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Pontoon Blackjack

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Pontoon Blackjack is one of the variations of the popular card game.

Pontoon is very similar to regular blackjack with a few variations on the terms and the rules. The goal of the game is the same: to get your cards to total 21 or closest to it, but not going over.

It is typical to have two to eight players using a standard deck of cards, but up to eight decks can be utilized in a game depending on the players' preference. Although the general flow of the game is very much like regular blackjack, a few terms are different. Pontoon is the equivalent of a Blackjack. Buy is the same as Double Down. To Twist means to Hit, and to Stick means to Stand. Put these terms to mind first before playing Pontoon as it might cause confusion during the game.

To begin, the banker initially deals one card for each player and himself; everyone can look at their cards except for the banker. Each player would then place their bets and after that, the banker then deals everyone a second card. Everyone should now have two cards. Scoring is the same as blackjack: numbered cards (2 - 10) are counted by their value and face cards (king, queen, and jack) are all computed as 10 points each. The ace is counted differently as it could be valued at 1 or 10 depending on the player's preference on what works better with the other cards to total closest to 21. You automatically lose if you total more than 21. You win if your total number is closer to 21 than the dealer's cards. If you end up with a tie, the dealer always wins.

If you are not satisfied with your 2 cards, you have these options: to buy one more, where you increase your bet and the dealer gives you 1 more card face down; or to twist which is basically one more card dealt face up. You can only get a maximum of three buys and / or twists as you can only hold 5 cards at the most. You can only split if your cards have the same face value. For example, you can split 2 jacks but not a 10 and a jack.

A Pontoon (10, jack, queen, or king + ace) immediately wins. The next best hand is the Five Card Trick: 5 cards that do not exceed 21. Even if another player totaled 21 with 3 or 4 cards, the Five Card Trick still wins.


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