Is Pontoon a Good Idea For You to Undertake?

July 28, 2014

There is a lot of discussion about whether one should play some of the variations of blackjack. In particular, one of the more attractive variations is that of Pontoon, which bears some similarity to Spanish 21 and is played in brick-and-mortar casinos all over the place - mostly overseas. Of course, because of the virtual nature of online gambling, casino players get to take part in Pontoon, depending on whether the software company connected to the casino carries the game. Many of them do, so you may be in luck.

There are unquestionably some similarities between Pontoon and the more conventional versions of blackjack. The player's objective includes being able to avoid busting with a total over 21, in the process of getting as close to 21 as possible. A "pontoon" is a hand of 21, and when the house gets that in its first two cards, the hand is over and the players lose whatever they have out there. In fact, one of the drawbacks to Pontoon, which makes it different than what you will see from a so-called standard blackjack game, is that the house will win all ties. Yes, that can be a bummer.

When the player gets a pontoon, it is going to pay off at 2-to-1 odds. That is more than a "blackjack" or "natural" which pays just 3-to-2. It is also important to point out that a pontoon can also be achieved after a split is executed; that isn't the case in the "regular" game.

There is also something called a "Five Card Trick" that needs to be explored, because it is important in this game. This might also be referred to as a "Five Card Train" if you go to certain places in downtown Las Vegas. Essentially, this is a five-card hand that stays under the total of 21. And it will, for example, beat a four-card 21. In the game of Pontoon it also pays off at 2-to-1 odds.

Because of some of these rules variations, while there is a strategy that can be followed to play Pontoon to its optimum effectiveness, it is a little more complicated than the Basic Strategy that is recommended for blackjack. The thing that potentially makes this game more difficult to navigate, no matter what the strategy, is the "ties lose" proposition for the player. That will take something away from the normal expectation. But you will probably love playing Pontoon anyway.

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