Pontoon 21 vs. Blackjack in Mines Games On LuckyCola
Are blackjack and pontoon 21 the same type of game? Many players mistakenly believe that there’s no difference between these two popular casino table games. After all, both have the same fundamental goal, and they share many of the same rules. However, some distinct — and player-friendly — differences make pontoon a must to explore in your favorite online casino. Keep on reading to discover how to play pontoon 21 and why you should play it.
The Similarities Between Pontoon & Blackjack
The ancestor of blackjack and pontoon is a social gambling game called “vingt-et-un,” which simply means “21” in French. Pontoon and blackjack are casino gaming variants originally developed in the U.K. and U.S. respectively.
The aim of the game in both cases is the same: to beat the dealer by building a hand of cards that’s as close to 21 as possible, without going over 21. Basic pontoon and blackjack terms and actions are also the same. In both games, the dealer deals out two cards face-up to each player, and you can hit, stand, double down, or split. Cards have the same values, aces can be worth 1 or 11 (player’s choice), you go bust if your hand exceeds 21, and the strongest hand is a natural 21 (when your first two cards are an ace and a card worth 10).
The number of decks used in blackjack and pontoon is typically eight, although single-deck and other variants do exist.
The Differences Between Pontoon & Blackjack Online
If you play blackjack online, you’ll easily pick up the differences between blackjack and pontoon 21 rules. One of the first things you’ll notice is that both of the dealer’s cards are dealt face-down instead of one being face-up. This greatly impacts your pontoon strategy, as you have no way of knowing what the dealer could be holding. Instead, you have to play purely based on what you and the other players are holding.
Once the cards are dealt, the dealer checks for a natural (also known as “pontoon”). There is no option to take insurance or surrender. Players then make their decisions as to whether they should hit, stand, split, or double down. This is where things start to get interesting. For instance, in pontoon, you can’t stand with a hand with a value lower than 15. Just as in Chinese blackjack, you have no choice but to hit.
Another major difference between pontoon 21 vs. blackjack is when it comes to doubling down. In blackjack, when doubling is allowed (some variants don’t give you the option), you double your bet, get one extra card, and that’s it. Pontoon, on the other hand, allows you to double down and keep on hitting for as many cards as you want. You can also hit first and then double.
Once every player has had their turn and made their final decisions, the dealer turns their cards over and plays their turn. Counting in the player’s favor here is that the dealer has to hit if their hand is a soft 17 (contains an ace). This increases the probability of the dealer going bust. What’s not so great is that if the hand results in a tie, the dealer wins, and you lose your stake. Even a natural 21 loses against a dealer’s pontoon.
The Five-Card Trick
Why would you want to keep on hitting after you double down in pontoon? The five-card trick rule provides a very good reason to double down. Basically, if you manage to build a five-card hand worth 21 or less, it beats all other hands except pontoon. Not only that, but a five-card trick has payout odds of +200, which is the same as a natural 21 (regular winning hands have payout odds of ±100). This is much more generous than the standard blackjack payout odds of +150. Better still, you can still double down after you split your hand.
So, which game is better at the end of the day, pontoon or blackjack? The most player-friendly aspect of pontoon is that splitting and doubling down, combined with the five-card trick rule, give you many more ways to get the maximum payout than there are when you play blackjack. This accounts for pontoon’s very low house edge. At approximately 0.38%, it’s probably the lowest house edge of all online casino table games — and that’s reason enough to give pontoon a try.
One of the advantages blackjack has over pontoon is that you can see the blackjack dealer’s up card, you can hit on any number, and ties result in a push (you get your stake back).
Play Pontoon & Blackjack Online at LuckyCola
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