Double Exposure Blackjack: How to Play & Win

Play Double Exposure Blackjack

Double Exposure Blackjack is a variant of the Classic Blackjack (21) game but has the crucial difference of both dealer's cards being face-up.

A few other rules compensate for this advantage for the players, and in this Complete Guide to Double Exposure Blackjack we'll outline how to play this version of blackjack so you can potentially have more chances to win!

Whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned player looking for new blackjack games to try, this page has something for you.

Let's go all in.

What is Double Exposure Blackjack?

There are many great blackjack games now available online, with one of the main differences between them being how cards are dealt for the dealer.

In standard blackjack, the dealer gets one card face-up and one card face-down. In some variants, one card is face-up and the other card is dealt only after the players make their moves.

So what's the catch in Double Exposure Blackjack? In this version of blackjack, the dealer gets both cards face-up.

When you know your blackjack odds, that sounds pretty good, and it would be if the rest of the gameplay followed classic blackjack rules. But Double Exposure Blackjack doesn't follow the same rules.

What rules does Double Exposure Blackjack follow? Is there a way to reach optimal play in Double Exposure Blackjack? Continue reading to find out.

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How to Play Double Exposure Blackjack: The Rules and Differences

If you kept reading until now, we can assume you want to give Double Exposure Blackjack a try.

To make it as enjoyable as possible, let's get out the rules and key differences out of the way.

Double Exposure Blackjack can catch out even the most experienced of blackjack players. This is due to the multitude of differences between this version of the game and 'classic' blackjack:

  • Rules
  • Card-dealing
  • Payouts
  • House edge
  • Other differences

Don't worry, though, we'll explain these differences in detail here.

Double Exposure Blackjack Rules
Double Exposure Blackjack Rules

Double Exposure Blackjack game starts like any other casino table game. You choose to play by placing your bet on the table.

While the bets may differ depending on the platform, usually the minimum bet is €1. Maximum bet can be €40, €100, or sometimes even thousands.

After you place your bet, press Deal and you'll get your initial cards. The dealer will get theirs.

Unless you have a natural (also known as a blackjack) - a 21-value hand consisting of an Ace and a 10-value card - you have to make your next move:

  • hit if you think you could use one more card for your hand
  • stand if you think your hand is good enough or one more card would make you bust
  • double down if you have an initial hand that's a hard* 9, 10, or 11 and you think you need only one more card to win
  • split (optional) if you have two cards with the same value

The split option requires an extra wager and divides your one hand into two separate hands. The rest of the gameplay follows as usual.

If you split Aces, you'll be able to get only one extra card for each of the new hands.

Remember: Your goal is to have a hand with value 21 or as close to it as possible. Without going over, of course.

What happens next?

You win if at the end you have a hand that's higher in value than the dealer's but not higher than 21.

You lose if it is higher than 21 or if you and dealer have the hands of the same value (unless it's a natural blackjack).

It's a push (you get your wager back but don't win anything extra) if you and the dealer tied blackjacks.

Double Exposure Blackjack vs Classic Blackjack: Main Differences

As we've stated above, one of the key differences is how cards are dealt - so let's start there:

Dealing Cards in Double Exposure Blackjack

Instead of getting one card face-up or one card face-up and another face-down, in Double Exposure Blackjack the dealer gets both of their cards face-up.

Hence, the name.

Usually, that would balance the odds in your favor, but casinos needed to make sure they won't lose their edge. So there are more differences to be aware of.

Payouts in Double Exposure Blackjack

One of these additional differences is the payouts. In other blackjack games, having a blackjack pays 3 to 2. In Double Exposure Blackjack, it pays 1 to 1.

There is no insurance option either, making the payouts all equal - 1 to 1. No matter how or with what hand you win.

Push (Tie) in Double Exposure Blackjack

Remember the push, the saviour of your bet when you and the dealer have a tie? Forget it.

In Double Exposure Blackjack the dealer wins on every push except when you both have a blackjack (a natural).

Other Differences in Double Exposure Blackjack

Other differences can vary between the platforms. If you take the version of Double Exposure Blackjack from NetEnt, you can double down only if you have a hard 9, 10, or 11.

Then, if you split Aces, you can get only one extra card for each of the freshly made hands.

Plus, you cannot get a natural once you split your hand. So if you have an Ace and a 10-value card, this is a simple 21-value hand and won't be counted as blackjack.

Thus, if the dealer gets a natural, this hand wouldn't win or tie against it.

Double Exposure Blackjack House Edge and Return to the Player

Compared to other casino games, blackjack will have better odds.

Double Exposure Blackjack will also have these odds, as it is a version of blackjack. In addition, Double Exposure Blackjack game has a house edge of 0.67%, which means the Return to Player (RTP) is 99.33%.

This is a very low house edge when compared with Roulette (house edge of 2.70%) or some Video Slots (house edge of 7% or higher).

