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What to Focus on When Playing Pontoon Online

By: Adam Baker, Friday January 24th 2014
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Pontoon is probably the most popular game that's like blackjack that's not actually blackjack. Though it's often considered a style of blackjack, it's more of a variant since blackjack is actually based on pontoon and not the other way around. This game has a few particular rules that stand out that will really trip up blackjack players who try to jump in without studying the game at all. These seemingly strange rules drastically change the correct strategies for this game when compared to any type of style of blackjack, and here we're going to prepare you for these changes by showing you what to focus on when you're playing pontoon online.

One rule says that if you get five cards without going bust, that beats everything except a pontoon (a natural 21 in this game). If you make a 16 with five cards, that beats a dealer who made 21 with three cards or 20 with two cards, for example. To this end, it makes sense that the more cards that are in your hand, the stronger your hand becomes because you are more likely to end up with five cards. This is why you should double down with a hard 16 if you have four cards and you should stand if you have only two. The number of cards in your hand drastically influences your plays.

Another rule is that you can double at any point in a hand, but you can double only once. What this means for strategy is that you should very rarely be doubling with just two cards. In fact, you should only double with just two cards if you have a hard ten or eleven. Along similar lines, you should avoid doubling with soft hands with three cards unless you have 19 or more. On the other hand, you should always double if you have four cards with a soft hand since it's impossible to go bust and you are guaranteed a five-card hand with a double-sized bet.

Finally, keep in mind that the dealer does not show any cards in this game. This means that your entire focus should be on your own total, how many cards you have and whether your hand is hard or soft. This is all of the information that you need in this game to make the correct plays over and over again.

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