Pontoon- The Card Game
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Pontoon- The Card Game

Pontoon is a card game that any number of players can play, but five to eight players would enjoy the game most. Pontoon is played with a deck of 52 cards for five or more players, and two packs of 52 cards for eight or more players. This is a betting game, so chips for betting are also required. The cards have certain values; an Ace is valued at 1 or 11 depending on the holder, kings, queens and jacks and tens have 10 points, and the rest of the cards have their pip value. The objective of the game is to form a hand with a total value of cards as near as 21, without exceeding that value. One player is the banker for a game, who has certain advantages over the other players. The first banker is randomly chosen; the player cutting the highest card becomes the banker for the first hand.

The players have to bet against the banker’s hand; in other words a player will bet that her/his hand is better than the banker’s. The best hand among all the players is the Pontoon, which comprises of two cards amounting to the highest value of 21. This can be formed by an Ace and a picture or ten. The next best score after a Pontoon is a Five Card Trick, which comprises of five cards totaling 21 or near about. A hand with three or four cards is superior to all card combination other than the Pontoon and the five card trick. Players with 20 or lesser points and fewer than five cards finish in the order dictated by the point value of the cards they hold. Hands that have more than 21 points are valueless, and are declared bust. If the banker and a player have equal points, then the banker wins the game.

The banker is the dealer of the game, who deals one card to each player. All players other than the banker look at their hand. The player on the dealer’s left starts the betting round, with a minimum and maximum amount decided before the commencement of the game. Each player must bet within these agreed limits, but have to bet at least the value that is the minimum. The dealer deals a second card face down to each player. The players look at the two cards they have, and all of the players including the banker. If the banker makes a Pontoon with the two cards, this is immediately announced, and the banker receives double amount that was staked, from each player. If the banker does not get a Pontoon, then the player to the left can attempt at improving their hands by getting extra cards. They can either then declare a Pontoon, spilt their cards, buy a card, twist, or stick their turns. When all the players have played their hands, the banker’s hand is turned face upwards. To this the banker may add more cards. At any given point the banker can decide to ‘stay’ that is, stop dealing and continue with the cards that are already dealt.
May 13, 2008, 7:05 pm

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