Blackjack is one of my favorite games and one of the things that I like about it is its simplicity. The game has the perfect combination of chance and skill and it’s not very difficult to memorize blackjack basic strategy. The game is all about playing the percentages and each possible move already has pre-determined odds of success. It is a game that is fun, simple and pure. Some people, however, feel a need to take that game and tweak it a little and we end up with variations on the game. There are a lot of blackjack variations out there and to be honest, I don’t like any of them as much as the original. Earlier I covered the games of pontoon and Spanish 21, which are the most common variations. Today I am writing about a variation called double exposure. I know what you’re thinking: How can something called “double exposure” be bad? Well, keep reading.
The double exposure variation of blackjack is normally only found in online casinos, though it can occasionally be found on casino cruises or brick and mortar casinos. The game also sometimes goes by the name of face-up 21 or dealer disclosure.
The main difference between the double exposure variation and traditional blackjack is that with this version of the game, both of the dealer’s cards are face up, rather than there being a hole card. Obviously, this change is highly beneficial to the player. You don’t have to guess what hand the dealer has when deciding what move to make, because you can actually see for sure what he has. Don’t let that fool you, though. Other rule changes are made to even that out.
The main rule change that hurts the player is about ties. In traditional blackjack, if the dealer and the player have the same value hand, it’s a push, meaning the player doesn’t win anything but gets to keep the original bet. However, in double exposure blackjack those ties are considered a loss for the player, including if they both have blackjack. Losing money with a 21 is tough to swallow.
Another common rule change with double exposure blackjack is that blackjacks only pay even money rather than 3:2 or even 6:5. The player usually can only split once and can’t hit after doubling. After taking into account all of the rule changes, double exposure blackjack has a higher house edge than the traditional game and it can be as high as 1.47%. See why I prefer the original game?