However, this doesn't mean Double Exposure Blackjack is the blackjack game with the best odds, because it's not. For that you need to try American Blackjack (house edge of 0.35%) or Blackjack Surrender (house edge of 0.38%).

But even with slightly worse odds, Double Exposure Blackjack is an exciting game to play, especially when you know the rules, the odds, and play with a strategy.

Basic Strategy for Double Exposure Blackjack

Congratulations, now you know how to play Double Exposure Blackjack! Of course, there is more to it than what you'll see here but you might be ready to head to an online casino to try a game or two.

Once you have the basics of Double Exposure Blackjack down, you could be ready for a basic strategy. Here's our tips for a basic Double Exposure Blackjack strategy:

  1. Always Hit when you have an 11 or lower hand
    It's impossible to lose with one extra card. But it's very likely to happen if you stand with 11 or lower.
  2. Always Hit when the dealer has a 20.
    When the dealer has a 20-value hand, you can only beat it with a blackjack or 21. Thus, the only time you shouldn't hit is when you reach 21 - and that's an automatic stand anyway.
  3. Always Double Down when you have an 11 or lower while the dealer has 14 to 16.
    The dealer will have to hit and it's a high chance they will bust.
  4. Always Stand when you have 17 to 20 unless the dealer has an exact same value or higher hand.
    Remember, the dealer wins all ties. If both you and the dealer have a 17, the dealer has to stand. If you stand, too - you lose. Even if the dealer has 20, by hitting, you can still get 21. At the same time, it's a guaranteed loss to stand. The same goes for the hands that are higher than yours.
  5. Don't Split a 10-value hand unless the dealer has a hard 13 to 16 hand.
    You're more likely to win with a 20-value hand than to make winning hands out of two 10-value hands.
  6. Always Split Aces unless the dealer as an 11, 17, or higher hand.
    Think about it.
    You have a good chance of getting your single Ace a company of a 10-value card. Maybe not perfect, but most of the time, it's better than building up from 12 to a winning hand. Especially with only one extra card available.

These are the main things to remember if you want to avoid amateur bets. But there are even more moves you can make with a Double Exposure Blackjack cheat sheet.

Save the cheat sheet charts below and consider making these bets to maximize the chances of winning.

Double Exposure Blackjack Cheat Sheet for a Hard Hand

Double Exposure Blackjack Cheat Sheet for a Hard Hand
Double Exposure Blackjack Cheat Sheet for a Hard Hand

Double Exposure Blackjack Cheat Sheet for a Soft Hand (an Ace)

Double Exposure Blackjack Cheat Sheet for a Soft Hand (an Ace)
Double Exposure Blackjack Cheat Sheet for a Soft Hand (an Ace)

Double Exposure Blackjack Cheat Sheet When You Have an Option to Split

Double Exposure Blackjack Cheat Sheet When You Have an Option to Split
Double Exposure Blackjack Cheat Sheet When You Have an Option to Split

Play Double Exposure Blackjack Online for Real Money

Now you have a strategy in mind, you can play Double Exposure Blackjack online. There are three ways to do so:

Some casinos will allow players to try out a demo version of their blackjack games for free but these can be thin on the ground, and usually come with some restrictions. You can also play blackjack for free at a social casino, but we can't guarantee this will be a Double Exposure Blackjack game.

So that just leaves playing online blackjack for real money and, if you're lucky, taking advantage of a casino bonus to do so so that you can play for free or as close to it as possible.

To help you find the right games and practice your chosen Double Exposure Blackjack betting strategy, we created a list of the best blackjack bonuses available, specific to your location (note, this may be a social casino if real money gambling is not currently legal in your location).

These casino sites are fully licensed, offer lots of blackjack games, and a competitive bonus you can use when you join as a new player. Pick your favorite site and get ready to play Double Exposure Blackjack online!

Double Exposure Blackjack: Too Long; Didn't Read Version

Let's sum up Double Exposure Blackjack real quick.

  • Double Exposure Blackjack is a fun card game but some other blackjack variants have better winning odds.
  • The game follows the classic blackjack rules but every win pays out 1 to 1.
  • The dealer wins on all ties except tied blackjacks.
  • There are no Insurance or Surrender options.
  • Double Exposure Blackjack has a more explicit basic strategy because you know both of the dealer's cards from the get-go.
Our recommended casinoPlay Double Exposure Blackjack
House edge0.67 percent
PayoutsAll wins 1 to 1
Min/Max bet€1/€40
Decks usedSix
Extra betsDouble down, Split
RTP99.33 percent

*A hard hand is a hand that doesn't include an Ace. Unless that Ace cannot have the value of 11 anymore.

This article was first published in September 2019. Last updated: November 2023.

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Laura Klusaite
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Senior Casino & Gaming Manager
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