Pontoon is a turn-based game with each player individually competing against the Dealer’s hand. The aim is to make a hand that is higher than the Dealer’s – without going over 21.
How to play
- After making an initial wager each player receives two cards face up so you can see their value. The Dealer receives one card.
- A Pontoon is achieved if your first two cards are an Ace and a picture card. The Dealer will immediately remove your cards and pay 3:2 on your bet!
- If you are dealt any other combination you have several choices, depending on your hand:
- — Surrender
- — Draw extra cards
- — Keep your current total (stand)
- — Double
- — Split
- — Take insurance (if the dealer has an Ace)
Unlike Blackjack, player totals of 21 automatically win and will be paid out immediately, regardless of the Dealer’s hand.
- You may surrender half your original wager and forfeit the round if the Dealer’s first card is a Jack, Queen, King or Ace.
- A Surrender is indicated by knocking with a closed fist next to your wager. The Dealer will then place a surrender token on your cards.
- If the Dealer achieves Pontoon, the Surrender is void and you lose your entire bet.
- If the Dealer does not achieve Pontoon, they will claim only half your original bet.
Draw or stand
- If you don’t have Pontoon, you may draw and be dealt an extra card any number of times.
- If your hand reaches 21 you are paid immediately.
- If your total goes above 21 you “bust” and lose your bet.
- If your total is over 12 you can choose to stand and be dealt no further cards.
Don’t forget, all 10s have been removed from the decks in Pontoon!
- At any point in the hand, instead of hitting you may double down on your initial bet and place an additional wager—up to the value of your original—on the table.
- After doubling, you will receive a single additional card after which you must stand or forfeit.
- — You may chose to Forfeit and concede your original wager to the house, but retain the doubled portion of your bet.
- Notes on doubling
- — If the Dealer achieves Pontoon when a player has doubled, only the original bet loses and you retain the doubled portion.
- — Any Aces prior to doubling always count as 1s
- — All winning doubles are paid at odds of 1:1 and are not eligible for the payout odds or Super Bonus odds listed in the table below.
- If you draw two cards of the same value, you can match your original bet and split the pair, thereby having two separate hands.
- Split hands may be doubled.
- If you choose to split Aces, only one additional card will be dealt to each. If a picture card is dealt to either Ace the hand is treated as 21, but not a Pontoon. The same applies to any split 10s receiving Aces.
- If the Dealer achieves Pontoon and you have paid to split, you will only lose an amount equal to your original bet.
- Whenever the first card dealt to the Dealer is an Ace, you may place an insurance bet in case the Dealer makes Pontoon. If the Dealer’s next card is worth 10, this bet pays 2:1.
Winning and losing
- Once all players have made their decisions the Dealer will complete his or her own hand.
- The Dealer must hit on 16 or less and stand when they reach 17, unless they have a soft 17 (a hand where an Ace could be a 1 or 11).
- At the end of the Dealer’s turn you win if:
- — you didn’t bust and have a higher score than the dealer
- — the Dealer went over 21
- And lose if:
- — you drew over 21
- — the Dealer achieves Pontoon
- — the Dealer’s total is closer to 21 than yours
- If you both have an equal score this is called a standoff and neither wins or loses.
- Unlike Blackjack, there are a variety of odds on offer for interesting hands when playing Pontoon.
|Pontoon||3 to 2|
|Five cards totalling 21||3 to 1|
|6,7,8 mixed suits||3 to 2|
|7,7,7 mixed suits||3 to 2|
|6 cards totalling 21||2 to 1|
|6,7,8 same suit (except spades)||2 to 1|
|7,7,7 same suit (except spades)||2 to 1|
|7 cards totalling 21||3 to 1|
|6,7,8 all Spades||3 to 1|
|7,7,7 all Spades||3 to 1|
|All other winning wagers||1 to 1|
|7,7,7 same suit and the dealer’s first card is any 7||$1000 if the bet is less than $25
$5000 if the bet is $25 or greater
All other wagers (winning or losing) on the Round of Play in which there is a Super Bonus winner shall receive a bonus payment of $50
Perfect Pairs is an optional side bet for players and is placed before the initial deal. To win, your first two cards just have to be a pair!
(eg. A 4 of hearts and a 4 of spades) pays 6:1
(eg. A 5 of hearts and a 5 of diamonds) pays 12:1
A Perfect Pair
(eg. two Queen of Clubs) pays 25:1
The bet loses on all other outcomes.