Blackjack and pontoon stem back from the version of British Vingt-Un. Since they have a similar origin, they share certain rules and actions. However, these games have major differences. Therefore, if you are a player, it is crucial to learn about them to find your way around both of them. Keep reading for more details.
The Difference in How the Games Are Played
Blackjack and pontoon have a similar objective. In both, players are supposed to end up with a count of 21 or close to it, but not exceeding it. However, your count should be more than that of the dealer. The main difference is in how these games are played is the dealing of cards.
In both games, the first cards dealt to you usually face up. On the other hand, in blackjack one of the cards dealt to the dealer faces up and the other down, but in pontoon, both cards face down. This means that it can be challenging to plan a strategy earlier enough in pontoon.
Difference in Terminologies
When you place your original bet and receive your first cards, you can draw additional ones. This is called a 'hit' in blackjack and a 'twist' in pontoon. However, if the two cards are promising, you can decline to draw extra cards. This is called a 'stand' in blackjack and a 'stick' in pontoon.
When to Stick or Twist
Blackjack doesn't have strict rules regarding the steps discussed above. However, in pontoon, you will have a few rules to observe. For example, you are required to continue twisting if your hands have a count of 14 or less. Thus, you can only stick when you have a total of 15 or more.
The Difference to Observe When Doubling Down
Both blackjack and pontoon allow you to add a bet for more cards. This is called a 'double down' in blackjack but a 'buy' in pontoon. Doubling down in these two games is also different. For instance, in blackjack, you can only double down with the original two cards, but in pontoon, you can buy with over two cards.
Hitting and Doubling
Pontoon also differs from blackjack because its players can buy before taking multiple twists subsequently. Moreover, you will be allowed to continue hitting after doubling down. This is not the case in blackjack as you can only get one card after doubling down. Hence, pontoon gives you a better chance at winning.
A Tie is a Loss in Pontoon
The chances are you and the dealer can get the same count. This is usually considered a 'push' in blackjack, which means you will get your bets back. You can decide to play another round or end the game. However, if this happens in pontoon, the house is favoured, which means the dealer automatically wins.
Therefore, even if your hand totals to a perfect 21, if the dealer gets the same, you will lose. Fortunately, the game has a payout of 2:1, which can still favour you in such an instance. This is a higher payout if you compare it to the 3:2 of regular blackjack. Besides, pontoon's house edge is lower.
Difference in Splitting
Splitting is a helpful strategy used in both pontoon and blackjack. With this tactic, when you are holding two cards of the same value, you can split them and play as two separate hands. Nonetheless, your original bet will only cover the first hand. Hence, you will need to add a bet for the second hand.
Splitting Aces in Both Games
The main difference between splitting in blackjack and pontoon concerns Aces. When you split Aces in blackjack, you will be forfeiting the 3:2 payout. This means you may win at a lesser ratio, such as 1:1. However, if you do this in pontoon, you won't affect your 2:1 payout, which is a plus.