Although Blackjack has only one out of the two dealer’s cards facing up, Pontoon, on the other hand, has both the cards facing down, along with the players’ cards as well. Until and unless the players do not complete their hands, the dealer’s cards won’t be revealed.
Though the dealer can have a look at his cards, but they won’t be shown before the completion of the players’ hands. The only exception to this non-revelation is that if in any case the dealer has an ace or any ten point card, which are the ‘Pontoons’ of the game. In such a case, the dealer can show the cards to all and win the game instantly, meaning the players fail at that hand.
The 21 deal
If you have not received a pontoon in your initial two cards, then you need to get your total to an approximate number of 21. But that total should not go beyond 21.
If the total is below 15, you need to get more cards in order to get close to 21. Getting more cards can be done in two ways- you can either ‘buy’ a card or ask for a ‘hit’.
Difference between the two is that when buying a new card it is given faced down, and if asked for a hit you receive the cards facing up.
As a result, the players need to keep asking for more cards until the score or the total of the cards are higher than 15, but it should not exceeding 21 in any case.
Once you realise that your score of cards has exceeded the total number of 15, you are free to take a ‘stand’. Taking a ‘stand’ means that you are content and happy with your score and would like to end the game.
The dealer then goes on to reveal his hand, after all the players have taken their ‘stands’. They cannot take a stand until his score is higher or equal to 17.
The dealer will pay out to all the fellow players if his score is more than 21. The total between 17 and 21 allows the dealer to decide whether or not to take a stand. If he gets a score lesser than other players, he is supposed to pay out to them.
Trick to Get the 21 Score
There are two tricks in which you can beat the 21 score. These tricks are the Pontoon and the five cards. In the latter one, all you need is a score less than 21 with the five cards you have.
The two trick cards are scored at 2 to 1. You can easily beat the standard score of the dealer, but in case the dealer happens to get these trick cards, you lose the hand.
Splitting the Hand
The only deviation, which is acceptable in Pontoon, is when your first two cards represent a similar score. This allows you to split the hand, and doing so lets you play with two sets of cards, along with their consequences and bets.
Pontoon is an interesting and fun game and when you have your strategies right; it is all the more exciting and rewarding!