The Rules of Pontoon Play
If you know how to play blackjack, you will have no trouble getting used to online pontoon. The rules for both games are very similar, with just a few small adjustments in terms of play and payouts. Some casinos offer online pontoon as a club game, played between individuals, but the more usual version has the player pitted against the house.
The goal of online pontoon is to reach 21, or as close to it as you can without exceeding it. You also have to have a higher total than the dealer does. Should either you or the dealer exceed 21 points, the game will be forfeit.
Starting to Play Pontoon Online
You will place your online pontoon wager before the hands are dealt, and, once this has been done cards will be dealt to you and the dealer. The dealer’s cards will not be viewable, as they are in blackjack, unless he or she has been dealt what is termed a natural hand. This is called a pontoon, and consists of an ace and face card. If this is the case your game will be forfeit, and you will lose, even if you have a similarly or even identically valued hand.
Aces are scored at either one or 11 points, you may decide, and face cards and tens are held at ten points each. Your numbered cards, ranging from one through to nine, are held at face value, with a two of spades equalling two points, a five of hearts equalling five, and so on.
Should a natural hand not be dealt, you will be asked to hit, meaning taking another card, stand, not drawing another card and passing play on to the dealer, doubling, doubling your initial bet and taking another card, or splitting, which is an option if you dealt two cards of the same value. Here you will be able to divide your cards into two packs and proceed with betting on these two hands. The difference between online pontoon and blackjack is most apparent here, where you are able to double at any point of the game, even when holding three or more cards. You can continue to do so as you like until the end of the game has been reached.
The dealer will follow a specific set of rules that are not affected by the value of the players’ hand. He or she will have to hit on a hand valued at 16 points, or what is known as a soft 17. This is a hand consisting of a six and an ace. He or she may stand on a hard 17 or more.
Everyone Can Play Pontoon Online
We have Britain to thank for this great variation on the game of blackjack, but online pontoon is now enjoyed by people from countries all around the world. You do not have to worry about having to wager your money on its outcome until you are exactly sure how play unfolds, either, as free and demo versions are provided for players in order for them to cut their teeth. Play at no cost for as long as you like, and, when you feel sure that you can handle yourself at the real money table, make the switch quickly and easily.