In continuation with our blackjack guide, we now present you with one of the more famous variants of the game: Pontoon online. Inside this review of Pontoon, we will introduce the game, teach you how to play Pontoon, discuss strategy and answer common questions regarding Pontoon as a game.
Introducing Pontoon online
Playing Pontoon online offers a great alternative to blackjack, however some state that Pontoon is, in fact, the original game. This Pontoon Blackjack game is widely popular inside of the online casinos you will be able to join from our website.
Avid players of regular blackjack may know of this feature and its many benefits as a variant option to play.
There are two key factors that separate Pontoon from blackjack and other variant forms, and they align in the moves both player and dealer can make. The buying and adding of cards, the latter of which is not a move a dealer can make in normal blackjack rules.
Playing the Pontoon card game online
Though a popular game outside of the online casinos, inside, the game is a much sought-after enigma that very casinos online provide. Fortunately, more than 50% of the recommended casinos listed in our top 10 list of sites do offer this game in both of its formats.
Pontoon is a game that comes from online casinos as a virtual machine game or one that can be played against a live dealer.
The majority of the time, Pontoon is presented and available as a virtual slot game, more so than it is as a live dealer game.
The most common Pontoon game online right now is Pontoon by Real Time Gaming, Other developers like Playtech and Microgaming, amongst others have made their own version, but for casinos on the New Zealand market, the Real Time Gaming version is more prevalent.
When accessing the Pontoon card game online, it is best to practice with a free demo game first, to see if this is a game you do indeed what to invest in with your money. Here we cover the rules of the game, highlighting how the dealer wins from the cards dealt, how you can win from the cards in your hand, how many decks of cards are used.
When you start to play Pontoon, your aim is still to collect a value of 21 from the cards you have in your hand, or as close to as possible. Go beyond this, and as standard blackjack rules dictate, you will go bust.
Your hand that you hold is not the defining decider of the game because you still have the Pontoon dealer, thusly you must beat the hand of the dealer to win the game or round.
- The aim is to be as close to 21 or on 21 and have a higher hand value than the dealer.
- Pontoon can be played with up to 8 players.
- Pontoon uses a 52-card deck.
- Card Ranks are the same as blackjack.
- The best hand is a 2-card hand of Ace and any face card or a 10.
- The Five Card Trick is the second-best hand to make.
- Pontoon allows players to buy or double down.
How to play
When playing online, you have the choice of two formats, the rules and how to play are the same for live dealer games and virtual machines. The first step you make with both is to lay down your bets or wager to play going forward.
You will be dealt one card, at this point you can place your bets, once confirmed, the dealer will give you a second card to complete your hand. The dealer will be in the same situation, if the dealer hits 21 they must immediately reveal their cards and claims double the amount of what each player originally staked.
Should the dealer not land 21 immediately, then the game commences with the option to claim further cards from the dealer to better your hand.
Now, there are several scenarios that can follow, so we will go over them, so you understand your options when playing.
Moves in Pontoon
Hitting 21: Should you have 21, you must announce Pontoon.
Make a Split: If you manage to have two cards that are of equal rank, you are allowed to split them. Doing this allows you to form two new hands, both of which will have their own bets for them to beat the dealer’s hand. This effectively gives you double the chance to beat the dealer. The dealer will give you two additional cards, should any new card match the original, you can split again to make a third or even fourth hand to attack the dealer with.
Double/Buy: If during any course of the game you find your cards of lower ranking value and far below 21, you can buy a card. Your additional card comes at a cost of your original stake or double, but no more. You can buy up to an additional 3 cards and with this create a Five Card Trick should the total be on or below 21. Because you buy each card, the profitability from a win increase.
Hit/Twist: “Twisting” is a term used when a player wants to have an additional card if their value is less than 21. This is the same move as a buy, but you are not increasing your financial odds. These extra cards are provided with your only original wager remaining to win the game.
Stand/Stick: This term is used to announce that you no longer wish to receive any more cards and are happy with the hand you have before or after moves to buy or twist.
Bust: The term bust purely means that either you or the dealer or any other player has exceeded the 21 limit to win.
