Interesting fact: Did you know that aside from being a fun casino game, a pontoon is also an air-filled structure providing buoyancy in a nautical sense? Actually, that's not interesting. We have to stop using Wikipedia when writing these game summaries...
Pontoon21 - Help
How to play
1. Select your stake by clicking on the chips at the bottom of the screen. Click on the table betting area to place your bet. A currency value will be displayed alongside the chip. Click the Clear button if you wish to change your stake at this stage. Select Deal.
2. Two cards are dealt to you, placed face up. The dealer receives two cards face down - the dealer will peek at his hand to see if he has pontoon; if he has, he will turn it over immediately and your stake will be lost and the game ends, regardless of your hand. If he does not, the game continues.
3. The value of your hand will appear alongside your cards. At this stage, a two-card hand totalling 21 (pontoon) pays 2:1 on your stake.
4. If you do not have 21, you can either remain at your current total (a 'stick') or take more cards ('twist'). You may also be offered options to BUY or SPLIT your hand - these are covered in detail later. Clicking the TWIST button means that you can take more cards, one by one, until you have either gone over 21 ('bust') or you are satisfied with your card total and call; STICK. For example, you may choose to stick at 19 or 20. You may stick on any total greater or equal to 15, or on any 5-card hand.
5. Once you have finalised/played out your hand, the dealer will finalise his hand in a similar fashion.
6. If the dealer's hand totals less than 17, they must draw another card. If the dealer's hand equals 17 or over, they may not draw any more cards unless the dealer has a soft 17 (an ace card and a six), then another card must be drawn.
7. If the dealer's total is less than 17, they continue to draw cards until reaching a value equal to or greater than 17, or a "five card trick" (five cards totaling 21 or less) is achieved.
Pontoon uses eight full card decks, which are reshuffled after every hand.
Winning or losing the game
If the dealer busts, you win the game.
If your hand is higher than the dealers, without going over 21, you win.
If the dealer's hand is higher than yours, without going over 21, the dealer wins.
If the dealer's hand is of identical value to yours, without going over 21, the dealer wins.
If you or the dealer attains a 5 card hand without going over 21, it is considered a "five card trick." When this happens; stick is automatically selected. This hand is only surpassed by pontoon.
If you bust, a message will be displayed alongside your cards and you immediately lose the game, plus any bets.
For the hierarchy of hands; their descriptions and payouts, see the "Hands and Payouts" section.
Click NEW GAME then the REBET button to stake the same amount as your previous bet. Click REBETX2 or REBETX3 to double or treble your previous stake, or choose a new stake using the chips at the bottom of the table.
Should you decide to neither REBET, REBETx2 or REBETx3 but want the option of a New Game, select a chip and place on the table betting area (highlighted circle).
Card point values
1 or 11. The strongest card in the game. You, the player, decide the value of the card and you may change its value at certain points in the game.
For instance, if your hand consists of an ace and a ten, the ace has a value of 11, to call Pontoon at 21.
However, if your hand shows a total of 19, and then you draw an ace, it would be assigned a value of one to prevent a 'bust' and bring the value of your hand up to 20.
If you draw two aces as your first cards, they are assigned values of 1 and 11 respectively - or you can split them.
Court Cards: King, Queen,Jack
Number cards: 2-10
Face value. For instance, the three of clubs has a value of 3.
This is displayed alongside an Ace card when your hand is low enough for the ace card to be assigned its higher value of 11 without going bust. For instance, where an ace is the first or second card to be drawn. You can always draw at least one card to a soft hand without busting.
Special plays will appear as buttons during the course of the game, when you have the option to play them.
If your first two cards are of identical value, you may split them and place an additional bet (equal to your original bet) to play two hands instead of one. Each of the cards then becomes the start of a new hand. Each split hand is played out one hand at a time.
You may re-split once, playing up to a maximum of 3 hands at any one time.
You may draw (hit) and double after splitting, including Aces.
"Pontoon" is possible on a split hand and paid 2:1.
Each split/re-split hand can win in its own right; payouts are identical to non-split hands.
Note that aces may only be split once. If a further ace is dealt to a hand that was originally created by splitting aces, a further split will not be permitted.
This option enables you to double your initial bet. You may double when you have 2 to 4 cards, but only once per hand. This includes after splitting, and once for each split hand. You may "hit" (have another card) after doubling.
Changing bet stake
For your first stake, select chips from the bottom of the screen. Hit the Clear button to remove your stake from the table and select another set of chips.
For any subsequent stakes, choose the REBET button to place exactly the same bet on the table as the previous one, or increase your bet by two or three times by selecting REBETX2 or REBETX3 from the bottom of the table.
Hands and payout
Hands are shown in order of rank, highest first in the format:
Description: An Ace plus any 10 point card (Ten, Jack, Queen or King)
Name: Five Card Trick
Description: Any five cards totalling 21 or less
Name: Any hand of 21 points or less which beats the dealer.
Description: Hands are ranked highest points score first.
Payout: Evens 1:1
Name: Same as dealer
Description: The same value hand as the dealer totalling 21 or less.
Description: Any hand totalling 22 or over
Payout: Lose no payout
- This game has a Return to Player of 99.37% based on good playing strategy.
- System malfunction voids all pays.