Blackjack vs Pontoon — What's the Difference?

Even if you are just getting started with the online casino industry, the blackjack game should not be new to you. The game of 21 has been in the industry for more than we can remember. If you are wondering whether blackjack and Pontoon are the same, then this article is for you. Read on for more.

Difference in Terminology

One of the most significant differences between Blackjack and Pontoon is how you indicate your play to the dealer. In the blackjack game, HIT tells the dealer that you need another card. However, the same action in Pontoon is referred to as TWIST. Additionally, STAND in Blackjack means that you no longer need another card.

If you don't want a new card in Pontoon, then you say STICK. Also, Double Down in Blackjack means Buy in Pontoon. This will double your initial wager and also get you a new card. In Blackjack, you can only double down with your initial two cards; Pontoon lets you double down with more than two cards.

Forced Twists and a Tie

In the game of Blackjack, the basic strategy may tell you that hitting on an eight is the right play, but the player can choose to stand instead. On the other hand, the rules of Pontoon indicate that a player must twist when they have a hand containing a total of 14 or less.

Additionally, in the game of Blackjack, a tie indicate there is a push. In this case, the player will get their bet back. Pontoon, on the other hand, favours the dealer when there is a tie. So you can have a total hand of 21 and still lose to the dealer if they have the same hand.

The Five Card Tricks

Pontoon also features another way that players can use to increase their winning chances, which is not present in the blackjack game. This is known as the Five Card Tricks. In the Five Card Tricks, players are required to draw five cards totalling 21 or less. If you win this hand, the game pays 2-1.

  • The Five Card Tricks beats a hand that with a non-pontoon 21
  • In contrast, Blackjack only award players that are closer to 21 than the casino dealers.

In the blackjack game, players at the table are usually at an advantage because they can see one of the dealer's cards when trying to make their hand decision. However, this is not the case for pontoon players because both dealers' cards are facing down. This makes strategies challenging to apply for pontoon players.

Splitting Aces and Higher Payout.

The blackjack game pays 3 to 2, but you will have to forfeit this payout if you are splitting. This kind of move will forfeit you from getting a blackjack. In contrast, pontoon pays out 2 to 1 even after you have a split hand. So you can still get a pontoon after splitting.

As mentioned, the game of blackjack pays 3 to 1 when your first two cards are natural blackjack. On the other hand, a pontoon pays 2 to 1 when you get a natural pontoon hand. Here, we can see that pontoon offer higher payouts than blackjack — one of the reasons why some players prefer pontoon to blackjack.

Our Final Word

Choosing whether to play pontoon or blackjack depends on your preference. However, no matter the game you choose to play, you will enjoy a thrilling and exciting gaming experience. Though they have some differences, there are also some similarities between the two card games. Both games come with simple gameplay, so you will find it easy to understand.

We recommend that you take your time to learn the game rules before you get started with your real money. Playing the games for free is the best way to get familiar with the rules and terminologies. Several online casinos will let you play for free. When you want to play for real money, ensure it's a reliable casino.