The Optimal Pontoon Basic Strategy

Pontoon is offered at many online casinos. It has a house edge of just 0.17% (meaning we expect to lose 1.7 cents if we bet £ 10). The rules are similar to those of the online gambling blackjack game. The player gets 2 cards and tries to get a higher number than the dealer without overbought (over 21 is overbought).

 

The differences are as follows:

 

Dealer wins ties

 

If the dealer has the same number of eyes as the player, the dealer wins. For example, if the dealer and player both have 20, the dealer wins.

 

Pontoon pays 2: 1 (Pontoon pays 2: 1)

 

If the player has a pontoon (pontoon = blackjack – A + 10), he wins twice his bet. If the player divides 2 aces, these hands can count as a pontoon and are paid out as such.

 

If players and donors have a pontoon, the dealer wins.

 

5-card Charlie pays 2-1

 

If the player has 5 cards without overbought, he wins twice his bet. The combination 4 + 5 + 2 + 3 + 6 for example is a 5 card charlie. All 5 – cards Charlie has the same value.

 

If the dealer and player have a 5 card Charlie, the dealer wins.

 

Doubling is always allowed

 

You can double at any time, no matter how many cards you have drawn. For example, if you have 4 cards in hand and these are under 11 in value, you can double safely (you can’t overbought, a 5 card Charlie is safe). Doubling often makes sense.

 

Sharing always allowed

 

You can always split up to a maximum of 3 hands. So you can split a split pair again.

 

Under 15 you have to take a card

 

If you have a card value of less than 15, you have to take a card in any situation.

 

Otherwise, simply follow the basic pontoon strategy; with it, you have the described small house edge, and it shows the statistically best move for every situation.

 

Pontoon basic strategy:

 

Explanation:

 

H = take card (H = hit)

S = stand still

D = double if possible, otherwise, take card

Ds = double if possible if not stop

Ph = divide if allowed, otherwise, take card

Ps = divide if allowed, otherwise standstill

 

Remarks

 

We only make our game decision based on our cards because we don’t see the dealer’s cards. Also, note that doubling 16 cards with 16 is risky, but contrary to our intuition, it is statistically the best move.

 

If you have doubled with 3 cards and an 11 and then have, for example, a 15, you take another card. The table shows you the best move, regardless of whether you have already doubled or split.

 

The pontoon game fluctuates a lot, so only play it if you can live with it.

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Amado Tapper

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