How to play Pontoon

One of the things that clients like the most about Palace of Chance is the many variations of classic games we offer. If you are a poker fan, we want to make sure you can have other options in case you want a break from classics like Texas Hold’em and Omaha. Also, the slots crowd raves about the classic charm of our three reel machines and the cutting edge feel of our five reel slots, which we are continuously creating and introducing.

That being said, I have to admit that the Blackjack alternatives are the ones that always get my heart racing. Although 21 is in itself quite a straightforward game, it has never lack excitement in the way is played. Now, imagine the extra fun potential when you add factors like pressuring the dealer to play a specific hand or the possibility to beat a 21. That is what Pontoon is all about.

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Pontoon is one of my go-to games when I want to play aggressively and win many hands. The ultimate goal of Pontoon is to score a hand better than the dealer’s hand and not going over 21. Still, in this game, the best hand is not going to be an Ace+J,K,Q,10, but a 5 card combo that adds up or is lower than 21. As I said before, while Pontoon is definitely based on Blackjack, there are some crucial differences in regards to how much edge the player possesses over the dealer. Therefore, if the dealer has an Ace+J,K,Q,10 2-card combo or, for example, a 3 card hand that has not gone over 21, you can still beat him with a 4 card or 5 card hands.

Another advantage that Pontoon has is that the dealer always has to hit a soft 17. What is a soft 17? Well, it is a combination of Ace +6. So, if the dealer has that hand, he cannot stand on it, he has to deal himself another card. And the majority of the times, he will bust. On the other hand, if you get a soft 17, you can simply stand or, if you choose, ask for another card. In other words, Pontoon is like playing 21 but it gives you that extra edge over the dealer, which can translate into several jackpots gained.

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Another adaptation that Pontoon has is its Natural 21 check. This feature lets you work around the dealer’s 21 (or Pontoon) and beat him with 21 of your own. In regular Blackjack, the moment the dealer is dealt a 21, the house instantly wins. In Pontoon, the opportunity to build a 5-card 21 that can obliterate the dealer’s Pontoon is a way to avoid this immediate player lost. I love the fight for the prize that occurs in this game; it is not over until the last card unfolds!

Another important factor to take into account is what happens in pushes. In the rare case of a push, the winnings will go to the house not the player. The casino does this to level some of the advantage that the player has over the game. Another rule of Pontoon is that you cannot stand on a hand lower than 15. This rule is instated as a way to jazz up the game and give a little nudge to the player to motivate him/her to go after the immediate 5 card win!

At Palace of Chance, we believe that variety is the spice of life! So, do not hesitate to go and find Pontoon and many other Blackjack games in our Table Games page!

Juliana Peyton

Her friends describe her as the funnest person they've ever met. Juliana loves blackjack and does a lot of practice and research on the game, she also claims to be a sucker for cute slot machine toys, which she has collected for several years. Graduated recently from UCLA and now is back in her hometown of Las Vegas ready to have fun!

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