British Pontoon is an extremely popular blackjack game which can be found in most casinos in Europe, UK, US and of course online. There is also an Australian Pontoon variation, which can be found online, but under the name Spanish 21.
Online, there are few different takes on Pontoon by different software providers. Here we will focus on the one developed by Playtech and see its benefits and drawbacks. Unfortunately, Playtech version is not available for free, but you can play RTG version of Free Pontoon.
British Pontoon Rules
Besides few small (but important) differences, most pontoon games available in online casinos feature the same set of rules and this is true for this game as well.
- The dealer is dealt two cards face down and he checks for pontoon before the player can make his decision.
- The player can only stick (stand) when he has a total of 15 or higher.
- Dealer must twist (hit) on 16 and soft 17,
- Five card trick or Charlie is any hand of five cards with a value of 21 or lower and this hand tops any hand with 21 total apart from pontoon.
- All ten-value cards are regarded as equal when it comes to splitting and the good news is that 2:1 pontoon payout can be awarded on split hands as well.
- You can buy (double down) once per hand on two, three or four cards, but it is the dealer who wins all tie hands.
Pontoon Odds – Which Game Offers Lower House Edge
Playtech British Pontoon features the same rules and house edge (0.38%) as RTG and Games OS versions, with both using eight decks of cards, but it is important to note that NetEnt Pontoon offers slightly better payouts as it is played with six decks.
And while Blackjack titles that utilize eight decks of cards usually boast high house edge, the same cannot be said of Pontoon Playtech, as 2 to 1 payouts on pontoon and five-card trick hands nicely balance things out.
Limits & User Interface
Pontoon Playtech offers players a choice between six chip sizes, where they can stake anywhere from $1 to $300 per single hand. The user interface is quite simple, but easy to navigate, allowing you to fully focus on the rewarding gaming experience. The premium Playtech software is in place to ensure that everything runs without any issues.