Pontoon is the popular British variant of Blackjack and in many respects the two games have striking similarities. The card values and play style are generally the same when it comes to both casino games, but the strategies that you can use differ greatly from those used by blackjack players because of the use of doubling down and multiple card hands, especially the 5 Card Trick.
Pontoon Strategy: The basics and how to win Pontoon
Since there is no dealer up-card in the game of Pontoon, basic strategies are based entirely on the number of cards that make a hand. This is the same for land based pontoon and a pontoon game online With a 4-card hand we always double down on any soft and hard hands that do not equal 17 or more. With a soft hand we have very little chance of busting so there’s always the potential for a 5 Card Trick if we double down. In this type of scenario, as long as the dealer doesn’t make a 5 Card Trick, we can make a 4:1 payout.
Pontoon Strategy: Pontoon tricks and tips to win!
As an example, if you have a soft 19 comprised of 3 cards in Pontoon and you double down, you can still hit even if you catch an Ace or 2 to give you a soft 20 or 21 as you cannot bust and have the potential to make a 5 Card Trick.
The only 4 card hands that you ever stand with in Pontoon are a hard 18 and above. Even when we have a 4 card hard 17 we hit and with a 4 card hard 16 we double down. This is where the strategies differ greatly from traditional blackjack. Basic rule of thumb here is that if after doubling down on a 3 cards hand, if your hand doesn’t equal a hard 18 and above, hit again.
Below is a table that outlines what plays you should make based on the number of cards you’re holding and the active total of those cards.