambling space, you’ve undoubtedly heard all about Blackjack. The vast popularity of this table game has spawned several variations, one of which is Pontoon. With gameplay that’s easy to grasp, low house edge, and high payouts, Pontoon Blackjack has become a favorite of online and offline players worldwide. This is the perfect game if you’re looking for an alternative and exciting gambling experience. In this concise guide, we provide an overview of all you need to know to optimize your chances of winning in Pontoon. Let’s dive in!
How to Play Pontoon – The Rules
As in Blackjack, the objective of Pontoon is to beat the dealer by receiving cards totaled at a higher value without exceeding 21. Otherwise, you “bust” and lose. The strongest hand possible is a two-card hand totaling 21 which contains an Ace or a 10-valued card. This is known as a Pontoon rather than a Blackjack and typically pays 2:1 or 200%. Next is the Five Card Trick, which involves a hand of five cards totaling 21 or less.
Pontoon is played with a standard 52-card deck with the 10-valued cards removed, leaving a deck of 48 cards. The process of the game is quite similar to Blackjack, with only minor differences in the rules. To start a round, the dealer or banker deals one face-down card to each player. All players will then make their initial bets, after which the dealer deals a second card face down. The round is now on, and if you get a pontoon, you win the bet. If instead, the dealer has a pontoon, you lose and have to pay double your original bet.
If no one hits a pontoon, the round enters a phase in which each player makes decisions based on their hand. You can “twist” a card (known in Blackjack as a “hit”) where the dealer continues to deal you cards till you win a five-card trick or exceed 21. Alternatively, you can “stick” (known in Blackjack as a “stand”), where you keep your bet and pass the turn on to the next player till your hand is higher than the dealer’s and you win. You can also “buy” more cards by adding to your bet and getting another card dealt face down.
One of the critical differences between Blackjack and Pontoon is that the latter allows you to double down before hitting. In addition, while the payout for a natural in Blackjack is 3:2, you win a 2:1 payout in Pontoon. Pontoon offers a lower house edge, even as low as 0.38%.
What are the Winning Strategies for Pontoon Blackjack?
Both Pontoon and Blackjack involve a combination of skill and luck, so you can improve your chances of winning with the right strategies. Pontoon’s Basic Strategy chart suggests the best action based on your hand and the dealer’s card. It involves hitting, standing, and doubling down to help further reduce the house edge. You can also keep track of the cards that have been dealt with and adjust your bet accordingly. We recommend you practice with free versions online to understand the game better and hone your skill.
Pontoon offers you the chance to experience a unique side of Blackjack and enjoy the classic game exhilaratingly. With this brief overview and tips, you should be familiar with the game and ready to get into action. Choose a Pontoon game from an online casino and start playing for free or real money. Good luck and have fun!