What, you have never heard of the pontoon as a card game? You must have never been to Australia then. This game is particularly popular out there and every respectful Aussie knows how to play it. Firstly, you need to know that if you can play Blackjack or 21, you are pretty much the same as can play pontoon. Secondly, read this guide and go and nail the portoon card game!
Pontoon Rules: basics to remember
Again, if you are familiar with Blackjack basic strategy chart, it’s gonna be a piece of cake for you. The idea is to count the card value and overplay the dealer. There is a minimum of three people who take part in a game: at least two players and a dealer. There is always a dealer, whether you play in a real or online casino. To win you need to get a total value of your cards higher than the dealer’s. But not more than 21. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? The thing is that in a pontoon card game there is no tie in option. The dealer wins all the ties.
What is with the cards?
With cards everything is simple: you need to count their number and their value. The number of deck usual for the casino game is eight. In such a way, casinos try to trick you so you don’t count cards. A skillful player, in fact, won’t be bothered by that. Will you? Some old-school casinos still put two decks in a dealer’s shoe. As long as it goes, you have higher chances to win in such games. Fewer cards — bigger chances. Remember. Now about how to count. Easy, the same as in 21. In other words, Ace goes for one point or eleven, jacks, queens, and kings count as 10 and all the rest as many as written on the faces. A bit of math and you’ve got your winning hand.
Best hands in Pontoon
It’s simple. The best combination you can get in a pontoon card game is called a pontoon. Probably, that’s where the name comes from. This combination is an ace and a 10-point value card that gives you the desired 21 points. It wins everything! Unless the dealer, unfortunately, has 21 points as well. And you remember, no ties in pontoon. The second best combination is the Five Card Trick. Can you guess how many cards you need? You are absolutely right! Five cards that make 21 points beat everything but the pontoon combination. In case nobody at the table has exactly 21, the winner is a hand with the biggest total. But no more than 21. If you go above that, you lose.
Blackjack and Pontoon: what is the difference
Just the name. Pulling your leg. Of course, there is a difference but it isn’t that huge. First, when dealing cards the dealer at the Blackjack table typically puts one face up and one down. In the pontoon, there is no dealer. There is a banker. So the banker has both cards faced down. It makes the game more challenging than Blackjack but definitely more interesting.
In Blackjack rules, if you need more cards you hit. Similarly, you can ask for more cards in pontoon but you will have to pay for it. You add to the wager and ask for an additional card. Or two or three or as many as you need if you are still under 21. Points, not years. On the contrary, Blackjack gives you a little bit more freedom in your moves. Stand on 9 and play super-safe? No problem at all. In Blackjack. This version of the game doesn’t take it. You have to twist until you have at least 14 points on your hands. To sum up, this is how to play pontoon in a nutshell. If you feel uncertain you can nail it with a cool head in a real-life casino, give it a try in an online one. There nobody will mess your cards or cheat with your chips. Just you, the table, and your winning.