How To Play Microgaming Pontoon Gold?

How to play Microgaming Pontoon Gold
Microgaming Pontoon Gold

Microgaming Pontoon Gold is a variation of Blackjack and is present in popular online casinos in New Zealand.

Pontoon is played in the UK and Australia as a version of Blackjack. It is a blackjack-based variation mostly played in land-based casinos.

There is a lot of confusion regarding the number of cards in a deck while playing Pontoon. Does it have 10s (non-picture cards) or not? Can they be dealt or not?

According to my research and information from the Gambling Regulatory Authority and the Department of Internal Affairs in New Zealand, while playing Pontoon, the deck consists of 48 cards, excluding the 10s of hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs.

It stands to reason that as Microgaming is one of the world’s leading online casino software developers, they would come up with several different versions of Blackjack.

Pontoon is an exciting variation, and you will find that the rules are familiar but with a few twists and exceptions.

Playing the Microgaming version of this game allows for specific features you may not find with other software.

For example, there are four speeds in speed control: slow, medium, fast, and fastest. Sounds may also be manipulated and can be turned off. Auto-play and strategy cards may be used, and this is in expert mode.

There are five betting spaces, and up to five hands may be played with a maximum bet of 200 and a minimum of 1.

How do you play the Microgaming Pontoon Gold game?

Microgaming Pontoon Gold
Microgaming Pontoon Gold

You can log in to any Microgaming online casino like Spin Casino or Royal Vegas online casino and search for this game in the games lobby.

However, I have explained the gameplay of the Blackjack-based Pontoon Game below:

The gameplay of Pontoon is generally very similar to that of blackjack, but some small differences play a significant role.

In Blackjack, there is one dealer and three players. However, in Pontoon, all four players participate, and one player is chosen to act as the banker.

All four players play together. Another difference is that the deck has no 10s (non-picture cards), making it a 48-card deck.

Each player is not dealt two cards. Instead, everyone, including the banker, is dealt two face-down cards. Everyone checks their first card and decides whether they want another card.

Players can hit another card if the cards do not get closer to 21. After this, players check who gets closest to 21. Remember, the banker is also playing as a player.

Suppose you are new to any Microgaming casino.

Register and Deposit:

  • Register at the Microgaming casino.
  • Make an initial deposit using the available deposit modes on the banking page.
  • Claim the casino’s welcome bonus.

With minimum wager standing at a mere $1 and maximum bet being $200, Pontoon Gold can cater for a wide range of online gamers, who may have a slight disadvantage because dealer cards are dealt face down. Still, two ways to receive a 2 to 1 payout should prove enough to compensate.


  • “Twist” is used instead of Hit or Draw.
  • “Stick” is used when you do not want to receive any more cards.
  • Clicking on “Buy” will double your initial stake (only once per hand).

While the minimum bet is $1, available coin denominations are $1, $5, $10, and $25, so select the preferred stake and place your wager on one of the five seats or bases.

Starting the Game:

  • Click on “Deal” to start the hand.
  • Auto-Rebet and Quick Deal options are available.
  • Move your cursor to the black field in the upper left-hand corner to read essential game rules.

Gameplay of Pontoon

Suppose four people are playing: Me, David, Steve, and Michael. David is the banker. He deals cards to all four players, both face down.

Now, everyone checks their cards.

  1. Me: J and 5 = 15
  2. David: J and 8 = 18
  3. Steve: 9 and 8 = 17
  4. Michael: 9 and 2 = 11

Michael and I decided to “Twist” (ask for one more card) since we are far from 21. The other two decide to “Stick” (not take any more cards).

I receive a 7, and Michael receives a K. The new totals are:

  • Me: 22 (busted – went over 21)
  • Michael: 21

I am busted because I went over 21, so I lost. Michael wins this hand as he gets closest to 21. The other two also lost.

You might be wondering if Michael got a Pontoon. No, a Pontoon can only be claimed with the two initial cards dealt. After twisting or sticking, you can’t achieve a Pontoon.

Rules of Pontoon Gold

Pontoon Strategy Table
Pontoon Strategy Table

The game is played with eight decks of cards, and while the Dealer receives two cards, the player is not allowed to see either.

The Dealer, or banker, then checks for Pontoon, which is the same as Blackjack in the more conservative variations of the game.

The good news is that the player’s 21 or Pontoon is always a more substantial hand than the banker’s 21 or Pontoon.

The player has three ways of winning the hand

  • Regular Win: Pays 1 to 1.
  • Pontoon: A hand consisting of an Ace and any ten-value card pays 2 to 1.
  • 5-Card Trick: Any five-card hand with a value of 21 or less pays 2 to 1.

Here’s the list of winning hands from low to high:

  • Pontoon or Blackjack – Getting 21 in the initial bet
  • Five Card Trick – Getting 21 with 5 cards
  • 4 Card Trick – Getting 21 with 4 cards
  • 3 Card Trick – Getting 21 with 3 cards

While the banker must stand on all 17, the player must draw if the current card value is less than 15.

In case of a push, the dealer wins the hand, whereas the double-down option can be used once per hand on 2, 3, or 4 cards.

