Though many people mistakenly think that they’re the same game, there are a number of subtle differences between blackjack and pontoon that can have a huge bearing on the optimal strategy. Players settling down to a few hands of Playtech’s Pontoon will get to enjoy these nuances in the comfort of a plush virtual casino setting while also playing up to five hands at once, making it the perfect title for them to hone their skills on. Couple that with the fact that the game can be played from £0.10-£100.00 per deal and you really do have a title that is suitable for all card enthusiasts.
Although the object of Playtech’s Pontoon is still to make 21 while beating the dealer’s hand, there are several differences that are instantly apparent. For one, the dealer will receive both cards face down and will not reveal them until a player has stood on a total or busted. Should the dealer’s first two cards make “Pontoon” – and ace and a ten-value card – it will be declared immediately, but otherwise the hand will play out like normal with players having the options to stand, hit, double or split when their two cards have an identical value. Some other differences to consider are that a five-card trick – any five cards without busting – beats all hands apart from Pontoon (which, incidentally, pays 2-to-1), players can hit multiple times when doubling and the dealer wins in the event of a tie.
Although the rules of the game are different, Playtech’s Pontoon plays in much the same way as any other blackjack variant, with players needing to select a chip denomination and click the “place your bet” space above the number of hands that they wish to play. Accepted table stakes range from £0.10-£100.00, with players needing to press “deal” to start the hand when they’re ready. They will then receive their two cards and be prompted to pick from a selection of options, with the dealer’s cards only being revealed after a player has stood or bust on all of the hands that they opted to play.
As players do not get to see either of the dealer’s cards before making their decisions, Pontoon is arguably a more straight-down-the-line title than blackjack where aiming for 17 or over is generally the correct strategy. The main difference here is that as players are completely in the dark about the dealer’s hand, sticking on hands like 14 or 15 is rarely ever a good idea, meaning that players should often consider aiming for a five-card trick whenever they have one of these totals that contains an ace. Similarly, as you can take more than one card when doubling, players can afford to be a bit more aggressive with their betting strategy providing they have the bankroll to back it up.
An interesting alternative to conventional blackjack, Pontoon theoretically offers a better edge to the player thanks to its improved 2-to-1 payouts and a greater scope of betting options. Although players don’t get any additional information about their decisions, it is possible to play an optimal solo strategy that will protect your bankroll and put you in the frame for long-term profits.
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Classic Pontoon, similar to Blackjack