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Double Exposure Blackjack

Suppose you were to sit down at a blackjack table and you could see both of the dealer’s cards! You heard me right. You get to see with your eyes what the dealer has before you play out your hand!”

Double Exposure Blackjack really does sound like a great deal. Especially considering that it is every blackjack player’s dream to be able to see both the dealer’s down card, and his up card. But is this game really as good as it sounds? Let’s take a look.

First of all, Make sure not to make the classic mistake of playing a new blackjack game without fully understanding how the casino’s edge is affected by the rules of the game. Always remember that your goal as a casino player should be to play only those games and make only those bets that have the lowest casino edge possible. Your chances of walking away a winner is greater, the lower the edge.

Double Exposure Blackjack originated at the Vegas World Casino in Las Vegas back in 1979. Since that time, it has surfaced at casinos throughout the country, even sporting different names at times such as Face Up, Show and Tell, and even Peek a Boo Blackjack. Despite giving the players the advantage of seeing both of the dealers’s cards, the casinos have maintained their edge over the players by altering the rules. The following table summarizes the rules for Double Exposure Blackjack, and how they compare with the regular game of blackjack

Rule Regular Blackjack Double Exposure
Tie Hands Player neither wins nor loses Dealer wins all ties except
player wins all blackjack ties
Blackjack Hand Pays 3 to 2 Pays even money 1 to 1
Doubling Player can double on any two-card total Only permitted on two-card hand totaling 9, 10 or 11
Doubling After Pair Splitting Allowed Allowed
Dealer soft 17 Dealer must stand Dealer must stand
Re-splits Allowed Not Allowed
Surrender Some casinos allow Not Allowed

If you study the above rules for Double Exposure Blackjack, you’ll see a host of negative rules from the players’ perspective that more than offset the rule that allows you to “see” both of the dealer’s initial two-card hand. The largest negatives are that dealers win all tied hands (except blackjack ties), and that the player only gets paid even money on a blackjack hand.

If you look at the math, what you’ll discover is that the casino’s edge for the basic strategy player in Double Exposure Blackjack is about 0.7% vs. approximately 0.4% for standard blackjack rules.

Lets talk about the basic strategy for Double Exposure Blackjack for a moment; As you can imagine, the mathematically derived, optimum playing strategy for this game is quite different from the basic strategy you would use in the regular game of blackjack. When you think carefully about this game you will see that most hands in Double Exposure Blackjack are automatic losers if you don’t take the chance and hit. Remember that dealers wins all ties, so if you hold a 19 and the dealer shows a 19, you know you will lose, so you should hit.

Besides learning the basic strategy for this game, you should also take advantage of a casino’s policy on comps. 2% is what most casinos figure that they will win of all the bets you make at this game. You can reduce this to just 0.7% by learning the basic strategy. What this means is that the casino is comping you at 2% of your bets (because that is what they are expecting you to lose). So you will be receiving more comps then your expected table losses.

The extra money you get for your comp will often offset the expected losses for playing. Please make sure you ask the table supervisor for a comp. This is definitely one area you want to proactive in because casinos will rarely give them to players who don’t ask.

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