How to Play the Pontoon Card Game – A Beginner’s Guide

Pontoon has long been enjoyed by players worldwide. Similar to its cousin Blackjack, Pontoon provides exciting gameplay and strategic decision-making that anyone can appreciate – from novices just beginning or advanced players wanting to improve their skills – making Pontoon an essential card game that you need not just learn but master as part of life itself! Using this guide as your foundational source on Pontoon should help get the game underway successfully!

Starting Out

To play Pontoon, all that’s required is a standard deck of 52 cards. Pontoon allows two to eight players at any one time – perfect for social gatherings with family and friends! The aim is simple – build hands closer in value than that of the dealer without exceeding 21!


To begin the game of Pontoon, choose one player as the dealer. They should shuffle and distribute two cards face down to all participants (including themselves! ) from their deck – adding an element of surprise! In Pontoon games such as this one, both dealer cards should remain concealed – creating more mystery around this classic card game mega888!

Card Values in Pontoon In Pontoon, card values resemble those found in Blackjack:

Number cards (2-10) are worth their face values; face cards (Jack, Queen, and King) each count for 10 points; Aces can either be counted as either 1 or 11 depending on which value best benefits the player.


Once all players have received two cards from the dealer, action begins! Each player in order of left of dealer clockwise begins choosing either to “twist” (take another card) or stick (stay with their current hand) until either opting to stick or exceeding 21 points results in “busting” and reaching “bust.”

Pontoon When dealt an Ace and 10-Point card as their initial two cards, players have achieved Pontoon; it is considered the optimal hand. A Pontoon instantly wins any round unless both player and dealer possess it; otherwise, it becomes tied and goes back into play for further rounds.

Sticking and Buying

In addition to twisting, players also can “buy” cards after being dealt their initial two cards. Doing this allows them to draw additional cards to improve their hand, though buying will incur an increased bet and additional cards must be doubled up front in order to do it successfully. When players decide not to stick they cannot receive anymore during that particular round and cannot accept more.

After All Players Have Taken Their Turn, The Dealer Reveals Their Two Cards

At this stage, if all players have concluded their turns and the dealer reveals two cards totalling 16 or less points they must continue drawing cards until reaching 17 points or busting by exceeding 21.

Winning and Losing

Once the dealer completes their turn, all hands are compared against his/her total without exceeding 21. Those achieving a higher total than his or her hand without exceeding 21 can win their bets; those below this total lose them; any hands with identical totals to that of the dealer’s count back their stake; those tied at even receive no profit back and all remaining players who hadn’t busted win all remaining bets back as long as no dealer bust has occurred yet.


Though Pontoon can often be considered a game of luck, certain techniques can help increase your odds:

Learn the Basic Strategy: Pontoon offers its own basic strategy chart which details optimal decisions depending on both your hand and that of the dealer’s upcard.

Pay Attention to Card Counting: While card counting may not provide as significant an edge in Pontoon as in Blackjack due to hidden dealer cards, discreet use can still give a small advantage over time.

Know When to Stick: Although it can be tempting to keep rotating cards and hoping that something better appears, sometimes holding on with what you have can be the more prudent move if the dealer holds weak upcards.


 Pontoon is an engaging card game with plenty of excitement and strategic depth, perfect for both home play and casino gambling alike. By mastering its fundamentals at either setting, Pontoon will bring even greater enjoyment into play for card enthusiasts of any skill level – so gather up some friends, shuffle up those cards, and prepare yourself to experience its excitement!

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