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Ultimate Guide to Pontoon Basic Strategy

Are you looking for a reliable site that can discuss the winning Pontoon basic strategy and its rules? If that is the case, you have come to the right place.

Pontoon is comparable to Blackjack in many respects because of its relation to Blackjack. It is immensely popular in online casinos all over the world since it is such an easy game to understand.

What is a pontoon?

Pontoon is a blackjack variant offered solely in online casinos. RealTime Gaming is in charge of distributing this exciting card game. Betsoft, Microgaming, and Playtech also offered Pontoon in their game libraries.

With Microgaming’s variant, you only get one card when splitting Aces. To offset this, the dealer must stand on soft 17. Because this version is less user-friendly, we recommend playing at one of the other sites.

Meanwhile, Pontoon uses a regular 52-card deck. In addition, all players must hit any hand 14 or under. In this game, there is a different value hand just below a Blackjack called “pontoon”, which is a five-card trick.

Does the blackjack rules for beginners similar to Pontoon rules?

Because of the odd rules of a pontoon, a lot of strategy changes. Before you play, make sure you understand the basics of a pontoon. Below, we discuss it as well as the differences in Pontoon.

How to play Pontoon?
How to play Pontoon?

What’s the Difference Between Blackjack and Pontoon?

Pontoon differs from classic Blackjack in several ways. When you got a Blackjack hand called “Pontoon”, it pays 2:1. A Pontoon is a two-card 21 after a split. In addition, a five-card hand that does not bust and wins has the same payout. Moreover, it can be tied by the dealer. As a result, the house will win all ties.

The dealer does not deal a hole card until all of the players have had a turn. This is how Europeans play Blackjack.

In Pontoon, both of the dealer’s hole cards are facing down. Learning Pontoon’s basic strategy is much easier since you don’t have to consider the dealer’s upcard. 

At any point, players have the option to double down. However, when doubling, an Ace always counts as one. Players have the option to hit following a double down. In addition, they must hit if their hand is not 15 or higher. On the other hand, you may also hit, re-split, doubled, the split Aces.

How to play Pontoon?

When playing Pontoon, you must first select the chip denomination that you want to use. Then, keep clicking the betting circle until you are satisfied with the amount you want to wager.

After that, click on the button “Deal”. By doing so, the dealer will give you two cards. Meanwhile, you can place bets on up to three hands at once.

The hand finishes if the player has a Pontoon, which is the same as a regular Blackjack game. Then, the dealer will check if he has a Pontoon as well. The hand pays 2:1 if the player has Pontoon alone. However, the house wins if the dealer also has it.

If neither the player nor the dealer has a pontoon, the hand continues normally. In this case, the dealer will not check for Pontoon until the end of the hand. If the dealer has Pontoon, then all bets placed throughout the hand will lose.

If no one has a pontoon, the players have the following choices.

  • Hit
  • Stand
  • Double down
  • Surrender
  • Split (if dealt a pair)

Because Pontoon is exclusively available at online casinos, each action offered to the player is represented by a button on the screen. To hit, stand, double down, and split, touch it or click it with your mouse.

To start a new hand, click the “Deal” button after the hand finishes. You can use the table’s menu button to exit the game.

Pontoon Action

What are the basic actions in Pontoon?
What are the basic actions in Pontoon?

Hit – Whenever a player wishes to draw a card. You have the option of hitting till you make a five-card hand or bust.

Stand – The player does not wish to get any additional cards. However, this action is not available until the player has 15, or five cards in his hand.

Double Down – The player will receive a second card and doubles his initial bet. Splitting is a possibility for a player with a pair.

The player must stand if he makes a five-card hand without busting. If the dealer also makes a five-card hand, then that’s the only way the player loses his hand.

Meanwhile, the dealer can draw if he has a hand up to 16 or soft 17. In addition, the dealer must stand if he has a hard 17 or any hand of 18 or higher. Moreover, the dealer must stop drawing after making five cards without busting. In this case, the house will win automatically.

Then, the showdown begins after the player and dealer complete the hand.  The house wins all bets if the dealer has the same or greater point total as the player.

Furthermore, the player wins if he makes a five-card hand while the dealer does not. The player also wins if his hand is higher than the hand of the dealer.

Pontoon Basic Strategy and Hand Rankings

The Pontoon’s basic strategy differs significantly from that of a typical Blackjack game. Again, the dealer’s cards are facing down, which is one of the reasons. Another option is the five-card trick, which pays 2:1. Also, players may not stand until the hand is at least 15.

Hard Hands – Pontoon Basic Strategy

In Pontoon, a hard hand does not have an Ace. If the player has one, he can go bust.

  • A player should always hit on hands four through seven.
  • If his hand is an eight, he must hit on two or three cards. Otherwise, the player should double down on four.
  • A player must hit on two cards if his hand is a nine. Otherwise, he must double down on three or four.
  • In Pontoon’s basic strategy, a player should always double down on a hand of ten or eleven.
  • On hard hands twelve through fourteen, a player must hit on two or three cards. Otherwise, he must double down on four.
  • If a player has a hard hand of fifteen and sixteen, then he must stand on two or three cards. Otherwise, he should double down on four.
  • A player must stand on two or three cards on hard seventeen. Otherwise, he must double down on four.
  • A player must always stand on the hard hand of eighteen and higher.

