Should You Play Double Exposure Blackjack?

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Man playing blackjack at the table with cards and betting chips
BetMGM Jan 02, 2024, 3:20 AM

Blackjack is one of the most loved casino games in the world, and that’s been the case since its introduction in the 1700s. Its popularity has led to different variations of the game being created over the years, one of which is double exposure blackjack. Richard A. Epstein is credited as the creator of this version of the game.

If you’re familiar with live or online casino games, you might wonder what makes this variation worth playing. Keep reading to learn more about its rules, strategies, how to play it, and more.

What Is Double Exposure Blackjack?

This variant — sometimes also called face-up blackjack or dealer disclosure — is derived from the classic game of 21. In this variation of the game, the dealer’s cards are exposed to the players, allowing them to make more informed decisions on how to proceed. While this might seem like it offers players advantage play in blackjack, there are other rules that players need to be mindful of. These additional rules are aimed at making the game a bit more exciting and challenging while also increasing the house edge.

The Rules and How To Play

If you’re familiar with the rules of classic blackjack, you’ll be glad to know that the premise of the game remains the same in this variation. Whether you’re playing double exposure blackjack online or in person, the aim is still to beat the dealer and get as close as possible to 21 without your card total going over. While there is a standard set of rules, some casinos may implement their own unique twists, so it’s important to check this before playing the game.

Generally speaking, the differentiating rules between classic blackjack and this variation are:

  • The dealer’s cards are exposed from the onset.
  • Instead of a push, the house takes all ties, i.e., where the player and the dealer have the same hand value, the player loses their wager.
  • The dealer wins on all ties except a natural blackjack; here, the player’s blackjack wins at even odds.
  • Splitting is only allowed once.
  • Payouts are at odds of ±100, rather than the standard +150.
  • Surrendering and taking insurance isn’t permitted.
  • Side bets aren’t allowed.
  • Multiple decks can be used to play.
  • There’s no standard rule on whether the dealer should hit or stand on a soft 17; this is casino-dependent.

Basic Strategy for Double Exposure Blackjack

As is the case with most casino games, understanding the rules and gameplay should be complemented with an understanding of the basic strategy to give yourself a fighting chance. When it comes to blackjack double exposure, grasping the basic strategy can help you reduce the house edge, especially because the additional rules of the game make it more challenging to compensate for the fact that you already know what the dealer’s cards are.

Although there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to playing double exposure blackjack, basic strategy suggests that you should hit on totals of 8–11 for hard hands. When it comes to ties, standing isn’t recommended because the dealer takes all ties. Instead, you should hit or try to outdraw the dealer.

Ultimately, every game will play out differently, so your moves should be based on and guided by the availability of doubling after pair splits, deck number, and the dealer’s standing total.

Why You Should Play

Compared to other variations of blackjack, double exposure blackjack is a more favorable option for players because of the supposed upper hand that they have from the outset. Being able to see both of the dealer’s cards gives you a bit more information to work with and should guide your decision-making. With a clear grasp of this game’s basic strategy plus the advantage of seeing the dealer’s cards, you’re equipped with the necessary tools to take it home if you’re able to adapt your strategy and adjust your thinking to suit the table dynamics.

Regardless of which blackjack game you choose to play, you can rest assured that there are measures in place to ensure the integrity of gameplay. This is one of the key reasons why blackjack dealers swipe the table, in addition to maintaining the pace of the game and allowing it to flow as it should for your gaming pleasure.

Play Casino Games Online at BetMGM

If variety and options are what you’re looking for, then BetMGM has got you covered. With more than just online blackjack to try your hand at, you can also play poker online and spin the reels at themed online slots to see if luck is on your side. If you’re ready to experience the pinnacle of safe and trusted online gambling, register at BetMGM and gain unlimited access to an assortment of casino games.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.