Pontoon is a variation of the most popular casino card game in the world, blackjack. Due to its popularity, many variations have been created, such as pontoon. However, despite their similarities, these two casino games are not the same, and each has its own unique set of rules and gameplay.
In this post, we will delve into the differences between blackjack and pontoon, and explore whether pontoon is better than blackjack.
What is the Difference Between Blackjack and Pontoon?
While blackjack and pontoon share similarities, they have several key differences. For example, in blackjack, only one dealer card is dealt face down, while in pontoon, both dealer cards are dealt face down, making it harder for players to play against the dealer.
Below are some of the differences and similarities between blackjack and pontoon:
- Shared Rules: Both games have similar rules, such as players starting cards being dealt face down and attempting to form a hand count not exceeding 21.
- Dealer’s Two Cards Face Down: In pontoon, both dealer cards are face down, making it potentially harder to play against the dealer compared to blackjack, where only one card is face down.
- A Tie is a Loss: Unlike blackjack, a tie in pontoon is considered a loss.
- Doubling Down: In pontoon, players can double down before hitting and may continue asking for new cards, which is not the case in blackjack.
- 5-Card Trick: The 5-card trick in pontoon allows players to win the round if they have not exceeded a count of 21 with 5 cards in their hands.
- Doubling Down with 3 or 4 Cards: Pontoon allows doubling down even with 3 or 4 cards in hand, which gives players more options but may require a good strategy to avoid any potentially harmful moves.
- Higher Payouts: The payout for a natural in pontoon is 2:1, while in blackjack, it is 3:2.
- Splitting Aces: In pontoon, splitting aces still allows players to win the natural pontoon 2:1 payout, unlike in blackjack, where it disqualifies them from achieving a natural blackjack in some variations.
Is Pontoon Better Than Blackjack?
The answer to this question ultimately comes down to personal preference. Some players prefer the fast-paced action of blackjack, while others may prefer the added strategy of pontoon.
In terms of odds, pontoon tends to have a slightly lower house edge compared to blackjack. That means players have a slightly better chance of potentially winning in pontoon. However, like blackjack, it could help to understand basic strategy and rules before playing, as this may help to potentially lower the house edge.
Another advantage of pontoon is that it can often be played with fewer cards compared to blackjack. For example, some variations may remove all the 10s from the deck (excluding face cards). That means you may have a better chance of winning, as there are fewer cards in the deck.
In conclusion, both blackjack and pontoon are great card games that offer different experiences to players. Whether you prefer to play blackjack or the added strategy of pontoon, there may be a blackjack version out there for everyone.
It's important to remember that when it comes to gambling games like blackjack and pontoon, it's always important to play responsibly and never chase your losses. Whether you're playing online or in a physical land-based casino, it's essential to set a budget and stick to it.