Pontoon Card Game

The Pontoon card game can be called a British version of the American game Blackjack where the motive is to get closest to the value 21 without exceeding the number.

Generally, the recommended number of players for Pontoon is 5 to 8. Pontoon uses a standard deck of 52 playing cards (2 decks in case there are more than eight players).

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How to Play Pontoon

The game starts with the Banker dealing one card face down to every player. The deal starts with the player to the dealerís left, goes round the table, and ends with the dealer. All players, other than the Banker, are allowed to look at their card.

Each player, then, except the Banker places an initial bet (again starting with the player on the dealerís left and going clockwise around the table). After this is done, the Dealer deals the second face down card to all players which they are allowed to see.


Just like blackjack, Pontoon is declared when the two initial cards of player totals 21 points. This is considered as the best hand of the game; this is possible only if both a card of 10 points (like a King, Queen, Jack, or 10) and an Ace have been received. A player with a Pontoon hand receives a double stake for his hand. For instance, if your bet was for $10 and you have received a Pontoon, then you are paid $20 along with your $10 wager.

Pontoon Five Card Trick

The Five Card Trick is the second finest hand in a Pontoon card game and can be beaten only by a Pontoon hand. The Five Card Trick is achieved when a player ends up having 5 cards, total value of which does not exceed the 21-point mark. The Five Card Trick also receives a double stake at the end of the hand and beats a four or three card 21 (even if total value of the Five Card Trick is less than 21).

Pontoon Four or Three Card 21ís

Third best hands in Pontoon are those with 4 or 3 cards with a total of 21 points. They cannot beat the Five Card Tricks or the Pontoon but outdo all the natural totals that are less than 21. The next best hands are 20, 19, 18 etc. respectively.

Pontoon Next Hand

After all the initial hands and wagers are settled, the Dealer puts back all the played cards at the bottom of the same deck. Since these cards are not shuffled, it provides the players with a strategy to remember all the cards that wonít be played in the next round. However, if there had been a Pontoon hand in the previous deal, then all the cards are shuffled. If a player in the previous deal had achieved a Pontoon and the Banker did not, then this player is the new Banker for the next hand and the game continues.