For many in the world, Pontoon is the blackjack game they know. If you have ever loved the classic game of blackjack, this is one special game that is really worth learning. The rules, strategy and winning hands are very different than the other blackjacks.
Some of the experience may look exactly the same as classic blackjack, however. For example, players sit across from the dealer at an arc-shaped table. Each hand is dealt and played independently and players must only beat the dealer to win the hand. 21 is still the goal, as it is in classic blackjack. If you get closer to 21 than the dealer, without going over 21, then you win.
To begin, Pontoon uses what is called a “Spanish deck”. A Spanish deck has 48 decks, which means that the 10s have been removed from the standard 52-card deck. To make up for the disadvantage with the 10s missing, the players are afforded some special extras. Always double-check with the casino that you play at, but the following are generally standard rules. First, if a player has a 21 or blackjack, it is an automatic win. The dealer does not take a “hole” card and will “hit” on a soft 17. Players are allowed to double down even after splitting.
Some special hands that really give Pontoon its spunk are the Pontoon, 5-Card Trick and 3 or 4-Card 21. A Pontoon is your big wish; it is the blackjack of the game. If you get an Ace and a Jack, Queen or King (totalling 21), on the first two cards dealt, then you have a Pontoon. The Pontoon pays 2 to 1. The 5-Card Trick is the next best thing to Pontoon perfection. The 5-card trick entails taking five or more cards that do not go over 21 points. This hand will also pay 2 to 1. Even if your total is less than 21, you will still beat a 3 or 4-card 21 with you 5-Card Trick.
The third best hand in Pontoon is the 3 or 4-Card 21. If no one at the table has a special hand like the Pontoon or 5-Card Trick, a hard fought 21 is still a winner. Pontoon is such an interesting twist for those of you used to the classic blackjack. Learning, practicing< and perfecting your Pontoon skills is easy if you use the free online forums.