Playing Online Pontoon in Canada
The difference between Pontoon and regular blackjack is quite minimal. Pontoon has grown in popularity amongst Canadian players and is in essence considered by many to be the British version of blackjack. Just like its cousin, blackjack, the aim of Pontoon is play until you get as close to 21 as possible or go bust or hit. But more on that later. It’s also important to note that the game of Pontoon, especially in the online arena can differ from casino to casino and this is due to the software provider. For instance, the variation of Pontoon that Microgaming provides might differ from the version that NextGen or IGT provides. So if you are going to play Pontoon, it would be best to play it in practice play to become familiar and to then move on to playing for real cash.
How to Play Pontoon
Pontoon is an easy variation of blackjack to learn and like all blackjack games, can rely on strategy in case you want to improve your chances. Pontoon is played with a single deck but at online casinos, it’s usually on 4 to 8 decks. This is done for two reasons – to give the house a better edge and to prevent players from card counting. Don’t let this information deter you, you can still win and win big.
In the game of Pontoon you are given two cards, both face up while the dealer’s cards lie face down. Pontoon is an ace with any other card that equates 10. This is called a natural Pontoon. If both you and the dealer score a Pontoon, the dealer will win. In blackjack this would be considered a tie which in turn will be a push and will not result in the loss of your bet. In online Pontoon, you must hit if you have 14 or less while in blackjack you are allowed to stand on any amount.
As the player, you are allowed to double on 2 to 4 cards but only once and the same is applicable to doubling after splitting – all this may only be done once. You can stand on any hand that equals 15 or higher.
Coming out Tops
So how do you win at this game? Well, you could use a strategy chart – available online and to download. This one is tougher to win at, make no mistake, and it’s why I say that you should only endeavour to play this game if you’re really good at blackjack generally or if you’re looking for something different. The fact that the dealer’s hand isn’t exposed is also a deterrent to your ability to get better wins, so once again I need to stress that this game needs to be tackled by seasoned players. Pontoon wins can vary between 1:1 wins and 2:1 wins, all depending on the type of winning hand that you achieve. A five card hand will usually secure you a 2:1 win.
How About a Pontoon Bonus?
Good question. Yes, there is always a bonus regardless of the situation. You either have to be new or you have to be a regular at the casino. Here’s the thing when it comes to playing card and table games like Pontoon or blackjack - the bonuses are not really geared towards these games. Yes, you can use your bonus to play Pontoon, but it might take you a lot longer to meet the wagering requirements. For this reason, I try and detract players from using bonuses on games like Pontoon or online blackjack. However, having said that, if you’re going to take a bonus anyway, then by all means, do so. This is gambling after all and anything is possible. I would suggest that the bonus be used on slot games instead – best case scenario.