Want to double down, then hit again? You can. Want to see the Dealer's up card? You can't. Want to split your cards more than once? You can. The rules are different for this older variation of Blackjack.

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Pontoon Guide

Pontoon is an early version of Blackjack which offers a lot of the action that isn’t allowed in modern Blackjack games. Ranking of hands is different as well, including five-card tricks having a higher value than hands with fewer cards with more points.

How to Play Pontoon

The object of the game is to get closer to 21 than the Dealer. In Pontoon, both of the Dealer’s cards are dealt face down, so you are making your choices against a blind hand.

Player’s Turn

Click on the chips to place a bet, and then click on Deal. Two cards are dealt face up to you and two face down to the Dealer. After reviewing your cards, if you think the value of the cards is close enough to 21, don’t take another card. Click on Stand to finish your hand. If you want to add more points to your hand, click on Hit. The Dealer gives you another card. If you decide to hit and overshoot 21, you go Bust, losing automatically.

Card Values

  • Point values for cards 2 through 10 are the same as their face.
  • Each Jack, Queen and King is valued at ten points.
  • Aces can count as either 1 or 11, whichever is more advantageous to your hand.

Dealer’s Turn

Depending on the hand, the Dealer will hit or stand based on rules that the Dealer must follow.

You Win When

  • If the total value of your cards is closer to 21 than the Dealer, you win.
  • If the total value of your cards is under 21 and the Dealer busts, you win.
  • If you are dealt a face card or Ten, plus an Ace, you have a Pontoon and automatically win.
  • If you build a Five-Card Trick (a hand of five cards that equal 21 points or less) that beats the value of the Dealer’s cards without going over.


  • Pontoon pays 2:1
  • Five-card hands 21 and under pay 2:1

Game Features and Bonus Rounds

There are no Bonus Rounds in Pontoon.

Jackpot Information

There is no jackpot in Silver Oak Casino’s Pontoon casino game.

Additional Rules

  • The Dealer wins all ties.
  • The Dealer’s five-card trick beats your five-card trick if points are even.
  • Both Dealer cards are dealt face down.
  • The Dealer must hit on soft 17’s.
  • You must hit on 14 or less.
  • You can double down once any time during a round of play.
  • Hitting after doubling down is allowed.
  • Split your cards up to two times per round of play.

Strategy & Tips

Pontoon Basic Strategy

Total Number of Cards
4 3 2
21 Stand Stand Stand
20 Stand Stand Stand
19 Stand Stand Stand
18 Stand Stand Stand
17 Hit Stand Stand
16 Double/Hit Stand Stand
15 Double/Hit Stand Stand
14 Double/Hit Hit Hit
13 Double/Hit Hit Hit
12 Double/Hit Hit Hit
11 Double/Hit Double/Hit Double/Hit
10 Double/Hit Double/Hit Double/Hit
9 Double/Hit Double/Hit Hit
8 Double/Hit Hit Hit
7 Hit Hit
6 Hit Hit
5 Hit
4 Hit
A-10 Double/Hit Double/Stand Stand
A-9 Double/Hit Double/Hit Stand
A-8 Double/Hit Double/Hit Stand
A-7 Double/Hit Hit Hit
A-6 Double/Hit Hit Hit
A-5 Double/Hit Hit Hit
A-4 Double/Hit Hit Hit
A-3 Double/Hit Hit Hit
A-2 Hit Hit
A-A Split/Stand
8-8 Split/Hit


Pontoon is an old British variation of Blackjack.


The potential of winning when playing Pontoon is enhanced when you know and understand all the terminology associated with the game.

Bet: The amount of money you want to wager during a round of play.

Bust: The state of your hand if the total value exceeds 21. If you bust, your bet is lost. If the Dealer busts, you win.

Deal: Clicking Deal begins the game once your bet has been placed. In this variation of Blackjack, you are dealt two cards face up and the Dealer gets two cards face down.

Double: If you think that the next card in the deck will put your hand in position to beat the Dealer, you can “double down”. Your bet is doubled and one card is dealt to your hand. Hitting after doubling down is allowed in Pontoon.

Five-Card Trick: A hand consisting of five cards with a total value of 21 or under. It is the second highest winning hand in Pontoon. It beats any other card combination, equal in points, with fewer cards.

Hit: Clicking Hit adds another card to your hand. Take as many hits as you want before standing.

Pontoon: An Ace and a card with a value of ten points totaling 21. A Pontoon is comprised of two cards and always beats a score of 21 built from three or more cards. Also called Blackjack in other variations of “21” games.

Split: If your first two cards are of the same value (such as 7-7 or J-K), they can be split into two separate hands by doubling your bet. You then proceed to draw cards as usual with the goal of building both hands as close to 21 without going over. You can split up to two times during each round of play.

Stand: Click Stand to keep your hand as it is. If you have 21, you cannot click this option – it is automatically done for you.


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