Pontoon is a game much like Blackjack, played with eight 52-card decks. The objective of the game is to get a hand that’s as close to 21 as possible, without going over.
Pontoon rules are explained in more detail below.
To play the game:
- Click on a chip to select it. Click on the available hand positions (the circles arranged in a semicircle on the table). Every click increases your bet by the value of the selected chip. Bets can be placed on any of the hands to play on only one or up to five hands simultaneously. To decrease your bet, right-click on the bet to decrease it by the value of the selected chip.
- You can click Clear Bets to remove all bets from the table.
- Clicking Double doubles the bets you have placed on the table.
- The minimum and maximum bet limits on each hand are dependent on your VIP level and are shown on the table. The limits apply to the initial bet only. Actions (such as Split, etc.) that require an additional bet can still be used even if you placed a bet equal to the maximum bet.
- Click the Deal button to deal the cards. Two cards are dealt to the player and the dealer hands. The cards are dealt one by one to each hand in turns, with the first card going to the player hand. The last card goes to the dealer hand and is dealt face down.
- The dealer checks his cards for the winning Pontoon hand, but otherwise they remain face down.
- If you are playing more than one hand, actions are taken for each hand separately, starting from the right-most hand.
- Use the Hit, Stand, Double and Split buttons as required.
- Please note that Double and Split require an additional bet. If your balance does not have enough money to cover these expenses, you will need to deposit more money to use these options.
- The dealer reveals the cards and draws additional cards according to the rules.
- Your hand is compared to the dealer’s hand.
- If you want to play another round, click New Game. Then place bets as described above or click Rebet to place the same bet as in the previous round and then click Deal to deal the cards. Click Rebet and Deal to place the same bets as in the last round and deal cards immediately.
In multihand mode, it is possible to place bets on a number of hand positions situated in a semicircle on the table. You can play one hand only if you wish, or any number of hands up to five by placing a bet on the hands. Every hand may have a different bet amount.
Cards are dealt one by one to each hand in turns, starting from the rightmost hand and moving clockwise with the dealer receiving the last card. Once the cards have been dealt, each hand is played separately, starting from the rightmost hand.
The differences between Pontoon and Blackjack are:
- There are two hands that beat a regular 21: Pontoon (an ace and a ten or picture card) and Five Card Trick (when the player holds five cards without busting, no matter what the total value of the hand is). 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. For example you can split two eights or a queen and a king, both of which rank ten points.
- If you get an ace and a ten or a picture card in your split hand, it counts as Pontoon
Regular cards have rank value (2 is two points, 5 is five points, etc). Jack, queen and king are ten points. The ace is 1 point or 11 points.
Hand ranking and payout
In descending order:
- Pontoon (Ace + 10-point card). Beats every other hand. Pays 2 to 1.
- Five Card Trick (Any five cards, as long as the total is not over 21). Beats every hand except Pontoon. Pays 2 to 1.
- 21 (Three or four cards totalling 21). Beats every hand except Pontoon and Five Card Trick. Pays even money.
- High Total (Two, three or four cards, as long as the total is not over 21). Beats every hand with a lower total, except Five Card Trick. Pays even money.
- Bust (Three or more cards totalling more than 21). Player loses the bet.
- The dealer must hit on a soft 17 (two, three or four cards totalling 17, if one of them is an ace) or lower.
- The dealer must stand on a hard 17 (two, three or four cards totalling at least 17 if none of them is an ace) or higher.
- In case of a push, the dealer wins.