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Double Exposure Blackjack
Double Exposure Blackjack

Double Exposure Blackjack

Double Exposure Blackjack is a variation of blackjack played on a standard table with most of the standard casino rules, but there is a major difference: both dealer cards are exposed before the player has to decide whether to hit or stand. To compensate for allowing the player to see both dealer cards, the casino employs a few changes; most notably the dealer wins all ties except blackjack. In addition, a player blackjack pays only even money and the player may split pairs only once.

Often the game is derided by “experienced” players as a joke and a bad bet, but the truth is that unless the house has other unfavorable rules on their Double Exposure Blackjack game, the house edge is likely to be very close if not lower than the regular blackjack games offered by the casino. In Atlantic City, several casinos have excellent blackjack rules (like dealer stands on soft 17 and players may double down on split hands) for six-deck games and the house edge is a tiny .45%. The Double Exposure Blackjack games at the Tropicana and Taj Majal offer a house edge of .66% which is great.

For some players Double Exposure Blackjack is frustrating because of the “lose on ties” rule, but for many players, especially those new to blackjack, it is an easy way to learn and a fun game thereafter. Although it is always a good idea to already know how to play blackjack before risking any money at an online site or a land-based casino, seeing both dealer cards before making a decision does make blackjack easier to learn. Even a new player can grasp the importance of always hitting a hand when the dealer has 17 to 21 and the player has a lower total or a tie.

Beat the Dealer to Win

The simple thing about Double Exposure Blackjack is that you just have to remember to beat the dealer to win. The only time that changes is when the player gets blackjack and so does the dealer. In this case, unlike a standard blackjack game, the player wins, although the payoff is always even-money. Although players are restricted on double downs to 9, 10 and 11 (on most games), the fact that the dealer’s hand is already exposed reduces the number of times the player actually wants to double down on a hand.

Players new to the game of blackjack may be surprised at how often a dealer showing a “bust” hand of 12 to 16 will make their hand and beat the table, but just remember that in a deck of cards, just 16 are ten-values, so 36 may actually improve the dealer’s hand without making them bust (a total of nearly 70% for a dealer hard 12). Even a hard 16 can be improved by 38% of the cards in the deck!

Most players who play blackjack do so at a disadvantage of about 1.5%. At Double Exposure Blackjack their disadvantage would climb to about 1.75% However, by following a few rules, players can improve their odds considerably. Again, several casinos in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, and Mississippi offer this fun game with a house edge below 1% if the correct basic strategy is employed.

Aside from the obvious rule of hitting until you have a higher total than the dealer when the dealer holds 17 to 21 (remember, ties lose!), follow these Double Exposure Blackjack tips and you’ll do well:

Double Down Hands

Players are restricted to doubling down on just 9, 10 and 11. No soft hands may be doubled. Soft hands should be hit until the player has 18 against a dealer total of up to 16. Obviously a soft hand should be hit until it beats a dealer 17-21.

  • With a two-card total of 9, double down against a dealer total of 5, 6, and 12 to 16.
  • With a two-card total of 10, double down against a dealer total of 4 to 8 and 12 to 16.
  • With a two-card total of 11, double down against a dealer total of 4-16 (excluding 10 and 11).

Splitting Pairs

Although some casinos restrict splitting pairs to once, or even stopping ten-value cards to being split only with exact matches ( pair of jacks – yes, queen and a king – no), most Double Exposure Blackjack games allow multiple splits. You will want to follow these splitting rules to take full advantage of knowing the dealer’s hand.

  • With deuces, split against a dealer 4 to 6 and 12 to 17.
  • With treys, split against a dealer 4 to 6 and 12 to 17.
  • With fours, split against a dealer 12 to 16.
  • With fives, double down against a dealer total of 4 to 8 and 12 to 16.
  • With sixes, split against a dealer total of 4 to 6 and 12 to 17.
  • With sevens, split against a dealer total of 4 to 6 and 12 to 17.
  • With eights, split against a dealer total of 4 to 17, but stand against 9, 10 and 11.
  • With nines, split against a dealer total of 4 to 18, but stand against 7, 9, 10, 11 and 17.
  • With tens, split against a dealer total of 13 to 17.
  • With aces, split against a dealer total of 4 to 16, but hit against 11 and 17 to 20.

You will find that playing Double Exposure Blackjack can be both fun and profitable, especially when you are at a casino that has strict rules on their standard games. Remember to follow the basic strategy rules for the game presented above to improve your odds.

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