During your play, you are able to combine the moves of buying a card and twisting. Should you wish to buy your third card, you are then eligible to twist after for a fourth or fifth card if needed. Or Buy a third and fourth with the option to twist on a fifth.
The change in the game from blackjack to pontoon are these subtle move changes, but more noticeable in the change from blackjack to pontoon is the fact the dealer can add more cards and can also perform a Five Card Trick.
Basic strategy for Pontoon
Is there a Pontoon basic strategy blackjack players can use? Yes, there is a chart that can help assist players in making the right choices and moves within a game bases on mathematical and probability theory.
Here we will highlight the card hand values and the number of cards making up the hand and inform you of the best move to make in that situation.
For example: Total of 21 with 2 Cards = Stand / 3 Cards = Stand / 4 Cards = Stand. Or, Total of 14 with 2 Cards = Twist or Buy / 3 Cards = Twist or Buy / 4 Cards = Double.
Hand Strategies in Pontoon
Total of 21 with 2 Cards = Stand / 3 Cards = Stand / 4 Cards = Stand.
Total of 20 with 2 Cards = Stand / 3 Cards = Stand / 4 Cards = Stand.
Total of 19 with 2 Cards = Stand / 3 Cards = Stand / 4 Cards = Stand.
Total of 18 with 2 Cards = Stand / 3 Cards = Stand / 4 Cards = Stand.
Total of 17 with 2 Cards = Stand / 3 Cards = Stand / 4 Cards = Double.
Total of 16 with 2 Cards = Stand / 3 Cards = Stand / 4 Cards = Double.
Total of 15 with 2 Cards = Double / 3 Cards = Stand / 4 Cards = Stand.
Total of 14 with 2 Cards = Hit / 3 Cards = Hit / 4 Cards = Double.
Total of 13 with 2 Cards = Hit / 3 Cards = Hit / 4 Cards = Double.
Total of 12 with 2 Cards = Hit / 3 Cards = Hit / 4 Cards = Double.
Total of 11 with 2 Cards = Double / 3 Cards = Double / 4 Cards = Double.
Total of 10 with 2 Cards = Double / 3 Cards = Double / 4 Cards = Double.
Total of 9 with 2 Cards = Hit / 3 Cards = Double / 4 Cards = Double.
Total of 8 with 2 Cards = Hit / 3 Cards = Hit / 4 Cards = Double.
Total of 7 with 2 Cards = Hit / 3 Cards = Hit.
Total of 6 with 2 Cards = Hit / 3 Cards = Hit.
Total of 5 with 2 Cards = Hit.
Total of 4 with 2 Cards = Hit
Ace and 10 with 2 Cards = Stand / 3 Cards = Double or Stand / 4 Cards = Double.
Ace and 9 with 2 Cards = Stand / 3 Cards = Double / 4 Cards = Double.
Ace and 8 with 2 Cards = Stand / 3 Cards = Double / 4 Cards = Double.
Ace and 7 with 2 Cards = Hit / 3 Cards = Hit / 4 Cards = Double.
Ace and 6 with 2 Cards = Hit / 3 Cards = Hit / 4 Cards = Double.
Ace and 5 with 2 Cards = Hit / 3 Cards = Hit / 4 Cards = Double.
Ace and 4 with 2 Cards = Hit / 3 Cards = Hit / 4 Cards = Double.
Ace and 3 with 2 Cards = Hit / 3 Cards = Hit / 4 Cards = Double.
Total of 16 with two 8 cards = Split or Stand
Total of 2, 12 or 22 with two Ace = Split or Hit
FAQ: Answering queries about Pontoon
Which casinos offer Pontoon?
Over 50% of the casino listed on our site provide a format of Pontoon to play. The current TOP 5 Pontoon Casinos are: • Slots of Vegas • Raging Bull Casino • Planet 7 Casino • 777 Casino • Gutz Casino
What is Pontoon online?
Pontoon is an online card game that is a variant of Blackjack. Though many believe the rules and principles of play within Pontoon came before Blackjack, thusly making Pontoon the original game.
Is Pontoon online part of Blackjack?
The Pontoon game is found categorised within the Blackjack and Card Game menus of online casinos. The games are born of each other and, therefore, seen as variations that have the same goal of how to win, but getting there is different.