It is said that Pontoon is the most widely played version of blackjack in the whole world. This version is the also known as the English version of blackjack. The rules of this version are very different indeed, from the classic blackjack that we are used to. You will need 8 decks with 52 cards per deck to play this lively blackjack variation.
There are several chances to have a nice pay out with different winning hands. A blackjack is still a blackjack with 21 total points. The blackjack pays out 2 to 1 in this game. A Pontoon is a special trick that you want to achieve. It is a total of 21 points that is accumulated by exactly 5 cards (before splits). If you win with a Pontoon, it pays 2 to 1. The last special combo to win with is called a five card trick and is a total of less than 21 with exactly 5 cards. The five card trick also pays 2 to 1. All other wins pay even money.
In many other blackjack versions, the dealer will stand on 17. In Pontoon, the dealer will hit when he has a soft 17. This means that a 17 that has an Ace in the total can be hit with the safety net of the Ace being counted as a 1 instead of the 11 points. It is also necessary to be aware that the player hits on all 14 points or less. In general, it is good basic blackjack strategy to hit on 14, Pontoon just made it required. In the case the dealer and the player both have the same total, the dealer always wins. In fact, if the dealer has a Pontoon, it will beat all other players' cards.
If you decide in the game that you would like to place a side bet for insurance when you see the dealer has an up card of an Ace, the pay on insurance is 2 to 1. As for splitting, it is allowed on both face and value cards and a player is allowed to split their cards up to four different hands.
Double down means that you decide to double your initial bet. Usually, you place your double down side bet and will only be given once more card to reach your point goal. What is even more exciting is that in Pontoon, you are allowed to hit after you have doubled down. It is allowed in Pontoon on any hand where you have 2 – 4 cards. You are only allowed to double once, however.
If you are used to the classic version of blackjack, Pontoon has a host of new opportunities for you. Play it and enjoy all the great possibilities you have to win. Remember your basic strategy and card counting systems, as these old tricks are still necessary for success in Pontoon.