Pontoon is a kind of American version of Spanish 21, which is often confused with British blackjack. That is why the latter can also be found under this title. In this article we are going to consider Pontoon, and British blackjack will be discussed in another article.
The 48-card decks without tens and jokers are used in this version of the game. This principle allows distinguishing two games, which are sometimes referred to as Pontoon, since the other variation is played using 52-card decks. The number of decks may vary from four to eight. The croupier uses a shoe or a shuffling machine to deal cards. It is possible to play at any blackjack table.
Aim of the Game
The aim of Pontoon is to score a 21 or the number of points that is as close to 21 as possible without exceeding it. If the total score is less than twenty-one points, it should exceed the score of the dealer.
The value of cards in pontoon is similar to their values in blackjack.
Number of Players
The number of players is limited by the quantity of boxes at the table. However players can make combined bets on one box without exceeding the maximum limit.
Having shuffled cards and prepared them for the game, the dealer offers players to make bets. Then he deals them two cards and places one card face up. Players draw cards on the boxes one by one as long as they want. If a Pontoon or 21 is collected, he immediately pays for it. If the player exceeds 21, he or she loses.
Then the dealer starts drawing cards. He hits on up to seventeen points. The dealer hits on a soft (with an ace) 17.
Winning boxes are paid 1 to 1, expect for special cases.
Bonus payouts are not valid if you have doubled a bet.
Users can also use the additional rules while playing. They are common for most versions of blackjack and other similar games. However they have some differences.
According to the rules for Pontoon, at different casinos the dealer can draw two cards (one of them face down). The number of splits can be limited. The re-split of aces can be prohibited. There are also special rules for doubling the bet.
If you play according to the basic strategy in the game with the rules mentioned above, you can reduce the house edge to 0.4% that is much lower than in classic blackjack.
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