Pontoon Blackjack

Pontoon is a mathematical game played on a table layout similar to blackjack. Each deal, the player’s goal is to receive cards totalling more in face value than the banker's, but not exceeding 21, otherwise they bust and lose the hand. A 21 (Blackjack) consisting of an Ace/10 is a pontoon, and pays extra, although banker's pontoon is unbeatable. The banker will always win in the case of equality. Just like Blackjack, Pontoon is played from a shoe or a four deck continuous shuffling machine. The shoe games use six or eight Spanish decks, which are regular 52-card decks, minus the ten-spot cards.

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How To Play Pontoon Blackjack

Pontoon is an old English card game that is very similar to the USA version of blackjack in which players are trying to achieve a score of 21 to beat the dealer. The original game was derived in France and was called Vingt-et-un. The game has been played by both Louis XV and Napoleon.

The game of Pontoon can be played with two or more players but its usually better when there are at least 5 players playing.

Dealing in Pontoon
Before play one player is chosen at the table to be the banker. The banker will have the advantage in this game so the first banker is usually chosen by who ever selects the high card on a deck. Players place their minimum and maximum bets before play.

The dealer will then deal a card face down to each player. The banker then starts dealing to the player immediately to their left. All players minus the banker can look at their card.

Scoring in Pontoon
If you know how to play Blackjack then the scoring for Pontoon is exactly the same. All face cards are worth ten points. All other cards are worth the value that is stated for example a six of clubs is worth 6 points. The aces are either eleven or ones depending if it favours the player or not.

The game of Pontoon is scored by adding up the total points without going over 21. If a player goes over 21 then they bust. If the player and the banker have the same amount the banker will win and the player will lose.

Pontoon Terms
British Pontoon uses different terms such as twist - for hit, stick for stand and buy to double the bet Notice its not to be confused with doubling down like in American Blackjack. Pontoon has proven to be way more popular in Australia than Spanish 21 has been in the Americas.

Pontoon Strategy
Because players have choice e in Pontoon they can reduce the casino advantage to less than 0.5% by playing optimally. The complete set of optimal plays is known as basic strategy, and should be looked up by players looking to play online.

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