While the rules of Pontoon are almost the same as regular blackjack games, there are some important differences that Pontoon players should know. The game of Pontoon is usually played with eight standard card decks in online casinos.
While players hope to get the Ace and a 10, or a face card that holds a value of 10, adding up to 21 points with the first two cards, they will also find that if the dealer has also managed to reach 21 points with their initial two cards, then even though the dealer has technically tied with the player’s hand, a push is considered a win for the dealer. Any other hand in which the dealer ties with the player is also considered as a win for the dealer.
The dealer will peak at his first two cards that are dealt face-down. If the dealer holds a Pontoon hand, it will be shown to players, and initial wagers will be lost, but no further bets will be placed on that hand.
Players have to twist (hit) until they have at least 15 points. At this time, the player may decide if they wish to continue drawing cards or not. The player may stick (stand) at 15 points if they wish to do so. Players may continue to twist even after using the double down, or buy, option. Players may buy once per hand, and can do so if the hand has between two and four cards.
Hands in Pontoon may be split twice when cards of equal value are dealt. In many blackjack variations, when Aces are split, players may not re-split the hand. Pontoon allows players up to three hands after the hands have been split, and Aces may also be re-split.
When players have a Pontoon hand, of 21 points, in their first two cards, or a Pontoon hand from one of their split hands, they will receive the same payout of 2:1. Other forms of blackjack will not always pay out the same odds on a split hand having a blackjack.
The dealer will play the dealer hand after all other hands have been played. The dealer must twist until they have reached a total of 17 or more points, twisting on soft 17. Because hands thare are tied in Pontoon mean a win for the dealer, there are not really any tied hands as far as payouts are concerned.