Casino gaming online is one of the few industries of the 21st Century showing consistent sustained growth. New players are flocking to online and mobile casino sites daily. This is due to a range of games being available and assessable to casino play aficionados.
One of the casino table games that is gathering momentum on a global scale is pontoon. In essence, pontoon is the British version of blackjack.
With the popularity of this American game, pontoon is sometimes unheeded or simply considered just another name for the card game. There are, however, some noteworthy distinctions between blackjack and pontoon.
The growth of online pontoon warrants a clarification of the differences, as any comparison with blackjack makes the game of pontoon exciting and interesting as play, well as one being of the casino games with the smallest house odds. Besides, online pontoon is just so much more enjoyable when understood.
The Different Terms
The minor linguistic and terminological differences are also important to be aware of. In pontoon, when you want another card, you do not ‘hit,’ you ‘twist’.
In addition if you want to keep the cards you have, you don’t ‘stand’, you ‘stick’. What an online blackjack player calls ‘doubling down’, a pontoon player would call ‘buying’.
Basic Pontoon Rules
Where blackjack and pontoon are the same is that both table games are based on players and the dealer trying to score 21. Both also have swathes of loyal players around the world. This is largely due to the fact that these games provide players with some of the best odds available in the house.
Online pontoon is played by adding the face value of your cards. The objective of the game is to come as close to 21 without going over, while still having a higher total than the dealer. The truth is, as the best blackjack strategies will tell you, actually just t beat the dealer.
This is achieved through acquiring a combination of cards which each have a point value attached, based upon standard card values. Number cards are worth their equivalent in points and all picture cards are worth 10 points. Ace here can either be worth 1 or 11 points. Suits are not important.
Differences between Online Pontoon and Blackjack
There are a few basic differences between pontoon and blackjack. In online pontoon both the dealers’ cards are dealt face down, whereas in blackjack only one is face down. This does make it somewhat harder to decide on your next move, as players have no indication of the dealers’ hand.
Another difference is that the dealer in pontoon wins all ties, whereas in blackjack the player wins in the event of a tie.
One would think that means online pontoon has vastly higher odds, but this would be erroneous as there are some compensations in this regard. A winning hand of blackjack, a hand with an Ace and a ten or picture card, pays 3:2.
Being dealt a direct pontoon, on the other hand, the same cards, pays 2:1. In blackjack using 5 cards to score 21 or less is simply a 5 card hand, but in pontoon, this is known as scoring a 5-card trick, which is the second highest possible hand, and can only be beaten by a hand of pontoon.
The payout on a 5-card trick is also 2:1. There are also some additional minor rules variations between online pontoon and blackjack concerning doubling down.