Pontoon Blackjack is an interesting variant of the classic Blackjack. The rules themselves are very similar to the classic. The only difference lies in the winning combination – the Pontoon. That occurs when the player has a sum of 21 immediately from the first two cards (ace + 10), holds 5 cards whose sum is at most 21, or holds 3 or 4 cards with a sum of 21.
Rules of Pontoon Blackjack
- The game is played with six packs, with 52 cards.
- The croupier deals two cards to the player, always facing up. He also deals cards to himself, facing down. The player therefore does not know what are the croupier's cards during the game.
- After dealing the cards, the croupier checks his cards, and if he has a Pontoon then he wins.
- He can pass if the sum of the player's cards is 15 or more.
- He can also pass if he holds 5 cards with a sum of less than 21.
- The player can draw a card in any situation, even after a double.
- The double itself can be used at any time if you hold 2 to 4 cards; however, you can only double at most once per game.
- The same rule also applies to splitting. You can split up to 2 cards of the same value, and can only resplit at most twice.
- Double can also be used to split aces.
- However, if the sum of your cards is greater than 21, then you immediately lose.
- The croupier will reveal his cards only after all players have finished. If the sum of his cards is 16 or less or a soft 17, then he must play another card. If there is a draw on the table, then the croupier always wins.
- If the player wins, the winnings are calculated as follows. If the player had a Pontoon or 5 cards with a value lower than 21, the payoff is 2:1, while in other cases the payoff is 1:1.
Card Values in Pontoon Blackjack
Card values are the same as in classic Blackjack, meaning:
- The value of an ace is 11 or 1, depending on the situation. However, the first ace in the croupier's hand, assuming the value of cards does not exceed 21, always counts as 11.
- Tens and J, Q, K cards always have the value 10
- Other cards have their respective numerical values.
If the first two cards you play are an ace + a card with a value of ten (i.e., a 10, J, Q or K), then the result is a Pontoon.