How to play Pontoon

Pontoon is very similar to Blackjack.  The aim of Pontoon is for the player to get as close to 21 without going over 21 but still having a higher hand than the dealer.  The origins of Pontoon go way back to Louis XV and Napoleon who enjoyed playing the game and during the 20th century Pontoon was a popular pastime for the English armed forces.  Pontoon has no fixed rules and will vary depending in which county it is played.

How to Play Pontoon

Players who want to learn how to play Pontoon online will most probably play the following version.

Pontoon is played with 2 to 8 decks of cards.  The card values are the same as Blackjack that is an ace is either 1 or 11.  The face cards have a value of 10 and the value of the other cards is their printed value.  Pontoon is the best hand and will consist of an ace and a ten point card.  Players can achieve this hand even after they have split their hands.  The next hand is a five-card-trick which is a hand consisting of any 5 card hand that has not been busted, no matter what the value.  The hands are then rated depending on their point value and the higher the value the better, but the score must be 21 or less.  Hands that have a value of 22 are busted and the player will lose.

The game starts with each player being dealt 2 cards face up.  The dealer deals his cards face down.  The dealer will first check if he has Pontoon and if he does then the dealer wins and the players automatically lose.  Players may hit as many times as they need to, but can only stand if the value of their hand is 15 or if they are holding a 5 card hand.  Players may double down, but this may only be done once per hand, and may continue hitting after they double.  Players will first play their hands and then the dealer will turn over their cards.  The dealer will then take extra cards until they have a hand to the value of 17 or more or until they have a 5 card hand.  After the dealer has completed a hand the winning players will be given their win, except the players who have Pontoon or 5 card hands and they will earn 2-1.

Plan a Pontoon Strategy

Learning how to play Pontoon will involve a strategy and in order to increase their odds of winning players should master a basic strategy.  Players will have to decide how to proceed once they have seen the value of their hand.  The Internet has many charts and helpful strategies for players who want to learn how to play Pontoon.  The rules will vary depending on which casino players choose to play at, but they may be very helpful while playing Pontoon.

Play Pontoon for Free

Players who have never played Pontoon before and would like to learn how to play Pontoon should try out this game for free.  Playing for free will enable players to learn how to play the game and try out the different variations of Pontoon.  Playing for free means no risk to real money.

This variation of Blackjack is a popular game amongst online card players and will allow players to try out new strategies to improve their hands and increase the odds of beating the dealer.