- Pontoon is the British edition of the famous banking game Twenty-One, maybe now best known in the form of the American Casino version Blackjack. The game Pontoon and its name are derived from the French vingt-et-un (21).
- The objective of Pontoon is for a Player to come as close to 21 without surpassing it, while still having a bigger total than the Dealer.
- Before receiving any cards, the Player must place a bet. After the betting, the Player is dealt two cards face up. The Dealer is also dealt two cards. If the total value of the Player's cards is closer to 21 than the Dealer, the Player wins as much as he gambled. The Player also wins if the Dealer surpasses 21 and the Player has not busted. If the Player's total goes over 21, the Player loses the amount gambled.
Card and Hands Values
- Suits of the cards have no meaning in the game.
- Cards 2 through 10 are the face value.
- Jacks, Queens and Kings are all valued at 10.
- Aces can count as either 1 or 11.
- The best hand of all is a Pontoon, which is 21 points in two cards (this can only consist of Ace plus a picture card or 10).
- Next best after a Pontoon is a Five Card Trick, which is a hand of five cards totaling 21 or less.
- A hand of three or four cards worth 21 points beats everything else except a Pontoon or Five Card Trick.
- High Total hands with 20 or fewer points and fewer than five cards rank in order of their point value (the nearer to 21 the better).
- Hands with more than 21 points are Bust and are worthless.
- If the banker and a player have equal valued hands, then the banker wins.
- Bet: to place a bet, the Player has to click on the chip value that they wish to wager.
- Deal: press Deal to begin the game once a bet has been placed. The Player gets 2 cards face up and the Dealer gets 2 cards face down.
- Hit: if the Player wants another card. The Player must have a Hard Total of 15 before Standing.
- Stand: if the Player desires to keep the hand dealt. The game will automatically Stand when the Player has a 21 with 4 cards or less or has any 5-card total. Players cannot Stand with a Hard Total of 14 or less.
- Split: if the Player's first two cards are of the same value (i.e. 7, 7, or Q, Q) they may be split into 2 separate hands by placing a second bet of equal value. In Pontoon, only 10's of equal rank (Q, Q / K, K) can be split. J, Q would not qualify for a split hand. The Player may have up to 3 hands at one time. The Player then proceeds to draw cards as usual, with these exceptions:
- a Player may draw and double after splitting Aces. A 2-card 21 after splitting Aces counts as a Pontoon.
- Double: if the Player desires to Double Down their initial bet. In Pontoon, the Player may Double at any time and may hit after Doubling. If a Player has doubled down and receives a total of 14 or less, the hand will automatically draw cards until the total is over 14.
- Bust: is achieved when total value of cards for either the Dealer or the Player surpasses 21. If the Player busts the bet is lost, if the Dealer busts the Player automatically wins the amount gambled.
The differences between Pontoon and Blackjack are:
- There are two hands that beat a regular 21: Pontoon and Five Card Trick. Both hands pay 2 to 1.
- Both the dealer's cards are face down until the player Stands or Busts.
- There is no Insurance option.
- In case of a tie, the dealer wins.
- At the beginning of a hand, the dealer will check his cards. If the dealer has a Pontoon, the dealer's cards will be turned over right away and the player will lose his bet.
- The player cannot Stand until they have a hand of at least 15.
- The player can draw as many cards as they like after they Double.
- The player can only split cards with equal rank.
- If you get an ace and a 10 or a picture card in your split hand, it counts as Pontoon.
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