Pontoon is a popular British gambling game very similar to the American game of Blackjack. Players try to get closest to 21 without going over, just as in Blackjack. There are a few variations that make Pontoon unique.
The objective of the game is to have your card hand come as close to the value of 21 as possible without going over while still have a higher total than the dealer has.
Place your wager prior to receiving your two cards, which are dealt face up in front of you as the other players do the same. Then the dealer deals himself two cards face down.
Say "hit" if you would like another card dealt to you. Keep hitting until you are as close to 21 as you feel you can be, or "stand" if you have at least 15. You can have up to 5 cards in your hand and no more.
Split your cards into two separate hands if both of your initial cards are the same and place a second wager. In Pontoon, face cards must be of the same rank to split. In other words, two Queens can be split and two Kings, but not a King and a Queen.
"Double down" your wager if you desire. In Pontoon, you may do this at anytime during the round.
Go around the table until everyone takes their turn, then lastly the dealer take his turn as he turns over his or her cards and hits or stands.
Win the amount wagered if the total value of your cards is closer to 21 without going over than the dealer's cards or if the dealer "busts" by going 21. You can also win if you have a "Pontoon," which is an ace and a face card or a "Five Card Trick," which is when the player holds five cards without busting.
Lose your wager if you go over 21 or if the dealer's cards are closer to 21 without going over than yours. Dealer will also win in the event of a tie, if they have a "Pontoon" or a "Five Card Trick."