Pontoon Card Game Rules

how to play the pontoon casino game

how to play pontoonSimilar to Blackjack, the game Pontoon has a few differences. While playing Pontoon, all players, including the dealer are dealt two cards face down. The dealer may look at his/her own cards, but they must stay concealed from the other players until everyone has completed his/her hand. If the dealer has an Ace and a ten card (includes the Jack, Queen, and King), this is called "Pontoon." If the dealer does have a "Pontoon" for his/her hand, the dealer's cards are revealed and all players will lose the hand. Pontoon may not be the most popular online casino game but it still provides a nice break from traditional blackjack variations. I wrote a Pontoon strategy article to help you guys win more money playing Pontoon.

Pontoon Objective

The object of Pontoon is getting close to a card total of twenty one without going over that number. If your score of the two initial cards is below fifteen, you must ask for additional cards by either saying, "hit," where the dealer will deal another card to you face up, or by saying "buy," where you buy a card that is dealt to you face down. Play will continue until the player goes over twenty one, hits twenty one (Pontoon), or has their total of cards above fifteen. Once the card total is greater than fifteen or twenty one or less, the player may "stand" and not receive any more cards.

When the players have all completed their hands, the dealer will then play his/her own hand. The dealer cannot "stand" unless his/her score is seventeen or higher. If the player goes over twenty one (busts), the dealer then pays out to all the players that are still in the game. However, if the dealer has a score between seventeen and twenty one, he/she now may decide to "stand". The dealer will then reveal his/her cards and pay out to the players that are still in the game that has a hand totaling higher than the dealer's hand.

Beating 21

There are only two hands that players can get to beat the standard score of twenty one. The first is known as a "five card trick," where the player gets a total of five cards dealt to him or her and the total is still less than twenty one. The second way is for the player to get their own "Pontoon". The Pontoons and the "five card trick" are paid at as two to one and will beat the dealer's score of twenty one. Any other payout will be paid at one to one.

The only deviation allowed in Pontoon is if the player's two cards are the same value. If the player has their initial two cards the same, they may opt to "split" their hand and play both cards as two separate hands. If you are dealt two Tens, for example, you may "split" them both at the table and then the dealer will give you two cards. The player will then play the two hands they would as a standard hand and paid out the same exact way if they win.

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