Pontoon Gambling: Difference between Pontoon and Blackjack

Do you want to know the difference between Pontoon and Blackjack? Both shares many features, but, some rules set them apart from each other.

Are you eager to know what the difference between Pontoon and Blackjack is? There is no doubt that Blackjack is one of the most popular games in a casino. That is why there is no surprise that it has many variants.

Have you ever heard about Pontoon?

If no, Pontoon is one of the most popular exotic versions of this casino game. Moreover, it shares many features of 21. However, some rules set them apart from each other. If you want to know about their differences and similarities, let us start diving into the details.

Have you ever heard about Pontoon?
Have you ever heard about Pontoon?

What is Pontoon?

This card game is considered the earliest version of Blackjack. When compared to the standard game of 21, Pontoon has a different set of rules as well as terminology.

Furthermore, Pontoon is considered the British version of 21. Pontoon gets its name from the French word “Vingt-et-un” which means twenty-one. As such, it was designed to suit the needs of the English players. Dated back to the 17th century, Pontoon is believed to be originated in Spain. Then, its popularity spread to other countries like:

  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • United States

Since then, Pontoon became very popular around the world. Because it is very different from Blackjack as well as the game is enticing.

Pontoon Terminology

Before learning the Pontoon basic strategy, you must first be familiar with Pontoon terms. Upon studying how to play Pontoon, you will find out the terms are directly counterpart the normal Blackjack game.

  • Twist – Hit in Blackjack, wherein, you are asking for another card. You can twist if your hand is less than 15.
  • Stick – Stand in Blackjack, wherein, you do not want to ask for more cards.
  • Buy – Double down in Blackjack. In Pontoon, buy favors the player. Here, a player can buy on any hand, which is between 2 to 4 cards. In addition, the player can twist after he buys.
  • Pontoon – a Blackjack, which refers to a hand of an Ace and a 10-value card. Pontoon is also, what you called in a total hand value of 21.

How to play Pontoon casino?

Like normal Blackjack, the Pontoon game will start with placing a bet and dealing the cards. Also, the dealers’ cards are both facing down. Thus, you cannot see them. If the dealer has Pontoon (21), then, you lose. Moreover, when the dealer does not have Ponton, the players can “twist” to improve their hands.

In case your total hand value is 15 or more, you can “Stick”. This means you do not want extra cards. You win, when the dealer gets busted and you have a higher hand value than the dealer.

 When your total hand value does not exceed 21, you can also “Twist”. This means that you want an extra card to deal with facing up. Still, if your card’s hand value does not exceed 21 then you can twist one more card. In case you have 5 more cards and do not exceed 21, then you win. This is due to the reason that you have a five-card trick.

How to play Pontoon casino?
How to play Pontoon casino?

What is the difference between Pontoon and Blackjack?

Having a card less than 21 is a great advantage for you. As such, you are given an option to buy cards as well. This means you can double down your bet and twist at the same time.

Keep in mind that in Pontoon, a hand is valid when the total hand value is 15 or more. This means you can get an additional card even after splitting Aces. Moreover, you can twist if your total hand value is less than 15.

More importantly, the number of cards in Pontoon is very vital. You will win, even if the dealer’s hand has 4 cards and 21. Whereas, you are holding a five-card and less than the hand value of the dealer. For the reason that it is very difficult to get a 5 cards and still not exceeding 21.

In general, the Pontoon rules are similar to the traditional Blackjack game. However, experts have said that Pontoon offers the worse winning odds compared to 21. Due to the reason that the game offers a different rule set from the regular 21 game. Below are the outstanding differences you will notice in Pontoon.

Similarities and Difference between Pontoon and Blackjack

1. What is the difference between Pontoon and Blackjack? Simply, it is the Gameplay itself.

Pontoon and regular Blackjack starts the game by placing your bet. In addition, you will get two cards that are both facing up. Additionally, the Pontoon dealer will get two cards as well. However, the dealer cards are facing down in Pontoon.

Unlike in regular Blackjack, the dealer’s card has only one card faces down and the one is facing up.

During the Pontoon game, insurance and surrender are both still available. Also, winning the game is similar to a normal 21 games as well. In which, you need to form a hand that is higher than the dealer is and not exceeding 21.

If you know how to play regular Blackjack, then, you will not have trouble learning Pontoon. With Pontoon Blackjack, a 21 is called Pontoon instead of Blackjack.  (Here you can the Guideline on how to Play Blackjack)

What's the difference between the gameplay of Pontoon and Blackjack?
What’s the difference between the gameplay of Pontoon and Blackjack?

