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What Is a Pontoon in Blackjack?

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Dave | November 3, 2023 | Updated on: January 8th, 2024

Pontoon is not known by many people, even those that enjoy playing Blackjack. Pontoon is a Blackjack variant that was created in the UK. So, there are some slight contrasts between Blackjack and Pontoon. Read this guide if you want to know more about Pontoon and how you can play it online. We also have a strategy to give you an edge over other players.

Play Pontoon Online

Pontoon vs. Blackjack

Blackjack is similar to Pontoon. However, some significant differences are unique to the games. For example, both Pontoon and Blackjack deal the starting cards face down for all players. So, you have no idea what cards you have been dealt until after betting has been completed.

However, you can look at the cards afterward, but you cannot see what other players have until the match is over. It’s important to note that there are two different variations of Blackjack called Pontoon. There is one that is played in the UK and one that is played in Singapore and Malaysia. However, we will only be focusing on the version played in the United Kingdom.

Playing Pontoon

The goal of Pontoon is the same as the goal in Blackjack. You have to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. Also, all the card values in Pontoon are the same as in Blackjack. The game is played with a normal 52-card deck, but some gambling sites use two decks. The cards are not shuffled until a player hits 21.

A natural blackjack is called a Pontoon in this British variation. If you hit a pontoon, you can expect a 2:1 payout. The second goal of the game is to win the hand with five cards. Your betting strategies will change.

Twist variation

One of the differences between Pontoon and Blackjack is betting. It will begin the same way as it does in Blackjack. However, in the game, once you have your two cards, then you have to decide how you will play the game.

In Pontoon, players can decide to twist, which means that they can take a hit. You can also decide to buy a card, which means that you will have to double your bet and twist. The dealer will win in all ties in Pontoon, which makes up for taking a hit in the game.

Plus, you can continue to buy cards in the game, which you cannot in Blackjack. You can also choose to buy cards with any total, and it is not limited to 9, 10, or 11. However, after you twist, you cannot buy a card.


If you start with a terrible hand like an A/2 or 2/4, then the best strategy is to buy a card instead of twisting. The game is not easy because you are betting blind, and you lose all the ties. So, you should play this game if you are not afraid of losing now and then.

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