This Is Why 5 Cards Do Not Beat 21 in Blackjack

5 Card Blackjack Vs 21

Pontoon is the most confusing play for most players because this has two utterly different blackjack variants. The natural 21 or popularly called “pontoon” rather than “blackjack.”

Do five cards beat 21 in Blackjack? No, if you are talking about the classic game played in casinos. There is no particular significance with a five-card in the player’s hand.

Read this article and learn more about Pontoon to understand if two cards can beat 21 in Blackjack.

Fundamental Goal

Forming a hand with a value of 21 or close to 21 but never more than 21 is the primary goal for players.

In a home game, one player will be the banker. At the casino, the banker is a staff member that has high qualifications.

Whoever cuts the highest card will be the banker; this gives the banker a higher advantage.

  1. Pontoon comes first then a Five Card Trick. It is a hand consisting of five cards that total 21 or less.

  2. Coming third is a hand consisting of three to four cards worth. It beats everything except a Five Card Trick or Pontoon.

  3. Hand consisting of 20 or smaller points than five cards rank to value their point nearer to 21.

  4. A hand holding more than 21 points is a bust. The holder will automatically lose the bet.

  5. Pontoon is the best hand of all. A hand holding two cards with a total value of 21. But these cards can only have an ace plus a picture card or ten.

In instances that the player and banker are holding equal valued hands, the banker will win.

Variants Of Pontoon

Pontoon consists of several variations for a simple game. Below is the selection:

  • A player must have at least 16 points to stick.

  • Aces can be split, but not the other pairs of cards.

  • After everyone made their initial bet, the banker will look at his first card and can decide to double the bets. It is mostly indicated by the banker putting out a stake that is equal to double the highest bet.

    The final payments will double, but the doubling will never affect the payments for Pontoon or Five Card Trick.

  • Pontoon payout may vary. Some players agree to pay a treble stake or a single, instead of double. Some plays are paid double by the players, but the dealer will only collect a single stake for the pontoon.

  • If you are holding four cards that have a total of 11 or less, you are sure to make a five-card trick. During this case, you cannot only twist one but cannot buy a fifth card.

  • A Royal Pontoon beats everything and pays treble stakes.

  • A Pontoon that has an ace and a picture beats a Pontoon consisting of an ace and a ten.

  • A-10 is not a pontoon at all, but only an ordinary 21.

  • A-K or A-Q is a natural pontoon. It beats a plain pontoon of A-J or A-10.

Shoot Pontoon

Shoot Pontoon is a Pontoon modified by incorporating the betting of Shoot in addition to regular betting.

At the start of this game, the dealer creates a kitty by putting in any amount of money. The money should be between the agreed minimum and maximum limits.

After the players bet on their first card, it will start again with the player from the dealer’s left. Each player has their turn to make a shoot bet, and shoot bets are placed between the kitty and the player.

These bets are separated from the player’s standard bets.

A player is never forced to have a shoot bet. But if the player decides to, they have the freedom to bet any amount they wish.

However, the total of the shoot bet must never be more than the bet in the kitty.

Once the shoot bets have been placed, the dealer will deal everyone a second card face down. All the shoot bets are included in the pot if the dealer has a Pontoon.

The player will each pay to double their stake to the dealer.

Each player has the same betting options with extra betting opportunities.

Before having your fourth card, it means that shooting before your second card will not compel you from shooting before your fourth card.


If the player decides to split having made a shoot bet, the Shoot will remain on the hand holding the first card. The player has the chance to place a new shoot bet.

Also, subject to the usual rule, the total shoot bet must never be more than what is inside the kitty.

The fourth card

Normal Pontoon is the same when buying or twisting a third card. The player has the chance to place a shoot bet when he has a three-card totaling 21, and they can either twist it or buy it.

The player can decide any amount, so long as the shoot bets are not higher than the kitty. Although if you didn’t shoot at your previous play, you could still place a shoot bet

Going Bust

The shoot bust will automatically go to the kitty if a hand that placed a shoot bet goes bust. It will increase the amount that subsequent hands can shoot.

All outstanding shoot bets are settled at the exact moment as the usual pontoon bets. A player with a better hand than the dealer will be paid an amount equalling their shoot bets.

Players with worse hands or equal to the dealers will have their shoot bets added to the kitty.

The dealer can add more money to the kitty before every new deal. However, it must not take anything out of the kitty. The dealer has two options where there is none left in the kitty after the game;

  1. The dealer will offer the bank for sale to the highest bidder.
  2. The dealer will put up a new kitty.


The five cards cannot beat 21 in Blackjack and casino, so they have their reason not to include this rule in the gameplay. The house edge will be lesser than 1%, which will increase the player’s edge.

When you hold a five-card over 21, you now have a Five Card Trick, and it will restrict you from buying another card, often making you lose the bet.

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