Pontoon is deemed to be the British version of the well-known Blackjack. In the Pontoon game a pontoon (same thing as a blackjack) and any five-card hand (not exceeding 21) pay 2 to 1. However the dealer wins on ties and there is no dealer up card. There are a few more deviations from blackjack which are useful to keep in mind before you dive into the game.


In Pontoon, player’s goal is to have a hand with points value closer to 21 points than the Dealer’s without exceeding 21 or by the Dealer’s hand going over 21 (“bust”).


8 decks are used, 52 cards each. Cards are shuffled after each round.

The value of a hand is the sum of points of each card in the hand. In Pontoon, card values are as follows:

  • The cards from 2 through 9 have their numerical values shown on the card.
  • Jack, Queen, and King, also called “face cards” are all valued at 10.
  • An Ace can be counted as either 1 or 11. An Ace always has the value that makes the best hand. Suppose you have (Ace, 7). The value of this hand can be either 8 or 18. If you stop here, it will be 18. But let’s assume you’ve drawn one more card. The hand contains (Ace, 7, 8). Its total value is 16.
  • Pontoon is an initial two-card combination consisting of an ace and a ten-value card. The two-card 21 after splitting Aces or any 10-valued cards also counts as a pontoon. Pontoon is the highest hand in the game.
  • A five-card trick is any 5-card hand that has not busted. It is the second highest hand in the game. All five-card tricks are of the same value, the total amount does not matter.

Play Pontoon

How To Bet

To: Tip:
Select bet size Click on the selected value chip at the bottom of the table
Place your bet Click on betting field to place chip of selected value there
Increase your bet Every click on the betting field adds one chip of the selected value to existing bet
Remove your bet Choose the X-chip option and CLICK on the betting field
Play again Click NEW GAME after the game is completed to place bets differently
Repeat your bet Click REBET to place the same amount and value of bets as in the previous round

Betting Limits

Min/Max table displays minimum and maximum amount that can be placed on each betting field.


Player can bet on up to three hands, placing chips on the left, central and right betting boxes. After placing bets, click DEAL to start dealing cards. Both the Player and the Dealer are dealt two cards. Player’s cards are dealt face up, while Dealer’s are face down. In case of multiple hands, each hand will be played separately against the Dealer.

Once two cards are dealt, the Dealer checks for Pontoon.

  • If the Dealer has a pontoon, her cards open. Your and the dealer’s hands are compared.
  • If the Dealer doesn’t have а Pontoon, then your hand is treated and the game proceeds as usual.

You then have one of the following options during the game:

  • Stick – You can stick on any total greater or equal to 15, or on any 5-card hand. Click STICK to stop drawing cards to your hand. After you click STICK you either move to playing the next hand or, in case it’s your last hand, the Dealer’s hand is played next.
  • Twist - Click TWIST to draw an additional card to a hand. You can draw as many cards as you need. If the total reaches 21, your hand automatically stops. If your hand busts (its total exceeds 21), your hand loses. You can twist at any point, including after buying.
  • Buy - Click BUY to double your original bet amount and draw one more card to your hand. You can buy on 2 to 4 cards, but only once per each hand. You can also double after splitting.
  • Split - If your first two cards are of the same value (two Aces, two Sevens, or two 10-valued cards like King, Jack or Queen), you can split them into two separate hands. Click SPLIT to do that and placing a bet equal to your original bet. It’s possible to re-split the split hand once, up to a total of three hands, including Aces. You can twist and buy after splitting.

Note: In case of splitting a pair of Aces, only one card is drawn to each Ace. And if you draw a ten-valued card on one of the split Aces, your hand is considered a pontoon.

Dealer’s Hand

The Dealer starts playing her hand after all the player’s hands are completed. Dealer must stick if the total in her cards is less than 17 or is a Soft 17 (a hand that includes an Ace valued as “11,” for example a hand consisting of Ace+6, or Ace+2+4). Dealer must stand if the sum of her cards is hard 17 or more.

Game Outcomes

  • After a player sticks with a hand (stops drawing cards) and once the Dealer finishes her hand, the player’s and the Dealer’s hands are compared. The winning hand is the one whose total is greater.
  • If your hand total is higher than the dealer’s without busting, you win
  • If you have a pontoon while the dealer does not, you win
  • If you have a five-card trick while dealer does not, you win
  • You lose in case of tie hands, if your hand busts or if the Dealer’s hand has a higher total than yours.
Result Payoff
Pontoon 2 to 1
Five-card trick 2 to 1
Regular win 1 to 1

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