How to Properly Play Pontoon

How to Properly Play Pontoon

February 20, 2011.

Pontoon is possibly the most unique blackjack game available online. This exciting race to 21 pits the player against the dealer. With great odds and fast-paced action, Pontoon is a great game for virtually every gambler to try out. Of course, before playing any table game, it's best to know the rules and proper strategy, so let's take a minute and look at the details of Pontoon.

Pontoon is only available on Real Time Gaming casinos. Thankfully, there are many trustworthy RTG casinos that you can choose to play at. Best of all, these casinos are always available to players in the United States, so no one is excluded from trying out Pontoon.

At first glance, the game of Pontoon seems incredibly worse than blackjack. The dealer deals two cards to both the player and himself, but does not reveal either of his cards. Therefore, unlike conventional blackjack, gamblers can't use the dealer's up-card to determine what moves they should make. Second, ties are treated as losses. While getting a hand of 20 in blackjack is almost always a winner, or at worst a tie, players can never be too sure of their hands in Pontoon.

However, Pontoon's fantastic odds come from its liberal rules. Right from the get-go, if you get a Pontoon (first two cards add up to 21), you automatically get 2:1 pay as long as the dealer does not also have one. This is significantly more pay than a normal blackjack pays. Second, if you successfully get a hand of five cards without busting, you also win 2:1 on your wager as long as the dealer doesn't do the same thing. Finally, if you split a hand and get 21 on either or both of the resulting hands, it will be treated as a Pontoon. With all these opportunities to triple your money, Pontoon is definitely worth checking out.

Perhaps the best thing about this twenty-one game, though, is the ability to double whenever. In conventional blackjack, doubling is only allowed on the first two cards, and sometimes even only on certain sums. With Pontoon, however, you can double once at any time. This is excellent because it allows players to win even more on guaranteed 2:1 hands. For instance, if someone has any soft hand made up of four cards, he or she can double their wager and almost guarantee a 2:1 win.

Thankfully, people can play this fantastic game without having to memorize a strategy nearly as complicated as that of blackjack. This is because a player's moves are only based on their own cards, not the dealer's, since there is no up-card.

On the first two cards, double on 10 or 11, stand on a hard 15 or higher or a soft 19 or higher, and hit on everything else.

After getting a third card, double on 9, 10, 11, soft 19 or soft 20 (or hit if you can't), double on soft 21 (or stand if you can't), stand on a hard 15 or higher, and hit on everything else.

After the fourth card is where things get intense and may sound crazy, but going aggressive at this point is the most profitable since you're only one card away from 2:1 pay. Hit on hard 17, stand on hard 18 or higher, and double everything else (or hit if you can't).

It is rare that a game's optimal strategy can fit into just three sentences, but that's really all there is to it. Pontoon gives players a great opportunity to hit big payouts at great odds with a very basic strategy. Be sure to check out this action-packed 21 game the next time you stop into any one of our reputable RTG casinos.