Pontoon is played just like Blackjack but there are no 10’s. It is the British version of Blackjack. The aim is to get as close to 21 without going over. Your hand has to be closer to 21 than the dealer’s in order to win. “Pontoon” is a game played with 6 decks of pre-shuffled cards (48 cards per deck excluding the 10’s of all suits) placed in a manual shoebox or One2Six machine.


How to play:

  1. Just place your bets on your box. You also have the option to bet on pair if by chance you would get a pair after receiving your two initial cards.
  1. After the dealer has dealt the initial cards to you, the dealer shall collect or pay your bet in the pair box.
  1. You now have the option to:
    • Split Pairs:
      • When the two initial cards dealt are an identical pair, the player can make two separate hands out of the pair, up to three separate hands including his initial hand. Aces when split receives one card only. The bet for the split hand(s) shall be of the same amount as the original bet. Each hand shall be played separately as an individual hand.
    • Buy Bets:
      • First Buy Bet – To make an additional bet of an amount equal to the original bet after receiving the two initial cards. Only one additional card is drawn.
      • Second Buy Bet – To make an additional bet of an amount equal to the original bet immediately after the first buy bet. Only one additional card is drawn.
    • Ask for Surrender:
      • When a player discontinues his hand and gives up half of his original bet. Surrender is not allowed when the dealer’s show card is an Ace.
    • Call for Insurance:
      • Insurance – An optional bet available to a player when the dealer’s show card is an Ace. Such bet may not exceed one half of the player’s original bet. The payout is 5 to 2 if the dealer makes a Pontoon.


Special Prize:

  1. A player’s hand having 6-7-8- or 7-7-7 of any suit is paid 3 to 2 and is paid immediately.
  2. A player’s hand having 6-7-8 or 7-7-7 of the same suit is paid 2 to 1 and is paid immediately.
  3. The special prize is only paid when the 1st three cards show any 6-7-8 or 7-7-7. Cards from split or double down are not entitled to a special prize.


Basic Rules to Remember:

  1. The players shall always play against the dealer’s hand.
  2. The point total of a hand shall be determined by the point count of the cards’ face value.
  3. A player’s hand with Pontoon or 21 points shall be paid immediately irrespective of the dealer’s card.
  4. The dealer’s hand stands on hard 17 draws on soft 17.
  5. Besides the main bet, the players may have the option to place proposition bets on “Pair”. The bet wins if the two initial cards of a player’s hand are a pair.
  6. If your initial cards is a Pontoon, (King, Queen or Jack with an Ace), you are paid at the odds of 3 to 2 immediately.
  7. If your point total is over 21 or less than the dealer’s, you either bust or lose.
  8. A winning hand is paid 1 to 1.
  9. A hand having a total point of 21 with 5 cards or more is paid 3 to 2. That winning hand is paid immediately.
  10. Winning insurance bet is paid 5 to 2.
  11. Winning pair bet is paid 10 to 1.