Pontoon is better known as the British version of the game of Blackjack and in a lot of ways both games share similar rules and features between them. For example, the values used for each card and the style of game-play can generally be considered identical for both of these classic casino games. The major difference between the two being that the strategies that you use while playing. With this is mind there are 3 key points that you should always remember when playing Pontoon.
The Cards with Strong Potential
The main advantage in Pontoon is that this game has a good percentage of cards with strong potential. Just like in blackjack, the objective of pontoon is to compose a hand with the value of 21. Following on directly from this, any player holding a card with the value of 10 is in an ideal position.
At this point is it good to remember that in Pontoon, several other cards also share the same value. The Jack, Queen and King of every suit also hold a value of 10. Your first instincts should be to analyse the deal and lie in wait for a 10 or a combination of cards that add up to the same value. Only with this weight of hand is it advisable to continue. Don’t forget also that in the event of a tie, it’s the dealer who will always win.
No Cards with Strong Potential? Roll out The Five Card Trick!
In Pontoon, just like in Blackjack, it’s sometimes better not to wait for a 10, Jack, Queen or a King. Sometimes with the randomness of the game means you will not always be in an amazing position from the start of the hand so when this happens you’re going to start to look for other avenues to win by. One advantage of Pontoon is the possibility of forming hands out of multiple cards. The ‘Five Card Trick’, which is a combination of five cards that adds up to 21, can be considered a great tactical solution to weak starting hands.
Although it’s paid out at 2 to 1, the Five Card Trick beats all other combination except for a natural Pontoon. In the case of a deal that seems pretty thin to start with, remain patient, because even when you’re dealt low cards initially, there’s always the potential to form a Five Card Trick based on what cards you receive after the initial deal. This strategy of play will reduce the house edge by at least 0.4%
Hands with Strategic Variation
In Pontoon the strategy will always differ depending on the number of cards that the has in their hand in any given situation. Generally, in the case of strong hand with a value of say 18 to 21, you will have every desire to stop at this point. In the same way if you’re holding a combination of two or three cards with a combined value of between 16-17, you’re probably not going to ask for any further cards.
If however you’re holding four cards with a value of between 16-17, things will change slightly. At this point there it’s more interesting to take a fifth card. Why? Because at this point there is every possibility that you might hit a Five Card Trick. It’s also good to remember that in Pontoon you are also able to ‘Double Down’. Doubling down generally favours weaker hands such as 9, 10, or 11 and is only to be used when you’ve exhausted the possibility of using the other applicable strategies mentioned earlier on.