Pontoon: A portrait of blackjack’s cousin


Blackjack has many faces. On the one hand, there is vingt-et-un, the game played in the 18th century at the court of the French kings and that Napoleon loved, which gave birth to the famous casino game. On the other hand, there is “pontoon,” the British version of blackjack, which has the particularity of never really having been codified.

At online pontoon casinos, the rules of this game vary greatly. The only thing to remember is that you should forget about the rules of online blackjack: even if these games have a common origin, they are very different. The value of the cards, it is true, is the same as in classic real money blackjack: heads are worth ten points, and aces are worth 1 or 11 points, while the other cards have their face value. The object of the game is also similar, as you must get as close to 21 as possible without going over.

One of the main differences between blackjack and pontoon is that the pontoon dealer can decide whether to stop or draw a new card regardless of his score, whereas, in blackjack, he must stop if he scores 17 or more and draw a new card with a lower score. When playing pontoon at online casinos, you will discover other amazing rules. For example, players double their bet when they get a total of 21 or less with five cards. And, when they get a 14, they can discard their cards and draw two new ones.

Put the odds in your favour

Giving strategy advice is not easy, as the rules of the game can vary greatly from one online pontoon casino to another. In general, you should aim for a score above 17. If you get a 15 or 16, you can ask the dealer for a new card, but do not raise the stakes. Otherwise, you risk losing your game, which would be a shame if you are playing for real money!

The “split” rule, which consists of separating two cards of the same value by creating two different hands, should always be applied when you get two aces. With two tens, kings, queens or jacks, however, it’s a little trickier. It’s up to you to make the right choice! If you feel lost, don’t panic: online, the best pontoon casinos explain the rules clearly and guide you if necessary.

Strategy basics for beginners

If you’ve just signed up at an online casino to play pontoon, our first piece of advice is not to move too fast. To win real money, you need to take your time and not be in a hurry. The first step is to play in demo mode, in play money, to familiarize yourself with the rules of the game without taking risks.

Then you can deposit funds into your account and play for real. The above strategy tips will be helpful, but not enough. The secret to pontooning at online casinos is managing your funds. Play small amounts, increase your bets only gradually, and systematically put aside part of your winnings. As you can see, it’s by tightening the purse strings that you become an ace at online pontoon and blackjack!

In Canada, there are hundreds of online casinos. The problem is that not all of them are of good quality, and not all of them offer real money pontoon games. The solution to this problem is to follow the advice of pontoon experts.