About Pontoon Deals and VariationsHow new pontoon games are dealt?
If a pontoon game is finished with no one getting a pontoon, all the used cards are added to the bottom of the pack by the dealer, and he/she deals a fresh hand without shuffling the cards. Doing so significantly improves the players’ chances of winning as they can remember which all cards are not in business.
On the other hand, if a pontoon game is finished with any of the players getting a pontoon, the cards are properly shuffled and cut prior to the next deal.
In the event that a player (not the banker) scores a pontoon without splitting his/her hand, and then that player is assigned the banker’s role from next deal onwards.
In case two or more players score a pontoon, the one sitting closest to the dealer on his/her left assumes the banker/dealer’s responsibility.
The banker may also change if the current banker wants to hand over the responsibility to a player in exchange of an agreed sum of money.
Despite being a very simple game, there are several pontoon variations you can play. For instance:
– Some allow splitting of only aces and no other pairs of cards.
– Some make it mandatory for you to have at least 16 points, instead of 15, in order to stick.
– Some give banker/dealer the liberty to look at his/her own first card after everyone on the table has placed his/her initial bet, allowing the dealer to double his/her bet. In many games the dealer indicates such move by placing a bet equivalent to the double of the highest of all the bets placed by the players. How this affects the gameplay is that the eventual payment gets doubled. However, it doesn’t impact the payouts for five card trick or pontoon, which stay the same at double the total bet amount and not four times.
– The payout in case of pontoon may vary from game to game. While some games may pay players one or three times the bet amount, instead of double, others may allow players to take double the bet amount, but dealers only single.
– In case your four cards’ total value comes out to 11, you’re guaranteed to score a five card trick. In such a scenario, some pontoon versions may disallow you from buying a fifth card and permit only twisting.
– Some pontoon versions have a rule that any hand consisting of three sevens (of players and not the banker) is treated as a royal pontoon, and it beats everything else. The payout for such royal pontoon is three times the wagered amount.
– In some pontoon games, a pontoon comprising of a picture and an ace beats a pontoon made up with a 10 and an ace.
– Some games don’t consider A – 10 a pontoon at all, and treat it like an ordinary 21. Others treat A – Q and A – K as natural pontoons, higher than plain pontoons of A – 10 or A – J.
– Some pontoon variations allow a player having a total two card value of ‘hard 13’ (for instance, A – 2 can be both 13 and 3, and hence is not a hard 13, whereas 9 – 4 is a hard 13) to ‘burn’ his/her hand. This means that the player can discard his/her cards and receive two new cards. The amount wagered by the player remains the same.
– In some pontoon games, you’re allowed to burn only a ‘hard 14’ instead of ‘hard 13.’ Furthermore, when it comes to burning, you can burn your hand even if you had burnt the last one; and also burn one of your hands after splitting your hands.