There are quite a number of Blackjack games that you can access and play online, but in the gaming suite of many casinos you will find a game known as Pontoon, this is similar to Blackjack in the way it plays however there are many differences.
In today’s article we are going to take a look at the game of Pontoon and let you know how it differs from Blackjack, so you will be able to make you own mind up as to whether it is a game you may fancy playing when you see it being offered at the casino you are playing at!
How to Play Pontoon
The aim of any game of Pontoon is for you to end the game with a higher hand than the Dealer but without going over a hand value of 21, this is much like Blackjack but there is a number of game playing differences and below we shall guide you through these differences.
Let us begin with the stakes you can play Pontoon for, you will find the minimum stake you can set the game in motion for is 1.00 and this is the same as the minimum stake on most Blackjack games, the maximum permitted stakes are also the same as Blackjack games and as such depending on the casino at which you are playing the maximum wager will be usually around 200.00 per hand.
Once you have placed your wager onto the table then the Dealer will deal two cards to you and also two cards to himself but one of his cards will be dealt face down and one of his cards will be visible to you and will be dealt face up.
If the Dealer has an up facing card that is an Ace then he is going to peek at his down facing card and if it is a 10 valued card then he will reveal both of this cards instantly and the game will end at that point in time.
The Dealer has to stop playing his hand whenever it has a total value of at least 17 and when he has he will then deal no further playing cards to his hand, once you have made your playing and betting decisions both your hand and the Dealers are compared and the highest valued hand is deemed to be the winning hand.
Pontoon Playing and Betting Decisions
You will find many different terms associated with the playing and betting moves that you can make when playing Pontoon, and as such you will need to familiarize yourself with what these are, so let us now give you an overview of these playing and betting decisions.
If you have been dealt out a hand that you are happy with and as such do not wish to be dealt any further cards to that hand you need to Stick, and this is similar to the Stand decision you make when playing Blackjack.
If you wish to get dealt a further card to your hand when playing Pontoon then you need to click on the Twist button, if you are a regular Blackjack player then you will know the similar option in that game is the Hit betting decision and when playing Blackjack by clicking on the Hit button one additional card will be dealt out to your hand.
When playing Pontoon there may come a time when you wish to purchase another card as opposed to being dealt out a free one which is what happens when you click on the Twist button, in cases such as this you click on the Buy button and this will see you having to place a bet of the same value as your initial wager onto the table and then one additional card will be dealt out to your hand. This is an identical playing move to the Double Down option on Blackjack games.
Pontoon Winning Payouts
The winning payouts are slightly different on Pontoon games, and as such if you have a Pontoon hand which beats the Dealers hand then you are paid out at odds of 2 to 1 which is a higher payout than the similar Blackjack hand of an Ace and a 10 valued card when playing Blackjack.
There is a unique hand you can get dealt out when playing Pontoon which is known as a Five Card Trick, when you are dealt out this hand you have a hand which contains five cards which have a total value of 21 or under, this winning hand also pays out at odds of 2 to 1.
All other winning player hands are paid out at even money, which is similar to when you are playing Blackjack and have a hand which is higher than the Dealers hand.
As you can see from the above overview of the game of Pontoon there are quite a number of differences in regards to how this casino card game plays and also pays, it can be quite an entertaining game to play and thanks to the house edge of this game when played with perfect strategy you should get plenty of fun and entertainment playing it.
The house edge which is around the 0.38% and 0.39% when played at online casinos such as those using Playtech and Microgaming software is only going to be achievable if you opt to play the game with perfect playing strategy which means you play each hand in the optimal way.
To be able to play Pontoon perfectly you could get a Pontoon strategy card, these are available at many websites and this strategy card will show you how to play every single hand you get dealt out in the optimal way, based on the value of the one playing card that the Dealer is showing.
Pontoon can also be played online for free and that is probably one of the best ways to initially play it to see if you like playing it whilst at the same time getting some playing experience under your belt!