Even if you’re a new casino fan, you’ve surely heard all about blackjack. The game of 21 was revolutionized online. Developers quickly came up with innovative variants with main and side bets, including new ways to play the game with live blackjack titles.
The fact that you can practice for free certainly helped raise its popularity, especially since there are so many different titles.
One of them is called Pontoon. It is a game that’s often incorrectly thought of as another blackjack variant. However, while it shares similarities with blackjack, it has a few changed rules that make them obviously different.
In this article, we’ll try to explain more about them and point out the key differences between blackjack and pontoon.
Blackjack and pontoon are similar in terms of rules. For example, both starting cards are dealt face down, so you have no idea what the dealer has before you’ve finished betting. This, along with other similar rules, leads players to believe that Pontoon is simply another blackjack variant. In reality, they are more distant cousins, with Pontoon being popular in Asia.
If you’ve never tried it or the game of 21, you can enjoy a wide range of free blackjack online games in Red Dog Casino. This will give you a better idea of the key differences between them and allow you to test strategies. Both are games of skill, so you can improve your chances of winning against the dealer with a basic strategy.
Two Cards Down
Unlike blackjack, Pontoon has both dealer cards face down. In regular online blackjack, only one is down. In Pontoon, it’s even harder to play against the dealer.
A Tie Is a Loss
Winning is the same as in blackjack. You will need to form a hand whose count doesn’t go over 21. According to the rules, a tie qualifies as a loss, unlike in regular online blackjack, where it’s a push.
The key difference between blackjack and Pontoon is in the fact that the latter allows you to double down before hitting. You can continue asking for new cards, which isn’t the case with blackjack.
Pontoon also brings the 5-card trick into play. With it, you can win the round if you have yet to exceed a count of 21 with 5 cards in your hands. This is a pretty challenging feat, but it’s one of the few Pontoon rules that are in favor of the player.
Doubling Down with 3 or 4 Cards
Doubling down is one of the key aspects of Pontoon. You can double down on a good hand and hit even beyond 3 or 4 cards in your hands. This is a big benefit as it gives the player more options. However, it would be wise to rethink your decisions and play with a good strategy that won’t work against you. Doubling down is great if you have the right cards, but can be harmful if you don’t know what you’re doing.
The payout for a natural on your first two cards in online blackjack is 3:2. In Pontoon, it’s 2:1. This is precisely why players choose to play Pontoon over blackjack, along with the couple of rules that go in their favor.
When you split aces in blackjack, you’re essentially forfeiting the 3:2 payout. This kind of move disqualifies you from achieving blackjack, but that’s not the case with Pontoon. In it, you can still split aces and get into position to win a 2:1 payout.
Regardless of your preferences, both blackjack and Pontoon are pretty great games. Make sure to learn the rules and practice for free at Red Dog Casino before you hit the real money tables.