Difference Between Blackjack And Pontoon

Even if you are new to online casinos, you probably have heard the term blackjack. Blackjack is undoubtedly the most popular casino card game that has stood the test of time. The fact that you can practice for free and apply a strategy has contributed significantly to the popularity of these card games. However, you may not be familiar with another close cousin to blackjack is, known as pontoon. Though these two games may appear similar, they have some differences that can not be ignored.

This article covers all the relevant information you should know about the main differences between blackjack and pontoon. It also highlights the rules of playing pontoon vs. traditional blackjack. So, let's get started.

The Rules Of Pontoon VS. Traditional Blackjack


In the traditional blackjack, the game starts with players their bets. Then you and the dealer receive two cards facing up. However, both cards dealer cards are dealt facing down in a regular pontoon game. There is only one face-down card in a blackjack game.

Nevertheless, you must understand that the other features and rules of playing these two games are similar. 

The surrender and insurance options are available during the gameplay. Also, the rule of winning is similar to regular blackjack games, where the objective is to get a hand as close to 21 but not exceed it. As such, newbies should not have any problem playing pontoon if they have skills in blackjack.

Playing Rules

When playing pontoon, you can not stand unless your cards add to 14 or lower. Also, you continue hitting until your total exceeds 14. However, you can stand at any time in a traditional blackjack game, even when requesting an extra card. This means that you cannot burst like in a regular blackjack game. You can win with 14 or less in blackjack and not in pontoon.

A Tie Equals A Lose In Pontoon

The reasons pontoon is less liked by people is because a tie is a win for the dealer and not the player like in regular blackjack. When it comes to traditional blackjack, you get back your money when you bet in a tie. If applied to a standard blackjack game, this rule can use a significant amount of your budget since ties often show up.

Both Dealer's Cards Face Down

Forget about knowing the dealer's chance of hitting 21 using the first two cards in a pontoon game. This rule can disadvantage the player because it's hard to change your strategy if the dealer's card adds up to 21. For example, you cannot forfeit the game using a surrender.

Game Payouts

There are pontoon rules which give players an advantage over a regular blackjack game. So when you hit a 21 with the first two cards in pontoon, the payout is 2:1. With any regular blackjack, players receive a payout of 3:1. This is one reason some people prefer this version of blackjack to the traditional form.

Double Down/Buying Cards

This is one of the few rules in pontoon that are more favorable to players than those in regular blackjack. By doubling down while playing pontoon, you can ask for new cards. With traditional blackjack, doubling down entitles you to a new card but nothing more. 

Doubling Down With 3 And 4 Cards

With standard blackjack, it's impossible to double down unless you are holding two cards. But with pontoon, doubling down is possible even if you have 3 or 4 cards. Although this is obviously a benefit since you have more options for play, it is essential to execute the strategy effectively to avoid it working against you.

Pontoon Recognizes A Five Card Trick

The player who holds 5 cards and does not exceed 21 can win even if the dealer has a 21 (known as a Pontoon instead of a blackjack in this game). This is not as easy as it seems, but it does help tip the odds in your favor when it happens.

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So you now understand the differences as well as the advantage and disadvantages of playing this exciting pontoon variant. 

Overall, this game has thrilling gameplay and lots of fun, regardless you play it online or in a brick-and-mortar gaming venue. If you are yet to play pontoon, you can try it out for free at any online casino site you prefer. Then you will understand why it is a favorite to many new and expert players.

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