American blackjack is a popular table game played in many casinos. Most people think of the traditional twenty one game when they hear a mention of the game blackjack. However, this popular game actually has many different variations that are played across the globe.
One version of blackjack is known as pontoon. This version is played mainly in the United Kingdom. In the game of American blackjack, the dealer’s first card remains face down while consecutive cards dealt to the dealer are placed face up. However, in pontoon all of the dealer’s cards remain face down. This adds a bit more thrill to the game.
Another difference concerns what occurs if there is a tie, more commonly referred to as a push at the table. In American blackjack, there is no winner in a push. All chips are returned to players involved in the push. But in pontoon, the dealer always wins in the event of a push.
With all these strict rules, you might wonder what attracts people to play a game of pontoon since most of the rules seem definitely tipped in the house’s favor. The game of pontoon does have some unique qualities that benefit the player. For one, pontoon has a special hand which occurs when a player is able to get a hand consisting of five cards. Of course, in this hand, the player may not bust. When this hand occurs it is referred to as a five card trick. The player holding this hand receives a payout amounting to twice their original wager.
In American blackjack, a hand comprised of both an ace and any ten card is referred to as a blackjack but in pontoon, it would be called a pontoon. Players are permitted to hit at any time no matter the value of their hand when playing American blackjack. Pontoon players must hit their hands if it is less than fourteen. Doubling may only occur once within each hand when playing pontoon. Unlike American blackjack where players may continue doubling down as long as the cards allow them. Without a doubt, the game of pontoon can offer many gamblers a new way of playing an old favorite.
By Martin Jenkins
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