Pontoon 21 vs Blackjack: What’s the Difference?

pontoon 21 vs blackjack

1 minute

Last Updated: February 20, 2024

Pontoon 21 and blackjack are two related card games available at casinos. Sometimes, players use both interchangeably to mean the same game, but both games have their differences. Pontoon 21 vs blackjack can be hard for players to differentiate because of their similarities, but we examine both games below. 

Pontoon 21 is said to have been invented in Britain. The aim of the game is for players to get a hand that’s as close to 21 as possible without going over. When the initial cards are dealt, the player has their cards face up while the dealer’s cards are covered. 

Therefore, players cannot make in-game decisions with the knowledge of the dealer's cards. In addition, players cannot stand unless they have a total card value that equals 15 or above and the payouts are 2:1. The dealer always hits on soft 17, and when there is a push, the dealer wins. 

Blackjack traces its origins back to the USA. Just like Pontoon 21, the aim of the game is to get a total value close to 21 without going over. When the cards are dealt, the player’s cards are covered while the dealer has a face-up card. This gives players a slight advantage when choosing to hit or stand. Choosing to hit or stand depends solely on the player, and there are no blackjack rules controlling when players perform either action. 

Some variations of blackjack require dealers to stand on soft 17, while others require dealers to hit. Players should find out which action is performed before starting the game. When there is a push, the game is a draw, and the player’s bet is returned. Blackjack pays out a 3:2 odds, which is lower than the 2:1 offered by Pontoon 21.

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