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Our Guide to Double Exposure Blackjack

Double Exposure Blackjack is like the traditional game with one major difference. Both dealer cards are exposed before the players act. This takes much of the strategy away as the player knows that hitting is the only choice if the dealer shows a winning hand.

There are still some tricks to learn, such as when to split and double down, as well as how to play low dealer hands. These can be quite different from the standard blackjack game.

Double Exposure Blackjack is most often found at online casinos. The game is spread by Microgaming, Playtech, and Real Time Gaming (RTG) sites. The game is called Face Up 21 at RTG online casinos.

It is difficult to find Double Exposure Blackjack at live casinos. All three casinos in Primm, Nevada, have tables for it, using the Face Up Blackjack title for the game.

The resorts are called Buffalo Bill’s, Primm Valley Resort, and Whiskey Pete’s. These games are rarely open there. The last installation of Double Exposure Blackjack in Las Vegas was at Riviera, which closed in 2015.

Differences Between Double Exposure Blackjack and the Traditional Game

There are several differences between Double Exposure Blackjack and the normal version of the game. The major one is that both dealer’s hole cards are shown before players act. This makes several actions obvious. If the dealer has 20, the player needs to hit 19.

Another change is that the player loses all ties except when he is dealt a blackjack. The player always wins on blackjack. The payout for one is always even money, as opposed to the traditional game that pays 3-2.

Pairs may only be split one time in Double Exposure Blackjack.

How to Play Double Exposure Blackjack

The first step in playing Double Exposure Blackjack is to make a wager.

At an online casino, click on the preferred denomination of chips. Next, click the betting circle the desired number of times that equals the amount that you would like to wager. Once the bet is established, click the deal button.

At a live casino, simply place the chips that you would like to bet in the circle in front of you.

Cards are then dealt. Players have the option of hitting, standing, and doubling down. If a pair is dealt, split becomes an option. Players can hit until they bust with a hand over 22. Stand is the proper decision when you’ve beaten the dealer or think the house will bust.

Double down requires the player to double the original bet. This gives the hand one additional card and cannot be hit again. Most casinos only permit double down on 10 or 11 at Double Exposure Blackjack. There is no surrender in the game.

A split is permitted when the player is dealt a pair. Taking advantage of this feature requires an additional bet. The pair is split with one new card dealt to each. The hand continues as normal after this. Double down after splitting is not permitted in Double Exposure Blackjack.

Once all players have acted, the dealer’s hand is evaluated.

  • If the house has 18 or higher, it stands
  • If the dealer has 16 or lower, it hits
  • If the dealer has soft 17, meaning an ace with the other cards totaling 6, it hits
  • If it has a hard 17, it stands

If the dealer beats the player, or there is a tie, the house wins all bets. If the player beats the dealer, all bets are paid even money.

Double Exposure Blackjack Strategy

Some of the strategy for Double Exposure Blackjack is obvious. If the dealer has 17 or higher, hit until you can beat the dealer. Remember that ties lose, so you must hit until you have more points than the house.

With other hands, follow the advice below.

Against Dealer Hard Totals

  • 4 through 11: Always hit
  • 12 and 13: Hit against dealer’s 7 through 11; otherwise, stand
  • 14: Hit against 7 through 10; otherwise, stand
  • 15: Hit against 7, 8, or 9; otherwise, stand
  • 16: Hit against 7; otherwise, stand
  • 17 and higher: Hit until beating deale

Against Dealer Soft Totals

  • 4 through 9: Always hit
  • 10: Double against soft 14, 15, and 16; otherwise, hit
  • 11: Double against soft 13 through 16; otherwise, hit
  • 12: Stand against soft 14, 15, and 16; otherwise, hit
  • 13 through 16: Stand against soft 16 and lower
  • 17 and higher: Stand if beating dealer; hit if not

Player Soft Hands Versus Dealer Hard Hands

  • Soft 13 through 17: Always hit
  • Soft 18: Hit against 12 through 16; otherwise, hit
  • Soft 19 and higher: Stand unless dealer is beating you

Player Soft Hands Versus Dealer Soft Hands

Always hit a soft hand against a dealer soft hand if 17 or under. Otherwise, hit until you are beating the dealer.

Splits Against Dealer Hard Hands

  • 2s and 3s: Split against 6 and 12 through 17; otherwise, hit
  • 4s: Split against 12 through 16; otherwise, hit
  • 5s: Always hit
  • 6s: Split against 4 through 6 and 12 through 17
  • 7s: Split against 5, 6, and 12 through 17
  • 8s: Split against 4 through 8 and 12 through 17
  • 9s: Split against 4 through 6, 8, 9 through 12 and 17
  • 10s: Split against 13 through 16
  • Aces: Split, except against 11 and 17 and higher

Splits Against Dealer Soft Hands

  • 2s through 4s: Always hit
  • 5s: Double against soft 14 through 16; otherwise, hit
  • 6s: Stand against soft 14 through 16; otherwise, hit
  • 7s: Stand against any hand lower than 17
  • 8s: Split against soft 16 and 17; otherwise, stand
  • 9s: Split against soft 15 and 16; otherwise, stand
  • 10s: Never split against soft hands
  • Aces: Always split against soft hands

The following chart summarizes all the above strategy advice in visual form.

Double Exposure Blackjack Strategy Chart

Where to Play Double Exposure Blackjack

Microgaming, Playtech, and Real Time Gaming online casinos offer Double Exposure Blackjack.

All three live casinos in Primm, Nevada, offer the game as well. The properties are Buffalo Bill’s, Primm Valley Resort, and Whiskey Pete’s. This resort town is on the border of Nevada and California south of Las Vegas.

These live casinos do NOT regularly open these tables.

Our Pick

We recommend Real Time Gaming online casinos for US players. Those outside the US will probably enjoy the Microgaming software over the Playtech one, but that’s ultimately a matter of personal preference.

Summary

Double Exposure Blackjack is one of the worst versions of 21 spread. Its return is sometimes even lower than a 6:5 table as the house edge is typically around 1.5%. This gets higher if the player does not know the proper strategy, as it is nothing like a standard blackjack game.

Making constant mistakes can bring the house edge above 5%. For this reason, we recommend trying other blackjack games. All casinos will spread a better game than this.