Soft Hands – Pontoon Basic Strategy

A soft hand in Pontoon includes an Ace and cannot bust.

  • On soft thirteen, the players must always hit.
  • The player must hit on two or three cards on soft fourteen through eighteen. Otherwise, he must double down on four.
  • On soft nineteen and twenty, a player must stand on two cards. Otherwise, he must double down on three or four.

Splits – Pontoon Basic Strategy

Eights and Aces are the only pairings that you should split.

Here is a graphical summary of Pontoon’s basic strategy chart below.

Pontoon Strategy Card

What do you need to know about the Pontoon rules?

The rules of Pontoon change depending on the casino you play in. The simple goal is to get 21 or as near to that number as possible.

Similar to Blackjack, all cards have the same value. Therefore, an Ace card can be either 1 or 11 while the value of tens and face cards is 10. When learning how to play Pontoon, it is essential that you also understand the hand ranks and Blackjack scoring.

What is the house edge of Pontoon?

When played with perfect pontoon basic strategy, the house edge for this version of a pontoon, according to most sources, is a very respectable 0.38 percent. That’s a lot better than the majority of other casino table games where you play against the dealer.

Furthermore, the pontoon rules are similar to those of Microgaming casinos. The only exception is that split Aces receive one card each, and the dealer stands on a soft 17. In this case, the house edge is 0.39 percent.

Casino Pontoon Basic Strategy

We strongly advise you to use the pontoon basic strategy when playing to increase your chances of winning large. This will guarantee that you reduce the Pontoon House advantage as much as possible.

You may simply follow Pontoon’s basic strategy by using one of the many strategy cards available online. Some online casinos even include pontoon strategy instruction in the table interface. So, it will be easier for newbie players to follow. You can also check out the pontoon strategy chart in this article.

Besides, the pontoon ideal strategy is easy to follow on this chart. In addition, it shows you what to do in each given position at the table for the two initial cards you’re dealing with. More importantly, you should avoid any pontoon betting strategy advice that doesn’t agree with this strategy chart.

Furthermore, you can’t make any changes to your bets to increase your odds of winning. The easiest approach to go about it is to use the pontoon basic strategy. Then, bet at a level that corresponds to your bankroll management plan throughout the session. Also, you need to have a strong understanding of pontoon card values, which are identical to blackjack, before playing.

What is the optimum strategy when playing Ponton?
What is the optimum strategy when playing Ponton?

Ultimate Pontoon Basic Strategies

  • To evaluate playing decisions on each hand, you can use a pontoon optimum strategy chart. Besides, you won’t have to memorize anything since you’ll be able to refer to the chart.
  • Other than your chart, don’t adjust your bet sizing or use any other pontoon betting techniques. You should win if you play consistently by your bets and carefully follow the chart.
  • Before you start playing, make sure you know the version of the pontoon you’re playing. Make sure the pontoon game you’re playing in an online casino is genuinely pontoon, not Spanish 21.
  • Before you play for real money, you should first practice pontoon online. This will assist you in being acquainted with the game. Moreover, Pontoon online for free allows you to learn from your mistakes without having to pay for them. By doing so, you are preserving your bankroll while mastering the game.
  • Try to find the best online casino in Singapore that includes a pontoon strategy chart as part of the game interface. This will make it much easier for you to stick to the right pontoon basic strategy and win more frequently.

Playing Pontoon: How to increase your chances of winning?

  • When playing pontoon, always use an ideal strategy chart. Otherwise, you’ll be going in blind, increasing the house edge.
  • Never play at a casino with strange rules that boost the house edge by even a few percentage points. This will be detrimental to you and result in further losses.
  • Take advantage of any online casino bonuses and promotions, since these may be added into the total house edge calculations. In addition, this could result in some short-term positive expectation play.

What are the benefits of playing pontoon online?

  • You may take advantage of a fantastic sign-up casino bonus that can double your money.
  • Also, Pontoon is a fun and nice twist on the traditional game of chance.
  • The Pontoon card game, like online Blackjack, is a combination of chance and strategy.
  • What’s more, this blackjack variant’s rules and strategy are simple to follow.
  • When compared to other card games, the Pontoon card game offers better chances to gamblers.
  • On top of that, the house edge can be as low as 0.38 percent when you played using Pontoon’s basic strategy.

Where to play Pontoon in Singapore?

Pontoon is a game that can be found at almost all online casinos in Singapore. Playtech, RealTime Gaming, Microgaming, and Betsoft all distribute this game. However, this blackjack version is not accessible at live casinos.

If you’re looking for an online casino where you can play pontoon, make sure you do your homework beforehand. While the market has improved significantly, there are still some dishonest internet operators to be found.

So, before you deposit money and start playing, look into player reviews and third-party certificates. It’s simple to find an online casino where you can play pontoon for real money. Still, it’s always worth taking a few hours to make sure you’re not wasting your money. As a result, you should follow our advice on how to choose reputable casinos where you may play pontoon.


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