Pontoon is a British variation of BlackJack and certainly an exciting game to play. Thanks to our friends at Bet365 Casino, we are now able to offer it completely free. Simply wait for it to load below and you can do so with no limitations.
Casino Pontoon is a card table game that is a British variation of BlackJack. It features very similar rules to its big brother with a couple of adjustments in terms of payouts and game-play. While the game is actually known as a club one, thus between people, online casinos have started to offer a type of Pontoon that is played versus the house (casino). We will review this type, instead of the club one. If you are looking for the rules of the ”real” club based Pontoon game, refer to this page at Wikipedia for a detailed walk through of that game. Lets follow up with the rules of this game along with game-play and some specifics that differ it from the more known game of 21 (BlackJack).
The main goal of the game is to reach a point score as close to 21 as possible, without exceeding it. This is only partially true, though, because the main goal is to reach a higher point score than the dealer, as you will win a payout every time you do so. If you exceed 21, you lose, same applies to the dealer.
GamePlay & Rules
Same way as twenty-one, a hand of Pontoon starts with players placing wagers on the table layout. Online casino sites usually offer a table with 5 betting boxes, but only allow to wager on one of them, usually the middle one. So the first thing to do is to determine how much you are willing to bet. Once that’s done, simply hit the deal button and two cards will be dealt to both, you and the dealer. Dealer will have his cards upside down, which is the first major difference from BlackJack. You won’t be able to know what his cards are, unless he has dealt a natural hand, referred to as ”Pontoon”, consisting of an ace and a face card.
If the dealer has a natural hand, it will be instantly turned over and you lose your wager even if you also have a hand of the same value. Before we jump into the actual gameplay, take a look at how cards are valued in this game.
- Aces – 1 or 11 points
- Face Cards & Tens – 10 points
- Numbered cards, deuces to nines – face value.
So now you hold a hand consisting of 2 cards and unless you or the dealer has a natural hand, the following options will be presented to you:
- Hit – take another card
- Stand – don’t take another card and let the dealer draw his own hand.
- Double – double your wager and take another card. This is where Pontoon differs from BlackJack once again as you can double anytime in this game, even when holding 3 or more cards. You can also hit more cards after doubling your wager and taking another card.
- Split – if you have two cards of equal value (two fives for example), you can split them and play each as a separate hand by hitting more cards and even doubling.
Once you are done with making your decisions, dealer proceeds to drawing cards to his own hand. He follows a specific set of rules, when doing so.
Dealer follows a simple set of rules, when drawing cards to his own hand. These are not affected by the value of players card hand.
- Hits on 16 and on soft 17 (soft 17 is a hand consisting of an ace and a six.)
- Stands on hard 17 or more
- If you hold a hand that features a higher point score than the dealer, you earn an even money payout. Same applies if the dealer has exceeded 21.
- If the dealer holds a hand higher in value than yours, you lose your wager.
- If both, you and the dealer have equal point score, you lose your wager. This is another significant difference from BlackJack, where the hand would be a push – you neither win or lose.
If you are dealt a natural hand of Pontoon (an ace and a face card) dealing is instantly stopped and dealer turns over his own cards. If he doesn’t have an equal hand, you are awarded with a payout at 2 to 1 odds. In the event of dealer also having a natural hand, you lose your wager.