What Is The Difference Between Blackjack And Pontoon?

Have you ever wondered about the difference between Blackjack and Pontoon? Well, you’re in luck! In this article, we’ll unravel the distinctions between these two exciting card games.

Picture this: You’re sitting at a casino table, ready for some heart-pounding action. You have your cards in hand, and the dealer looks at you, waiting for your move. But before you make your choice, it’s important to understand the nuances between these popular games.

So, grab a comfortable seat, keep your chips ready, and let’s dive into the captivating world of Blackjack and Pontoon!

What is the difference between Blackjack and Pontoon?

What is the Difference Between Blackjack and Pontoon?

When it comes to popular casino card games, Blackjack and Pontoon often come to mind. While both games share similarities, there are key differences that set them apart. In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of Blackjack and Pontoon, exploring their rules, strategies, and variations. Whether you’re a seasoned gambler or a beginner looking to try your luck, understanding the differences between these two games will help you make informed choices and increase your chances of winning.

The Basic Rules of Blackjack and Pontoon

Blackjack and Pontoon are both played with a standard deck of 52 cards, although some variations may use multiple decks. The aim of both games is to achieve a hand value of 21 or as close to it as possible without exceeding it. In Blackjack, the player competes against the dealer, while in Pontoon, all players compete against the dealer. Let’s now take a closer look at the specific rules and gameplay of each game.


In Blackjack, players are dealt two cards initially and have the option to “hit” to receive additional cards or “stand” to keep their current hand. The dealer also receives two cards, one face-up and one face-down. The value of each card corresponds to its numerical value, with face cards (Jacks, Queens, and Kings) valued at 10, and an Ace can be worth either 1 or 11, depending on the player’s choice. The objective is to have a hand value that beats the dealer’s without going over 21. If a player’s hand exceeds 21, they go “bust” and lose their bet. Blackjack, a natural hand consisting of an Ace and a 10-value card (10, Jack, Queen, or King), automatically wins unless it’s a tie with the dealer’s hand.

Blackjack offers various options beyond hitting or standing, including “splitting” pairs of cards of equal value, “doubling down” to double the initial bet after receiving the first two cards, and “insurance” to protect against the dealer’s potential Blackjack. Each variation adds an extra layer of strategy and excitement to the game, making it a favorite among casino-goers worldwide.

Some popular Blackjack variants include Spanish 21, Pontoon Blackjack, and Double Exposure Blackjack, each with its own distinct rules and gameplay elements to keep players engaged.


Pontoon, also known as British Blackjack, has its own set of rules that differentiate it from traditional Blackjack. In Pontoon, the objective remains the sameā€”to achieve a hand value of 21 or as close to it as possible without going over. However, there are notable rule differences in Pontoon that give it a unique twist.

In Pontoon, the dealer’s cards are both dealt face-down, unlike Blackjack where one card is face-up. This increases the suspense and adds an element of strategic complexity to the game. Additionally, Pontoon introduces special hand rankings with higher payouts, such as a “Pontoon” (equivalent to Blackjack in value) and a “Five Card Trick” (a hand with five cards that does not exceed 21).

Another significant difference is that in Pontoon, the player must hit until they have a hand value of 15 or higher. Doubling down is allowed on any number of cards, and players can also “buy” additional cards after doubling down. While these variations may initially seem overwhelming, they add excitement and unpredictability to the game.

Common Strategies in Blackjack and Pontoon

While luck certainly plays a role in both Blackjack and Pontoon, implementing strategies can significantly improve your chances of success. Let’s explore some common strategies used in these games:

Card Counting

Card counting is a strategy used in Blackjack to gain an edge over the dealer. By keeping track of the cards that have been dealt, players can estimate the proportion of high to low cards remaining in the deck. This information helps them make more informed decisions, such as when to hit, stand, or double down. It’s important to note that card counting is not applicable in online casinos due to the use of random number generators.

In Pontoon, card counting is less effective due to the unique rules and the dealer’s cards being hidden. However, being mindful of the cards that have been played can still inform your decisions and improve your gameplay.

Basic Strategy

Both Blackjack and Pontoon have basic strategies that provide players with optimal moves to make based on their hand and the dealer’s visible card. These strategies, developed through mathematical analysis, help minimize the house edge and increase the chances of winning. Memorizing and implementing basic strategy charts is a valuable skill that can give players an advantage at the tables.

Basic strategies include decisions on when to hit, stand, double down, split, or take insurance. These decisions are based on probability calculations and vary depending on the specific rules of the game and the player’s hand.

Tips for Success in Blackjack and Pontoon

Now that we’ve explored the differences and strategies of Blackjack and Pontoon, here are some additional tips that can enhance your gaming experience:

Manage Your Bankroll

Before stepping into the casino, set a budget and stick to it. It’s essential to only gamble with money you can afford to lose. Managing your bankroll ensures that you can enjoy the games without risking financial strain.

Practice Responsible Gambling

Always gamble responsibly and be aware of the potential risks. Set limits for yourself in terms of time and money spent, and never chase losses. Remember, gambling should be seen as entertainment rather than a means to make money.

Take Advantage of Bonuses and Promotions

Many online casinos offer lucrative bonuses and promotions that can boost your gaming experience. Take advantage of these offers to make the most out of your deposits and increase your chances of winning.

