Pontoon is a variation of Blackjack, with a host of bonuses for bigger payout possibilities.
How to Play Pontoon
Pontoon is played with five decks of cards, without the 10 cards. As in Blackjack, the object of the game is to get a card total of 21, or close to it without going over. Players bet against the house. The best hand is a “Pontoon”, which is the same as a Blackjack—when the first two cards are an Ace and a picture card.
- Bets are placed on the marked area. Two cards are then dealt to each player, and one (the hole card) to the dealer.
- As in Blackjack, you stand when you think your cards are good, or hit to improve your hand.
- If you get a Pontoon, you win 3 to 2, which is paid out immediately.
- You may surrender even if the dealer’s hole card is an Ace. A surrender button is placed on your bet. If the dealer gets a Pontoon, your surrender is disregarded and you lose your entire bet. Otherwise, the dealer takes half your bet. Surrender is offered only when the dealer’s card is a picture card or an Ace.
- If the dealer’s hole card is an Ace, you may place an insurance bet of up to half your initial bet if you continue to play. The insurance bet pays 2 to 1 if the dealer gets a Pontoon.
- You may double down (place an additional wager equal to your initial bet) on any two cards, regardless of the card total. After doubling down, you have the option to play or forfeit. If you forfeit, the dealer immediately takes your double down bet and returns your initial bet.
- You may split any two cards with the same value. You may split your hand up to two times.
- A card total of 21 on a split pays even money.
- When your card total reaches 21, the house pays immediately, regardless of what the dealer’s cards are.
- If your final hand is better than the dealer’s, you win even money.
A player wins the Super Bonus if he has three 7 cards of the same suit, and the dealer’s hole card is a 7 of any suit. The player gets a bonus of Php100,000 if his bet is Php1,000 or greater; and Php30,000 if his bet is Php999 or less. All the other players in that round get a Php1,000 bonus as well.