Pontoon: British Blackjack

Even most non-gamblers have probably heard of blackjack, but what about pontoon? This is the UK version of blackjack that can be found at some online casinos, and which is a lot of fun to play.

Pontoon Words

Before trying to grasp the pontoon rules, it's important to memorize the different terms used in pontoon. Here are the word conversions from blackjack to pontoon: "hits" are "twists", "doubling down" is "buying", and a "stand" is a "stick". A "five-card-trick" is any non-busted five-card hand, and a hand with an ace and a 10-value card is called a "pontoon" rather than a "blackjack".

Pontoon Rules

Pontoon is played with 8 cards and pays 2 to 1. The dealer's cards are face-down, and the dealer must twist on hands up to 16 and stick on hands of 17 or more. Except for the pontoon, five-card-tricks beat all other hands. Players must twist on hands up to 14, while hands 15 or higher give players free-rein. Players can buy hands of 2, 3, or 4 cards once per hand. Finally, dealers win all ties.

Pontoon Pros and Cons

Obviously, the ultimate disadvantage of pontoon is that both of the dealer's cards are face down. This, and the fact that the dealer wins every tie, is a real downside to this game. However, the game still features a 2 to 1 payout, not only for a pontoon, but also for a five-card-trick. The best way to boost the odds of winning in pontoon is by utilizing a basic pontoon strategy table, which can be found online.

Online casinos are convenient and provide a great outlet for newbies to learn the ropes of pontoon. Some online casinos even offer a free-play option for gamblers to take advantage of. This allows newcomers to test strategies.