Payout Odds of different hands in Pontoon

Pontoon3 to 2
5 cards totaling 213 to 2
6,7,8 mixed suits3 to 2
7,7,7 mixed suits3 to 2
6 cards totaling 212 to 1
6,7,8 same suits (except spades)2 to 1
7,7,7 same suits (except spades)2 to 1
7 or more cards totaling 213 to 1
6,7,8 all spades3 to 1
7,7,7 all spades3 to 1
All other winning wagers1 to 1

In betting terms, “3 to 2” means that for every 2 units you wager, you will win 3 units in return.

For example, if you bet $2 and win a “3 to 2” payout, you will receive $3 in winnings plus your original $2 bet, totalling $5.

Remember, a banker gets replaced whenever the other person strike a “Pontoon” and then again the game repeats.

After the players’ hands have been completed, the banker will play their hand, and potential wins will be calculated.

Guide to Betting and Playing the Pontoon Game

Betting the game of pontoon
Betting the game of Pontoon

Playing Pontoon as opposed to Blackjack online will see you have to be aware of the ever so slightly different playing and betting decisions that will be available to you, and you will also need to be mindful of how the Dealer is going to be playing off his hands too with the following information:

1. Low House Edge

One of the most important aspects of playing any casino card game is that you will always be best advised to stick to the games that when played perfectly and with the best playing strategy, will offer you a low House edge.

For reference, the Microgaming Pontoon games have a house edge with optimal play of just 0.38%, which is lower in value than some of Microgaming’s Blackjack games!

2. Dealer Soft 17 

Once you have made all of your playing and betting decisions on your hand or hands when playing Pontoon, it will then be the turn of the Dealer to play off his hand, and he will play his hand off until he reaches a Sot 17 valued hand or any high valued hand which he will then stand.

If the Dealer has a 16-value hand or anything lower in value, he will keep twisting his hand until it reaches a value of a Soft 17 hand or anything higher in value.

3. Ace Cards

You will be allowed to split and re-split a pair of Ace that have been dealt out to you; when you do so, you can form up to three hands by splitting and re-splitting. However, if you break any Pair of Aces, just one additional card will be dealt out to each of them, and you will not be able to twist those hands.

4. Buy a Card

Playing many blackjack games will allow you to double down your initial two-card hands. That betting decision is known as buying a card when you are playing Pontoon online, and you will be permitted to buy a third card no matter what your initial two-card hand’s value is.

When you buy a third card, however, the cost of that betting decision will be the same amount you wagered on the base hand, and you will only be able to buy a card once per hand.

However, you can buy a third card if you split a pair.

5. Winning Payouts

The final thing you will be interested in learning about Microgaming’s pontoon game is how much you will receive when you have a winning hand combination!

A winning Pontoon Hand, which is a base Ace and any ten-valued card, is rewarded with a winning payout worth 2 to 1; the same 2 to 1 winning payout is awarded to players if they are lucky enough to form a five-card trick, even after initially splitting any pair of cards.

All other winning players’ hands are paid out at the standard rate of even money. One final thing to note is that a Pontoon 2:1 winning payout can be achieved even after you split a pair of cards.

Casinos to Play Pontoon Online

Pontoon is a British variation, so its availability is limited in many casinos. However, you can play Pontoon at

  • Play Frank Casino
  • Mummys Gold Casino
  • Spin Palace Casino

It’s worth noting that this game can also be played for free on many websites, offering an opportunity to learn the game before wagering real money.

Make sure to search for free play options before visiting any casino, as practicing for free can enhance your understanding of the game.

Editor’s Verdict

Now that you understand how to play Pontoon, playing first for free or in demo mode is advised, so you should practice the game thoroughly and know the rules before indulging in real money betting.

Also, keep in mind that if you click on the options setting tab located at the foot of the Pontoon game screen, you will be able to tailor your unique playing session.

So, do spend a few moments playing around with those option settings to configure the game in a way you find preferable based on your preferred option settings.

The gaming experience of Pontoon and Blackjack is very similar with just small differences.


How do you win Microgaming Pontoon Gold?

If the dealer gets busted – that is, goes over 21, then you win.
If you get a Pontoon in initial bets – that is, Ace and a Picture Card
If you come near to 21 than dealer, then you win.

Can players double down or split pairs in Pontoon?

Yes, players have the option to double down on certain hands, where they can double their initial wager after receiving their first two cards. Additionally, players can split pairs if they receive two cards of the same value, creating two separate hands with additional bets.

Is Pontoon similar to Blackjack?

Yes, Pontoon shares similarities with traditional blackjack, such as the objective of reaching a hand value close to 21 without exceeding it. However, there are differences in rules and terminology, making Pontoon a unique variation of the classic card game.

Are there any special bonuses or side bets in Pontoon?

Yes, Pontoon may offer special bonuses or side bets, such as the Super Bonus for achieving certain card combinations and Perfect Pairs for receiving pairs of cards with specific attributes.

What is the surrender option in Pontoon?

Pontoon offers players the option to surrender if the dealer’s first card is high-value (ace, king, queen, or jack). Surrendering allows players to forfeit half of their original wager before any further cards are dealt.

About the author

Bhumika Mishra

Bhumika Mishra

Bhumika, a spirited and youthful author from Auckland, offers a unique viewpoint on the contemporary digital world. Merging her enthusiasm for narrative crafting with a keen interest in advanced technology, she creates engaging and informative content that both enthralls and educates her audience.