Pontoon, as a simple definition, is blackjack that has been adapted to, developed in, and played within the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, through the rise of online casinos, online pontoon is now available to players regardless of where they are situated in the world. It is no longer limited to players in the United Kingdom. The game might be similar to blackjack, but, since many online pontoon games are likely to use the British terminology, it becomes necessary to become acquainted with the British terms and any variations that might exist between blackjack and online pontoon.
The Terms from America to Britain
A quick comparison between the blackjack terms and the pontoon terms will illustrate the basic differences between the two games. The standard term of taking a ‘hit’ is termed a ‘twist’ in pontoon. And the option of choosing to ‘stand’ in blackjack becomes wanting to ‘stick’ in pontoon.
Other differences in terms are notable, for example, when a blackjack player chooses to ‘double down’. This is termed ‘buying’ in pontoon. And, of course, the best hand of holding two cards, one with an ace and another ten-value card, is called a ‘blackjack’ in the standard blackjack game and a ‘pontoon’ in a standard pontoon game.
Online Pontoon Rules
However, it is not just the terminology that differs between blackjack or online blackjack and pontoon or online pontoon. The basics of these are as follows:
Pontoon is played with eight decks of cards. The dealer still receives two cards, but while in blackjack these are placed one facing up and one facing down, both of them are faced down in pontoon and online pontoon.
The pay-out rates for pontoon are also usually much better than the pay-out rates for blackjack. Most players in blackjack games can expect a pay-out rate of about three to two, whereas most pontoon players can expect a standard pay-out rate of two to one.
Pontoon also introduces a new ‘winner’ value, which is called the ‘five-card trick’. Basically, a five-card trick is any non-busted hand with five cards. Regardless of the value of the hand, a five-card trick will beat any other hand, except a pontoon, and pays out two to one.
There are also some variations in pontoon in terms of when a player can twist, stick, buy, or split. In general, a player must twist if holding a hand in value up to fourteen. The player is then also allowed to buy or split, but then cannot stick and has to twist. If the player has a hand value of fifteen or above, the player can choose to play regardless of whether wishing to stick or twist or take any other action.
Then, a player may buy if holding two, three, or four cards in any hand, and the player can buy once per hand online roulette Australia. This is a major difference from regular blackjack, where the player can only double down on the first two cards.
Also, a hand consisting of any ace and a ten after splitting is also considered a pontoon, while this is not the case in a game of blackjack.
The dealer also experiences a few differences in pontoon. In pontoon, a dealer must twist if holding a hand up to sixteen, and must stick on any hand of seventeen or above. Also, the dealer will win any ties.
As is evident, the basics of blackjack and pontoon are the same, but there are differences in terminology and a few variations in rules.