Shoot Pontoon, Dealing, Betting & Rules

shoot pontoonWhen you remember card games of the past Shoot Pontoon was in the top 3 games played in pubs around the UK before the explosion of Poker. 3 Card Brag was phenomenally popular at the same time as shoot pontoon.

Based on Blackjack in that the idea is to get 21, and an Ace and Picture card (King, Queen, Jack or a ten) together is called “pontoon”. It’s a simple game to play but great fun.

Below you’ll find the full rules of Shoot pontoon, an explanation about the hands, betting, the “shoot” part of the game which differs to traditional pontoon.

How to Play Shoot Pontoon:

Shoot Pontoon is a lot like blackjack you would play at any casino.

The main differences being.

  • 1 player is always “the banker” or house who in effect is the casino
  • At any time another player can “shoot” which means bet the full amount in the pot on his hand Vs the banker.
  • If a player ties against the banker – the banker wins.
  • A 5 Card Trick Beats everything except Pontoon.

Shoot Pontoon Terminology.

Before explain the rules of shoot pontoon, it’s best to get to grips with the terminology used. Here’s a quick rundown.

  • To Shoot: To bet against the banker for all the money in the pot.
  • The Pot: The money held by the banker that is in play
  • The Banker: The banker is basically the casino, all players play against the banker
  • To Stick: aka stand in blackjack. Take no more cards to add to your hand
  • To Twist: To take another card to add to your hand to hopefully improve it.
  • Bust: When your cards add up to over 21, you are bust and lose instantly.

How the Game of Shoot Pontoon Begins.

To start shoot pontoon a players needs be begin as the banker.

To do this all players take a seat, the pack of cards (standard 52 card deck) is shuffled and each player is dealt t a card face up.

Whoever has the highest card is the banker, or can choose to pas it on to the player to his left, this continues until the first banker is chosen.

Players take their seats, the deck is shuffled and each players dealt 1 card face up. The highest card is “the banker”

The bank places his “bank into the pot in the center of the table. This was normally as ashtray to make it easy to stop money rolling all over the place.

The amount the banker places in the middle for his pot is entirely up to the banker. Bear in mind that if a player decides to “shoot” everything in the middle is at risk.

Dealing The Cards and betting in Shoot Pontoon.

  • The banker shuffles and deals each player 1 card face down clockwise dealing themselves the final card, also face down.
  • Action always moves clockwise in shoot pontoon.
  • The banker plays one on one with each player in turn.
  • The first player looks at their card and decides how much to bet.
  • The player has the option too Shoot upon seeing first card only.
  • Once the bet is placed, the banker deals another card to the player and then one to himself. both again face down – Both players now have 2 cards.
  • The player now looks at his cards and can either “stick” or twist”.
  • If player twists this card is dealt face up to the player by the banker, the same continues until the player “sticks”.
  • Once the player has finished the banker now looks at his or her hand and has the same options: Stick or twist.
  • Whomever is closer to 21 wins.
  • If player has Pontoon he wins, unless banker also has 21 in which case banker wins
  • the banker only pays out to a score 1 higher than their own.

You will often hear the banker have cards totally 17 for example and say “pay 18’s” this means he will pay the other player their bet if they have 18 or better, but obviously not if they are bust.

Important to remember that a 5 card tricks beats all other hands except pontoon, if both players have a 5 card trick the one closer to 21 wins, if both are equal (which I have never seen) the banker will win.

How Shoot Pontoon Progresses.

Once the game is underway and money is flying left, right and center you just need to know a few more things.

  • The banker must go round each player 3 times before cashing out his bank.
  • If a banker is wiped out of money in the pot the bank passes to next player in turn.
  • The option to be Banker passes clockwise after a banker cashes our or goes broke.
  • Players can reject the chance to be banker and pass to next in turn.

Play Pontoon or Shoot Pontoon Online.

As yet you can’t play shoot pontoon online anywhere. You can however play pontoon against the casino, or play free pontoon online in our free play games section.

If shoot pontoon ever does make it onto the internet as a game to play against others we will be the first to let you know. Like us on facebook to keep up to date with everything UK casino related.

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