If you’re a fan of Blackjack, you’ll absolutely love Pontoon. This game has essentially the same setup as blackjack and many of the same features, but there are some differences in gameplay and terminology. The biggest difference between Blackjack and Pontoon is the fact that you’re able to play multiple hands in one go in Pontoon.
Another key difference is the language used. In Blackjack, you hit when you want to receive another card and stay when you don’t. In Pontoon, you twist when you want another card and stick when you’re ready to call it quits. In both games, the objective of the game is the same: get closer to 21 than the dealer to win.
Anyone who’s played Blackjack before will have no problem jumping right into Pontoon. To start with, you’ll see three different empty card spots on the table. These are the three different hands you’re allowed to play. Clicking on a spot places a bet on that hand and makes the dealer deal cards to that spot on the table. If you want the best odds of winning, you can play all three hands in one go. The nice part about this is the fact that you can still make a relatively small bet while betting on a few different hands. The downside is that the 2x payout isn’t likely to keep you in the black.
You can also win in Pontoon with what’s called a five card trick. A five card trick is when you get at least five cards in a single hand that equal up to 21 or less. Five card tricks still pay the same amount of 2x your bet, but they will also beat a regular 21 if that’s what the dealer or another player has.
In addition to twisting and sticking, you also have the option of splitting your hand. This takes two cards of the same value and separates them, creating two different bets for the round. When you split your cards, the dealer will automatically deal a face-down card to both of your hands.
In many versions of Pontoon, the dealer has to twist when he has a soft 17 or a regular 16 hand. A soft 17 hand is when the dealer has an ace that’s counted as 11, such as an ace with a 6.
Like Blackjack, Pontoon is one of the best table games to play in terms of odds. Depending on where you’re playing Pontoon and which strategies you employ to gain an advantage, the house edge can be as small as about 0.40%.
In free versions of Pontoon, the return to player (RTP) can be as high as 99.66%. This gives you great odds at winning even though you only win twice your bet per winning hand. That’s what makes Pontoon such a fun table game; it’s not too expensive to play, and although the prizes are a bit small, you have a great shot at winning.