Pontoon originates out of Britain and is very similar, if not exactly the same as to the game known as Twenty-One, which is the more popular name used. It is played similar to other forms of blackjack with minor differences.
Number of Decks Used
Pontoon uses one deck of 52 cards and needs a minimum of two players to play. Most pontoon blackjack tables can go up to anything between five and eight players. Normally anything from seven or eight players will dictate to dealers that a second deck of 52 cards is used to keep game fair.
Cards Are Scored at the Following Values
In any game of Pontoon, here are how the cards are scored. Cards between two and ten are scored at face value, ten, Jack, Queen and King have a value of ten and Ace can either be one or eleven. The choice of what you use the Ace as will largely be dependent on what other cards the player has in his or her hand.
Pontoon Screenshot from the Blackjack Game developed by Betsoft Gaming
Betsoft Gaming develops many games for online casinos and the above screenshot is their version of Pontoon. Pontoon cans be played in many other casinos also.
Dealing a Game of Pontoon Blackjack
To start a game of Pontoon, you must place your wager on the table, before the hand is dealt. After that the dealer will deal out two cards starting with the player immediately to the right of the dealer. A second round of cards will be dealt where after the players are allowed to look at their cards.
Dealer will keep his cards face down. He is not allowed to turn his cards over until all the players have looked at their cards and made the appropriate decisions.
Players now add up the value of their cards and try to get as close to 21. Even better if you get exactly, the number 21. If you have a low value you are allowed to ask the dealer “buy another card”. If you decide to buy the card you must place you wager on the table. The value of the wager for additional cards is the same value as your initial wager. A fourth or fifth card can also be bought.
Splitting Pairs Allowed
If you have two cards of the same value in your hand, you may split the pair and form two different hands. Remember if you do this, a second wager has to be placed on the table as each hand is treated individually.
The whole aim behind Pontoon is to get your cards to add up to 21. But if after buying extra cards the value ends up to over 21 your are bust and out of the game. If you hold a hand that matches 21 or you are the person closest to the number 21, you will be deemed the winner.
Pontoon May Not Be for Novice Players
Based upon the additional avenues of betting, a game of pontoon blackjack can become expensive. You may also increase your winnings if you bet carefully and win the hands. Novice players should keep this in mind and you need to bet and play responsibly.
Best Places to Pontoon Blackjack
You can play pontoon blackjack at many RTG casinos as well as a few others. We will list a few of the most popular for you below.