Play Pontoon Casino Online
Pontoon is the British variation of the classic casino table game, Blackjack. There is some debate over the origins of the game, but it was most likely derived from Vingt-en-Un (literally meaning “21”), a French game played in the 17th century. It also incorporated aspects of a game known as Seven-and-a-Half which introduced the concept of going bust. The game was brought to the US at the time of the French Revolution. The English variant Pokies and the American variant are very similar, but the slight differences in rules can affect the strategy you use to play so it is important to understand them.
Playing Online Pontoon
Since the mid-1990s when the first online casinos were launched, players from around the world have had access to a wide range of blackjack variants. You are now able to play online pontoon wherever you find yourself in the world, thanks to Casino Pokie of Rapunzel, available also in mobile version. Its rules are simple to learn and by following pontoon strategy you can reduce the house edge.
The Aim of Pontoon
As with classic blackjack, the aim of the game is to achieve a total hand value of closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand, without going bust. Each card in the game has a value and these are added together to produce your total hand value. Cards two through ten have their face value, face cards are valued as ten and Ace is valued as one or eleven depending on your total hand value.
To begin a game, players must place their bets. You will then be dealt two cards face up, while the dealer will be dealt two cards face down. A hand value of 21 on your first two cards is known as a “pontoon” and this is the highest ranking hand. Players will then play their hand in the same way as in classic blackjack. Some version use different terms to describe the actions that a player can take on their hand, but the RTG game uses the same familiar terms as classic blackjack. Players can take a number of actions on their hand, including:
- Hit – receive another card. You can continue to hit until you choose to stand or you go bust. You can hit up to five times per hand.
- In order to stand, you must have either five cards or a total hand value of 15 or more.
- Double – double your ante bet and receive one more card to end your turn.
- Split – If your first two cards have the same value, you can split them into two separate hands played with two separate bets. Two cards valuing 21 in one hand is considered a pontoon after splitting.
There is no insurance bet in pontoon as the dealer has no up-card. Once you have completed your hand, the dealer will play his hand. The dealer must play according to the house rules of the casino – hit on a hard 16 or less and hit on a soft 17 or less and stand on a hard 17 or more or any five-card hand. The player will then be paid out for any wins. The dealer wins all ties in pontoon. Pontoon and a five-card hand pay out 2:1. Other wins (closer to 21 than the dealer without going bust or the dealer going bust, but your hand being under 21) pays out even money.
There are different variations of this game so it is important to follow basic strategy for the variation you are playing. Playing online Pontoon gives you the distinct advantage of being able to keep a pontoon strategy card next to you at all times. Follow this basic strategy and you can reduce the house edge in the game to as low as about 0.5%. Check out Pontoon – Wizard of Odds for more info.