Blackjack and pontoon are often supposed to be similar. However, despite both of them stemming from the early version of the British Vingt-Un, they are different. Undoubtedly, these two games have similarities, which can make it hard to differentiate them, especially for beginners in the gambling industry. Here are the top differences between blackjack and pontoon to find your way around both of them.

Positions that the Card Face

In both blackjack and pontoon, you are required to form a winning hand that totals to 21 or close to it. However, the major difference between these games is that blackjack has a payout of 3:2, and that of pontoon is 2:1. Hence, if you hit a 21 with the first two cards dealt to you, you get a better payout than in blackjack.

These two games also differ in how the cards are dealt. In blackjack, both you and the dealer will get two cards after placing your bet. However, both your cards will face up, whereas one of the dealer's cards will face up and the other down. On the other hand, in pontoon, both the dealer's cards face down. Here are major points about pontoon.

  • The dealer checks for the natural first while the cards face down
  • You will win the 2:1 payout even after splitting
  • You will win the 2:1 payout even after splitting

Differences in Terms

Despite blackjack and pontoon sharing actions, they have different names. For instance, after placing your bets, you will be allowed to draw additional cards if the first two can't create a winning hand. This is referred to as a 'hit' in blackjack, but a 'twist' in pontoon. Also, if you don't want extra cards, you can call out 'stand' in blackjack, but 'stick' in pontoon.

In addition, in both games, you are allowed to add a bet that equals the original one. This is called 'double down' in blackjack, but in pontoon, it is a 'buy.' Also, if your count is 21 in pontoon, it's called 'pontoon' and not 'blackjack' as in regular blackjack. Therefore, if you are a beginner, it is vital to learn about the crucial terms.

A Tie Means You Lose

In some instances, you and the dealer may both get the same count when playing pontoon or blackjack. The difference is if this happens in blackjack, it will result in a push. This means that your bets will be returned. Hence, you can play another round or end the game. However, if you and the dealer tie in pontoon, the dealer automatically wins.

Doubling Down is Different in Pontoon

Doubling down in pontoon is different from blackjack because you are allowed to 'buy' before taking a 'twist.' Also, when you double down in pontoon, you can ask for more cards, which is not the case in blackjack where you can only get one new card. As a result, players have a better chance of creating a win. Here are other key points about pontoon doubling down.

  • Players can double down with more than two cards
  • Players can continue twisting after doubling

The 5-Card Trick

The 5-card trick is unique to pontoon, and it allows you to win with 5 hands, provided they don't exceed 21. However, the count should be larger than the dealer's hand. Nevertheless, you need to be careful with this trick because you may easily surpass 21. Hence, if you have cards with large values, this strategy may not be the best move for you.

Splitting Aces in Pontoon

In blackjack, when you split aces, you won't qualify for the 3:2 payout. Fortunately, when you do this in pontoon, you will still win with the 2:1 payout. Therefore, you can make a wide array of moves in pontoon without forfeiting your payout, increasing your chances of higher prizes. Learning about the differences between pontoon and blackjack can help you be better at both.