The History of Pontoon 21 Card Game

Lobby > News > Online Casino > The History of Pontoon 21 Card Game

Card Game Also Called Pontoon at Vegas Aces

Pontoon is the name of two different card games, both of which have their roots in the classic casino game of BlackJack

There are three countries where the card game also called pontoon, is popular—Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore. If you’re familiar with MatchPlay 21 or Spanish 21, you’ll be right at home with this. Pontoon’s rules are similar to those of classic BlackJack. However, “twist” and “stick” differentiate the two games.

There are casinos worldwide where you may play the Malaysian version of Pontoon, including Australia, Malaysia, the UK, and even Singapore. 

Each game requires a different number of decks of specially-designed cards. The Treasury Casino in Brisbane has a game called “Treasury 21.” Federal Pontoon in Tasmania, Paradise 

Pontoon at the Reef Casino in Cairns and Jupiter’s 21 at the Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast are all variations of the same game named Jupiter’s 21.

Pontoon, the British variation of Blackjack, is played exclusively with a single 52-card deck in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries. For example, “twist” is a term used in British Pontoon to refer to a ‘hit,’ while “stick” is a term used to refer to a ‘stand.’ 

A player can use any two-to-four-card hand in Pontoon to buy, and they can twist after that.

Brief History

The English variant of the Blackjack card game also called pontoon, was developed specifically for the needs of English-speaking players. 

It instantly gained worldwide acclaim for being a refreshingly new and exciting take on the classic game. A twenty-one is a French word for twenty-one. Hence the game’s name is derived from that term.

The origins of the game can be traced back to the 16th century. At some point in the eighteenth century, it is believed that it began as a regional phenomenon in Spain before becoming popular throughout the rest of Europe. In the 19th century, it finally crossed the ocean to the United States.

The 18th-century author Edmond Hoyle penned the first card game rules in his book Hoyle’s Games. 

The term “Pontoon” didn’t first appear during World War I. British soldiers have mistakenly pronounced the French word Vingt-Un as Twenty-One.

In 1917, the new name “Pontoon” was first recorded. American soldiers fighting with the British in World War I coined the phrase. “Tommy,” a fellow soldier, enjoys playing Pontoon, according to this guy.

This card game ranked behind only Whist and Rummy as the third most popular in the United Kingdom in 1981 when it was first introduced. 

Pontoon is not a form of Blackjack, contrary to popular belief. Both games are based on Vingt-Un, a French board game initially published in English and French versions. 

It’s also unique because there aren’t any fixed rules for the card game also called pontoon. As a result, the game is adapted to local conditions.

Players, Cards, and Objective

Pontoon is a game that can be played with any number of players. At least two players and no more than eight are required to play the game. 

Two standard decks of 52 cards are best for more than eight players, but online casinos use six to eight decks regardless of the number of players.

Like Blackjack, each card’s value is determined by its suit. Face cards, such as the jack, queen, and king, are all worth ten points each. 

The value of an ace can be either 1 or 11. The game’s objective is straightforward: get as near to 21 as possible by collecting the card values you’ll need. You will also lose if you exceed this limit.

In this card game also called pontoon, the players choose the banker. It is possible to accomplish this by having each player cut the deck, with the highest card being designated the banker. Unlike other online pontoon games, Online Pontoon is unique.

It’s up to each player to place a bet without revealing the value of their face-down card. After that, everyone gets a second card and can see what they got. 

For the best possible hand, two tens and an ace are required, 21. It’s called a Pontoon. After showing the player a Pontoon, the banker doubles the player’s bet.

The second-best poker hand is five cards that don’t total more than 21. This is known as “The Five Card Trick.” Five-card hands are better than three- or four-card hands that total up to 21 or less. 

A Five Card Hand can have less than 21, but a Pontoon is always at least 21. Remember that the banker will always win if your hand and his hand are identical.

Spanish Origins

The word “Ventiuno” first appears in a 1611 Spanish dictionary under the word “card” (“twenty-one”). Miguel de Cervantes, the Spanish author, known for Don Quixote, wrote a short story about the game two years later. 

Con artists from Seville are the subject of “Rinconete and Cortadillo” from Novelas Ejemplares by Cervantes, a novel about gambling. 

When they play Veintiuno, the goal is to get as close to 21 points as possible without going over the ace is worth either 1 or 11. The game is played with a set of baraja cards. 

How Similar Are British and American Pontoon? 

Getting as near to 21 as possible without going over is the goal of British Pontoon, just like it is in traditional Blackjack. Pontoon is a game whose goal is to defeat the dealer, or “banker.” All the card values are the same as in a standard deck of cards.

This phase of the game does not require any extra consideration. A second pack is added to the standard deck if more than two players are. 

Some online casinos employ more than one deck, so it’s always good to read the game’s rules before getting started.

It is possible to play this card game also called pontoon, that uses up to eight decks of cards online, such as those from Betsoft and Playtech. Aces can be either 1 or 11, and the rest of the cards are valued pip values, with K, Q, and J all being valued at 10.


We have explored the history of the pontoon 21 card game and how the game has evolved. We have seen how the game is played today and how all can enjoy it. Pontoon is a great game for any occasion and provides hours of fun. 

If you have the right group of friends, Pontoon can be the perfect game to liven up any party. Go ahead and try out this classic game for yourself; you won’t be disappointed. Open an account with us and get the welcome bonus. Remember, if you want to know more about Vegas Aces, check our social media and be aware of every news.

FAQs Card Game Also Called Pontoon

Why is 21 Called a Pontoon?

In the United Kingdom, Pontoon is a variation of the overall financial game 21 (known in the United States as Blackjack). Pontoon’s origins can be traced back to the French phrase vingt-et-un.

Why is the Game Called Pontoon?

Pont is derived from the Latin “pononem,” meaning “flat bottom boat,” and “pons, meaning bridge.”

Is Pontoon Better than Blackjack?

In online Blackjack, if you get natural with your first two cards, you get paid 3 to 1. Pontoon uses a two-to-one ratio. This is one of the reasons why more people choose to play Pontoon than Blackjack and the few decent rules.