For those players looking for something a little different from the usual online casino games on offer, Pontoon may be the game for you. It may seem familiar at first to those who enjoy Blackjack, as it plays quite similar, but with some important variations on the theme. The original game of Pontoon is also known as Spanish 21 or Australian Pontoon, but is actually thought to be a British version of Blackjack.
Traditional Blackjack with a Nice Twist
The layout of online Pontoon is also very similar to Blackjack. Usually the dealer’s hand is at the top of the screen, while in front of you are a space for a maximum of three hands to be played per turn. You will then place a bet or chips on each of the hands you want to play for that round. The dealer will then deal two cards per hand you wish to play as well has their own.
This is where online Pontoon differs slightly from traditional blackjack, as only one of the dealer’s cards is placed face up, instead of the usual two, so players might find it more difficult to guess how strong a hand the dealer has. This may be seen as a drawback, but players must remember the standard payouts in online Pontoon are usually much higher than in standard Blackjack, and there are also additional payouts for hands such as the five card trick and a few others.
Get to 21 without Going Bust
The objective of online Pontoon is for the cards in your hand to equal, or be as close as possible to, twenty-one without exceeding it. If you do exceed twenty-one it is called a bust and the dealer will win whatever bets have been placed on the hand. Alternatively if you stick, which means you would like to keep your current hand and be dealt no more cards, and the dealers hand exceeds twenty one, you will win the pot for that hand and often multiples of it too.
Take What You Need to Win
After the cards are dealt you will have four options on how to proceed for each hand in online Pontoon. Firstly you can stick, which means the total value of your two cards is fifteen or higher, and you think the dealer wont be able to better it without going bust. You can also twist, which means you call for another card. Thirdly you can buy, which strategic players with a low opening total often do, and double the wager for that round.
Lastly, if you’re dealt two of the same card but in a different suit, you can split, which then splits your hand into two hands. This is often used when two aces are dealt for example, as adding a picture card from a twist will make the hand equal twenty one, but as aces can also equal one if you so choose, you have more options and chances to get to twenty one. When your play is over you stick, and the dealer reveals their cards and repeats the process. The major difference here is the dealer can only stick on a hard seventeen, where he has no aces or his ace only equals one, so the chances of the dealer going bust are relatively high.
Practice Makes Perfect
Online Pontoon is an engaging and exciting game and with a little bit of practice, the player can swing the odds, and thus the winnings, considerably in his or her favour, relative to some of the other online casino games out there.