Cryptologic Pontoon Blackjack
If you’re a born-and-bred American Blackjack player, it may be time for a little “21” vacation. Cryptologic’s “Pontoon” is the blackjack of the British world, where you’ll learn an entirely new vocabulary playing a variation of a very familiar game.
Minimum bet at the Pontoon table is $5; maximum is $100.
First, let’s go over a few translation items. In Pontoon, to Hit (aka tell the Dealer you want another card) is to “Twist” and to Stand (telling the Dealer you’re good to go) is to “Stick”. It’s kind of like the difference between coffee and tea, except these words sound more like dance moves. You’ll also notice that “Buying” is the same as Doubling Down. You may be happy to know that the word for Split is “Split”.
Next, the rules. Pretend that Pontoon and Vegas Blackjack are exactly alike, with the following exceptions:
- The Dealer will twist on all 16s and soft 17s (totals that include an Ace). The Dealer will stick on all hard 17s.
- Both Dealer’s cards are hole cards.
- Unlike a Blackjack, Pontoon pays better—2 to 1.
- A 5-card Trick (5 cards totaling 21 or below) also pays 2 to 1.
- Players will be forced to twist on hands totaling 14 or less.
- Buying is allowed once.
- Splitting is allowed twice, including Aces.
- All ties go to the Dealer.
- No insurance. No surrender.
Cryptologic Pontoon is played with 8 decks of 52 cards, and they are shuffled after about a third of the cards have been played (although you’ll hardly notice it).
The same shortcuts and quick-keys that you’ve grown to love in Crypto software are in Pontoon as well. You’ll still be able to do a bit of customizing, too.