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About Shoot Pontoon

Shoot pontoon is a pontoon variant that incorporates the ‘shoot’ betting mechanism, apart from the regular betting involved in the pontoon casino game. Both Shoot Pontoon and Shoot used to be immensely popular in Britain during the mid-1950s.

How the game is played is that the dealer/banker creates a kitty by putting in a certain pre-decided amount of money. The sum deposited is between the agreed maximum and minimum limits of the play.

Once all the players have placed their first-card bets, they get a chance to place a shoot bet starting from the player sitting to the dealer’s left. These shoot bets are placed separately from the normal bets made by the players, on the table, and are usually kept between the kitty and the player. There’s no boundation on the player to place a shoot bet, however, if he/she does it can be of any amount that he/she is comfortable with. Furthermore, the sum total of all the shoot bets cannot exceed the total amount in the kitty. Hence, if the first player to gets very bold and shoots half the kitty, the second one can only shoot up to the remaining half in the kitty. On the other hand, if the first player shoots down the entire kitty, none of the remaining players on the table can place any shoot bets for now.

The dealer deals all the players their second card (in face down position) once all the shoot bets have been placed. In the event that the dealer scores a pontoon, all the shoot bets get added to the pot and every player pays double their respective normal bet amounts to the dealer. Else, every player goes about the game as usual, however, having certain extra betting opportunities which are as follows:

The fourth card
In shoot pontoon, twisting or buying the third card happens the same way as in normal pontoon, however, without any more bets. In case a player’s three-card hand value is less than 21, and he/she wants a fourth card, he/she can get it by twisting or buying (if third card was bought). But, the player gets an opportunity to place a shoot bet before receiving the fourth card. As earlier, this bet amount needs to be one that doesn’t take the shoot bets’ total more than what’s present in the kitty. The fourth card shoot bet can be placed irrespective of whether you had shot in your previous opportunity or not. On the other hand, having shot before the second card doesn’t make it mandatory for you to shoot before the fourth one too. Please note, you don’t get any opportunity to shoot once you get your fourth card.

Splitting of cards
If a player opts to split his/her cards after placing a shoot bet, the bet stays with the hand consisting of the first card. The player gets the opportunity to place a fresh shoot bet on the other hand (of any amount), as per the normal rules of the shoot bets.

Going bust
In the event that any player’s hand goes bust, his/her shoot bet is added to the kitty right away, thereby increasing the possible amount that other players can shoot.
All shoot bets are settled simultaneously with the regular pontoon bets after the end of a pontoon hand, once the dealer is also done playing. Players having a better hand compared to the dealer are paid out on even basis for their shoot bets from the kitty, while the players having worse than or equal to the dealer’s hand lose their shoot bets, which are then added to the kitty.
The dealer may increase the kitty amount before every new shoot pontoon deal. However, he/she mustn’t take anything from it. In case the kitty is empty after a particular pontoon hand, the dealer can either build a new kitty or sell the bank to a player with the highest bid. The old dealer is allowed to retrieve any kitty leftovers if the dealing responsibility passes on to a new player (as a result of a sale or a pontoon). It’s now up to the new dealer to create a fresh kitty.