Pontoon card game

Pontoon (card game)

Pontoon, a hand consisting of an Ace and a card worth 10 points

Pontoon is a name shared by two distinct card games, both BlackJack variants. For those in Australia, Malaysia and Singapore, Pontoon is a card game similar to MatchPlay 21 or Spanish 21, while in the UK, a game of Pontoon holds closer to the traditional BlackJack rules, but can be quickly distinguished by the verbal usage of the terms "twist" and "stick".

The Malaysian version of Pontoon is played in Australian, Malaysian, British, and Singaporean casinos. using multiple customized decks of cards. In Treasury Casino, Brisbane, it is known as Treasury 21. In Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast, it is known as Jupiters 21, in the Reef Casino, Cairns, it is known as Paradise Pontoon, and in Tasmania, it is known as Federal Pontoon.

The British BlackJack variant called Pontoon is played in the UK and Commonwealth with single 52-card decks. British Pontoon uses the terms "twist" (hit), "stick" (stand) and "buy" (double the bet, not to be confused with doubling down) and a different set of rules. The rules for buying in Pontoon include allowing the player to buy on any hand of 2 to 4 cards, allowing the player to twist after he buys.

The remainder of this article refers to the Malaysian version of Pontoon.

History[edit]

Pontoon is the British or domestic version of Blackjack, which in turn is the American version of (French for Twenty-one), a French gambling game popular at the court of Louis XV and later, much favoured by Napoleon, especially at St. Helena. In the twentieth century it became the most popular game of the armed forces of English-speaking nations. Pontoon, unlike casino Blackjack, has no official rules and varies widely from school to school.

Pontoon is an arithmetical game played on a table with the same layout as blackjack. In each deal, the player's aim is to receive cards totalling more in face value than the banker's, but not exceeding 21, otherwise he is "bust" and loses. A 21 consisting of an Ace and a card worth 10 is a pontoon, and pays extra. A player's 21 or pontoon always beats a dealer 21 or pontoon. Like Spanish 21, it is played from either a shoe or a 4-deck continuous shuffling machine (CSM). The shoe games use six or eight Spanish decks, which are regular 52-card decks, minus the ten-spot cards. Cards Two to Nine count 2 to 9 respectively, courts 10 each, Aces 1 or 11, depending on what is better for the hand.

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