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Rules Of Pontoon - How To Play The Pontoon Card Game

Rules Of Pontoon - How To Play The Pontoon Card Game

Welcome to our latest blog post on Slot Sites UK, your premier destination for online casino games. Today, we're diving into the intriguing world of Pontoon, a card game that's both familiar and uniquely challenging. Whether you're a complete novice or simply curious, we've got you covered. 

We'll explore what Pontoon is, how it's played, and the rules that govern it. Plus, we'll tackle the burning question: Is it the same as Blackjack? Join us as we unravel the mysteries of Pontoon. 

What Is The Pontoon Card Game?

Pontoon is a fascinating card game with roots stretching back to the 16th century, often considered a close relative of Blackjack. Its origins are a bit of a mystery, with influences noted from French "Vingt-et-un" (Twenty-One) and the British game of "Black Jack," not to be confused with the modern Blackjack

Pontoon distinguishes itself with its unique terminology and slight variations in rules. It's a banking game where players aim to beat the dealer by having a hand total closer to 21 without going over. 

Simple to understand yet compelling, Pontoon offers a delightful twist on traditional card games, making it a favourite among casino enthusiasts worldwide. 

How To Play Pontoon

Playing Pontoon is an exciting journey into strategic card play, easily grasped with a few simple steps. To start, each player, including the dealer, receives two cards face down. The objective is to achieve a hand value as close to 21 as possible without exceeding it. 

  • Check for Pontoon: If you have an Ace and a 10-value card, you've hit Pontoon, the best hand.
  • Twist: If your hand is under 21, you can 'Twist' to receive another card. Continue twisting until satisfied with the hand value, or you go bust (exceed 21).
  • Stick: If you're happy with your hand's value, you 'Stick' and take no more cards.
  • Buy: You can 'Buy' to double your bet and receive another card, with the option to buy multiple times.

The game progresses until players stick or bust. The dealer reveals their hand last, aiming to beat the players without going over 21. The highest hand wins, with Pontoon being the top-ranking combination. 

Rules Of Pontoon

Pontoon has a set of intriguing rules that make it distinct and engaging: 

  • The Best Hand: Pontoon, which is an Ace and a 10-value card, is the strongest hand.
  • Dealer Advantage: The dealer wins ties, giving them a slight edge.
  • Five Card Trick: Second to a Pontoon, a hand of five cards totalling 21 or less is a powerful play, often winning against other hands except for Pontoon.
  • Twist and Stick: Players must "Twist" (draw cards) until they reach a minimum of 15. Once over 15, they may choose to "Stick" (hold their hand) at any point.
  • Doubling Down: Known as "Buying" in Pontoon, players can double their bet to receive another card, even after taking multiple cards, which is unique compared to traditional Blackjack.
  • Splitting: Players can split two cards of the same value into separate hands, potentially doubling their chances of winning.

These rules contribute to Pontoon's unique gameplay, offering a fresh twist on classic card game strategies. 

Is Pontoon The Same As Blackjack?

While Pontoon and Blackjack are branches from the same tree, they are not identical. Both aim for players to reach as close to 21 without going over, and both pit the players against the dealer. However, key differences set them apart: 

  • Terminology: In Pontoon, "Twist" means hit, "Stick" means stand, and "Buy" means double down.
  • Dealer's Cards: In Blackjack, the dealer has one card face up, offering players insight. In Pontoon, both of the dealer's cards are face down, adding an element of surprise.
  • Tie Breaker: In Blackjack, ties (pushes) return the bet to the player, but in Pontoon, the dealer wins all ties.
  • Five Card Trick: Unique to Pontoon, a hand of five cards that doesn't bust is a strong hand, often ranking above all hands other than a Pontoon (2-card hand totalling 21).

These differences add a layer of strategy and excitement unique to Pontoon, making it a distinct and enjoyable variant of the classic card game. 


In conclusion, Pontoon is a captivating card game with its roots intertwined with Blackjack, yet it stands out with unique rules and gameplay. From the thrilling reveal of a Pontoon to the strategic depth added by the Five Card Trick and the nuances of "Twisting," "Sticking," and "Buying," Pontoon offers a different experience from more traditional card games. 

While it shares the goal of reaching as close to 21 as possible with Blackjack, its distinctive rules and terms provide a different level of excitement. Whether you're a seasoned card player or a newcomer, Pontoon can offer something a bit different. Please gamble responsibly.