Know When to Walk Away

It’s important to recognize when it’s time to stop playing. Whether you’re on a hot streak or experiencing a losing streak, setting limits and knowing when to walk away will help you maintain a healthy balance between enjoyment and responsible gambling.

In conclusion, while both Blackjack and Pontoon are exciting card games that boast similarities, they also have notable differences. Understanding the rules, strategies, and variations of each game will enhance your gaming experience and potentially increase your chances of walking away as a winner. So, whether you choose to challenge the dealer in Blackjack or opt for the suspenseful twists of Pontoon, remember to practice responsible gambling and enjoy the thrill of the game!

Key Takeaways: What is the difference between Blackjack and Pontoon?

  1. Blackjack and Pontoon are both card games played in casinos.
  2. Blackjack uses a standard deck of 52 cards, while Pontoon uses a modified deck with the tens removed.
  3. In Blackjack, the goal is to get a hand value of 21 or as close as possible without going over, while in Pontoon, the goal is to have a hand value higher than the dealer’s without exceeding 21.
  4. In Blackjack, players compete against the dealer, while in Pontoon, players compete against each other to beat the dealer.
  5. The rules for hitting, standing, and doubling down may vary between Blackjack and Pontoon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you curious about the differences between Blackjack and Pontoon? Look no further! Below, we’ve answered some commonly asked questions to help you understand the distinctions between these popular card games.

Question 1: How does the gameplay of Blackjack and Pontoon differ?

In Blackjack, players aim to beat the dealer by having a hand value higher than theirs, without exceeding 21. Each player receives two cards and can choose to “hit” for additional cards or “stand” to keep their current hand. Pontoon, on the other hand, is a British variation where the goal is to achieve a five-card hand that’s higher than the dealer’s or a hand value of 21 without going over. In Pontoon, players are dealt two face-down cards and can only see them after deciding whether to hit or stand.

Additionally, in Blackjack, the player can double their initial bet after receiving the first two cards, whereas in Pontoon, doubling down is known as “buying” and can only be done with a hand value of 14 or less. This subtle difference adds an extra layer of strategy to Pontoon gameplay.

Question 2: What is the variation in card values between Blackjack and Pontoon?

Both Blackjack and Pontoon use a standard deck of 52 cards. However, in Blackjack, the card values are as follows: number cards carry their face value, picture cards (King, Queen, and Jack) are worth 10, and the Ace can be worth either 1 or 11, depending on the player’s hand. In Pontoon, the card values remain the same, with number cards carrying their face value, picture cards worth 10, and the Ace being worth 1 or 11.

One crucial difference to note is that in Pontoon, a hand with a 10-point card and an Ace is considered Pontoon, which is the highest ranking hand, even higher than a regular 21-point hand, whereas in Blackjack, a regular 21-point hand is the highest.

Question 3: Are there any differences in the terminology used in Blackjack and Pontoon?

Yes, both Blackjack and Pontoon utilize different terms to describe certain actions. In Blackjack, “hit” refers to receiving an additional card, “stand” means to keep the current hand and take no more cards, “double down” enables the player to double their initial bet and receive one more card, and “split” allows the player to divide a pair into two separate hands.

In Pontoon, the terminology differs slightly. Instead of “hit,” players say “twist” to receive additional cards, “stick” is used instead of “stand,” and instead of “double down,” players “buy” an additional card. There is no equivalent of “split” in Pontoon.

Question 4: How does the dealer’s role vary in Blackjack and Pontoon?

In Blackjack, the dealer follows a specific set of rules that dictate their actions. Usually, the dealer must hit until they have a hand value of at least 17. Once they reach this value, they must stand, and their actions are no longer dependent on the player’s hand. In Pontoon, the dealer has more flexibility. If the dealer’s hand value is 16 or lower, they must continue twisting until they have at least 17 points. Unlike in Blackjack, if the dealer achieves a five-card hand without going over 21, it beats any hand of 21 or less (except for Pontoon).

Moreover, in Pontoon, if the dealer and a player both have a Pontoon hand, the dealer wins, regardless of the value of the player’s Pontoon hand. In Blackjack, a player’s hand will push (result in a tie) if it has the same value as the dealer’s hand.

Question 5: Are there any regional differences between the popularity of Blackjack and Pontoon?

Yes, there are regional differences in the popularity of Blackjack and Pontoon. Blackjack is widely known and played throughout the world, both in physical casinos and online platforms. It is especially popular in North America and Europe. Pontoon, however, has more of a following in the United Kingdom and some Commonwealth countries, like Australia and Malaysia. Although both games have similar mechanics, the regional preferences and historical background contribute to their varying popularity.

Ultimately, the choice between Blackjack and Pontoon boils down to personal preference. Both games offer exciting gameplay and the opportunity to test your skills against the dealer, so give them a try and see which one you enjoy more!

How to Play: Pontoon


Blackjack and Pontoon are both popular card games, but they have some key differences. In Blackjack, you aim to get a hand with a total value closer to 21 than the dealer’s without going over. In Pontoon, the objective is the same, but you also want to achieve a hand value of exactly 21.

In Blackjack, the player can see one of the dealer’s cards, giving them more information when making decisions. In Pontoon, both of the dealer’s cards are hidden until the end, adding a sense of suspense. Additionally, the terms used in Blackjack and Pontoon differ, with “hit” and “stand” commonly used in Blackjack, and “twist” and “stick” used in Pontoon. So, while both games involve strategy and luck, they have distinct rules and methods of play.