7 Difference between Pontoon and Blackjack, Involved Payouts

Do you know the difference between pontoon and blackjack? Many players unintentionally think that there is no difference between these two popular casino table games. After all, both of them have the similar main goal, and they share many of the same rules. 

However, some differences, and player-friendly differences will make pontoon a must to try in your favorite best online casino Malaysia. Well, keep reading to find the differences between pontoon and blackjack in this article. 

The Difference between Pontoon and Blackjack You Should Know

As a basic ingredient in your average casino recipe, blackjack is so popular that it has even created copycat games, and pontoon being one of them. 

The true biggest fans of the original might not ever feel the need to leave, however, there is no doubt in being across the variations should you ever feel like branching out, you may even find better success with the alternative. Well, here are some of the main difference between pontoon and blackjack you should know. 

1. It is All in a Name

On a basic level, the name is a big part of the difference between pontoon and blackjack, especially as much of the detail lies in terminology.

Even though the classic terms of blackjack are not obviously self-explanatory, they have invaded popular culture to the point that even beginners might be familiar with “hitting” “standing” and “doubling down“, 

Moreover, the language that is used in pontoon is seemingly simpler. For instance, to stay with your bet and end your turn is to “stick”, while adding to your bet and your hand at once is simply known as “buying card”. In any situation, the pursuit of proficiency in either game will likely need a familiarity with the names within the game. 

2. Buying Cards

Placing bets in blackjack is commonly a high-stakes move, and while the similar is true in pontoon, the difference involves the option to buy cards. This move importantly includes doubling your bet for the chance to take a hit, or “twist”, and add a card to your hand. 

Unlike blackjack, pontoon will allow players with the hands of more than 2 cards to buy. Yes, such a move can be pretty risky, however, it can also pay off well if you start with a hand of low-value cards and set out to avoid going bust.

In this case of the difference between pontoon and blackjack, the extra buy-in will lead to a significantly higher payout.

3. The 5-Card Trick

Another difference between pontoon and blackjack lies in the card trick. The simplicity of blackjack involves its main goal of reaching 21, a factor that no doubt contributes to it being one of the most popular table games. 

While pontoon remains the same game as before, the addition of a 5-card trick option, similar to the ultimate poker hand, provides players with another potential winning strategy. 

Failing these options, you may also win the round with a hand of 3 or 4 cards which total 21, or less when you are the closest. Importantly, if you like the idea of other chances to win, pontoon will make a great alternative to the comparatively risky “21 or bust” mentality. 

4. Dealer Rules

The next difference between pontoon and blackjack, a majority of casino games are biased in favor of the house in some way. Well, pontoon is no exception, piling on some layers of disadvantages. The big difference comes through in the ruling that when a tie should appear, the dealer will automatically announce the winner. 

In addition, that is enhanced by the fact that the dealer’s cards remain hidden until players have created standing bets. This will make it far harder to guess at your standing in comparison with the dealer, who is already in a position of fortune. 

5. The Payout

The discussion of financial matters is where things start to get interesting for most players, and it also represents one of the big difference between pontoon and blackjack. In the latter case, a “natural” will comprise an Ace and a card valued at 10 is the best you can expect for. It will let you to receive a 3:2 payout, or 150% of the first stake. 

In comparison, pontoon gives an interesting payout rate of 2:1, or 200% for a natural hand. This is to say that from a financial point of view, pontoon puts the players in a relatively strong position. However, if you consider that all of that extra chance is also afforded to others at the table, it will make for a competitive game. 

6. Doubling Down with 3 or 4 Cards

Doubling down remain as one of the main aspects of pontoon. In difference between pontoon and blackjack, you can double down on a good hand and hit even beyond 3 or 4 cards in your hands. Of course, this is a big advantage as it offers the player more options. 

However, it will be wise to rethink your decisions and play with the right strategy that will not work against you. Doubling down is good when you have the right cards, however, can be risky if you don’t know what you are doing. 

7. Losing Ties

In the difference between pontoon and blackjack, once each player has had their turn and made their final decisions, the dealer will turn their cards over and play their turn. 

This boosts the probability of the dealer going bust. What is not so good is that when the hand results in a tie, the dealer wins, and you will lose your stake. Even a natural 21 will lose against a dealer’s pontoon.

Final Thoughts

So, after knowing the difference between pontoon and blackjack, which one is better? The simplest aspect of pontoon is that splitting and doubling down, combined with the 5-card trick rule, offer you many more ways to get the maximum winning than there are when you play blackjack. 

However, one of the advantages blackjack has over pontoon is that you can see the dealer’s up card, and you can hit on any number, and ties result in a push (you will get your stake back). Then, which one interests you the most, blackjack or pontoon? 


Garuda Casino is the Malaysian independent online gaming authority, providing trusted online casino news, guides, reviews and information.

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