2. Pontoon Rules are not favorable than Blackjack

In a regular Blackjack, you can stand anytime. Even if you are asking for an extra card, it guarantees you cannot be busted. However, you cannot stand if you have 14 or less in Pontoon. Moreover, you will not be done hitting until your total exceeds 14.

Sadly, this will limit your options. Because in a regular Blackjack, you can win against the dealer with a card total of 14 or less. Yet, this will never happen in Pontoon.

3. Getting a tie means a loss in Pontoon

Draw or tie is one of the many differences between Pontoon and Blackjack. In a regular Blackjack, you can get back your stake in a tie. However, this is different in Pontoon.

A tie means the dealer wins. Moreover, this rule gives an edge to the house because tie/draw occurs regularly in a Blackjack game. With Pontoon, this rule can considerably eat into your edge.

4. Pontoon gambling: The dealer’s cards are both facing down

In Pontoon, you do not know whether the dealer has a chance to hit a 21. This is because the dealer’s cards are both facing down. What is the difference between Pontoon and Blackjack? Having the dealer’s card both facing down puts you at a disadvantage. Because you cannot change your Pontoon basic casino strategy if you know the possibility that, the dealers can hit 21.

In case you know the possibility that the dealer’s card has 21, then surrender.

What's the difference between Pontoon and Blackjack?
What’s the difference between Pontoon and Blackjack?

5. Pontoon gives better payouts for a 21

This is one thing why playing Pontoon is a great decision. In Pontoon Blackjack, when you hit a 21, the payout is 2:1. This is pretty good compared to a regular Blackjack wherein 3:2 is the usual payout.

6. In Pontoon, You can twist after doubling down

Another Pontoon rules that favor the players. In Pontoon casino, when you double down you can ask for new cards as well. While in a normal Blackjack, players are not allowed to take any hits after doubling down.

7. You can still double down with 3 or 4 cards

The difference between Pontoon and Blackjack is that you cannot double down unless you have two cards in a normal Blackjack game.

Nevertheless, with Pontoon casino, you can still double down even if you already have three or four cards. This is beneficial for you as you have more play options. However, be very careful in executing this moves unless necessary. Before doing so, make sure that this Pontoon strategy does not work against you.

8. The Pontoon’s Famous Five card trick – Difference between Pontoon and Blackjack

The 5-card trick is any hand below or equal to 21 that is consists of 5 cards. You can automatically win if this occurs even if the dealer has Pontoon.

For an instance, you have five cards of:

  • Spades = 2 hand value
  • Spades = 3 hand value
  • Clubs = 2 hand value
  • Hearts = 5 hand value
  • Diamonds = 6 hand value

Then, the dealer has two cards of:

  • Clubs = 10 hand value
  • Diamonds 9 hand value

Thus, your total hand value is 18. You are a winner even if the dealer’s hand totals are 19. If the dealer does not have 21, the player wins even if their total card is less than the dealer is. This 5-card trick is not an easy feat. Still, it can help to tip the odds in your favor, am I right?  

Which casino game should I play – Pontoon or Blackjack?

After learning about Pontoon and the difference between Pontoon and Blackjack, which game should you play? Is it Pontoon or Blackjack? As you can see, Pontoon’s rule gives some advantages and disadvantages to the Players.

Therefore, choosing the game you want to play with depends on your preferences now. Hence, whichever games you play, we advise that you keep an eye on your bankroll. Moreover, apply the best Blackjack and Pontoon basic strategy to increase your odds of winning.

Which casino game should I play - Pontoon or Blackjack?
Which casino game should I play – Pontoon or Blackjack?

Pontoon Gambling FAQs:

What makes Blackjack and Pontoon similar?

Blackjack and Pontoon both aim to create a hand value of 21. Alternatively, beat the dealer with a greater hand value without exceeding 21. Moreover, the ranking of cards and the way they create hands are similar as well.

What is the house edge in Pontoon?

We all know the Blackjack game offers the lowest house edge, is it true? Well, the same goes with this Blackjack variation. Pontoon comes with a good house advantage of 0.5%. In which, this is one of the lowest house edges that you can come across among other casino games. What’s more, the Pontoon has a payout ratio of 2:1. 

What do split aces mean in Pontoon?

In Pontoon, when your two cards have the same value, then, you may ask to Split. Here, you must place an additional stake on the second hand. In addition, your wager should be equal to your original bet. If you want to split Aces or any picture cards, then, you cannot get a Pontoon on either hand. If you split Aces, you will receive only one card for each Ace.

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