Double Exposure Blackjack

Double Exposure Blackjack or Zweikartenspiel as it’s known in German was invented by Richard A. Epstein. This blackjack variant which first appeared in Vegas World commences when the dealer receives two, face-up cards in the initial deal. This show of hand gives a significant amount of information to the player, however, in order for the house edge to be maintained, the payout a player will receive on achieving a natural blackjack is reduced to even money instead of 3:2. In addition to this, players also lose bets when their hand ties with that of the dealer. Thanks to the fact that the dealers’ cards are shown from the outset, players cannot buy insurance or give up their hand.

  Quick facts about Double Exposure Blackjack:


  •   Players have the advantage of seeing the dealer's hand;
  •   A dealer can either stand or hit on a soft 17;
  •   Payout on achieving a natural blackjack is reduced to even money.

Double Exposure Blackjack Rules

Apart from the aforementioned outline of Double Exposure Blackjack given above, rules which may vary include but are not limited to the following:

  • A dealer can either hit or stand on a soft 17.
  • A player may choose whether to double after a split or not.
  • A player may split once or more than once (this rule is subject to terms and conditions).

Ultimately, the main rule change that evens out the odds is of course the fact that the dealer wins all tie hands (except for blackjack). If it wasn't for this rule, the player would obviously have a huge advantage over the house. Of course, such a change in rules cannot but have an effect on the player’s expected return. Some of these effects have been listed below:

    • If the dealer stands on a soft 17 there is a return of: +0.39%.
    • If a double after split is allowed there is a return of: +0.32%.
    • If a tied blackjack is a win, there is a return of: +0.22%
    • Player may split once only thus there is a loss of: -0.71%
    • Player may double on 9-11 only thus there is a loss of: -1.04%
    • Player may double on 10-11 only thus there is a loss of: -1.44%

Why play Double Exposure Blackjack?

Despite the fact that Double Exposure Blackjack does make it easier for players to make better decisions, there is no getting away from the fact that this is counter balanced by the disadvantage of the house edge. In order to counteract the house edge and make money, you need to make sure that your strategy is airtight and beyond fault. If you manage that, the keys to the double exposure castle are yours!

The following is an example from a double exposure game: Imagine that a player has a hand worth value of 19 and that the dealer has managed to surpass him by 1 and has 20. In traditional blackjack, if a player is lucky enough to get a 19 to begin with, he would be mad to push his luck further. However, in Double Exposure Blackjack, if a player has a 19 and the dealer has a 20, he would be better off taking the risk than accepting defeat.

Of course, the main advantage of Double Exposure is the fact that players are given a much, much better idea about what they have to deal with, what’s more there are perks such as the dealer either standing on a soft 17 or hitting a soft 17. Ultimately, what everything depends on is the venue that you yourself choose to play at; while in some venues, a tied blackjack might go to the player, in others, they are counted as a push. Our advice to you is to know what method your casino of choice subscribes to so that you can make an informed choice based on this rather than showing up and realising that you are at a disadvantage.

Playing Double Exposure Blackjack Online

When it comes to playing Double Exposure Blackjack Online, different software companies have different ways of presenting the Double Exposure Blackjack Game. Here we will look at how software titans Microgaming and RealTime present the game.


There are few people out there who can doubt the magnitude of Microgaming’s online presence. Despite the fact that Microgaming doesn’t accept players from the United States, it takes care of over two hundred and fifty gambling websites from across the globe. When it comes to Double Exposure on Microgaming sites, 8 decks of cards are used and the dealer wins all ties except a natural or two card blackjack. The Microgaming version of Double Exposure, pays out 1:1 instead of the usual 3:2 that you would get on most of the other forms of 21. The payout schedule of the Microgaming version of Double Exposure Blackjack really is one of the most simple to remember because wins pay out 1:1
When it comes to splitting hands, players can resplit up to 4 hands and you can double after splitting cards. Doubling is only allowed on hard nines to elevens. If you choose to split your aces, you can only receive one extra card per hand. With Microgaming, the house edge is 0.69% which means that players can win quite a big portion of the amount they play.

Realtime Gaming

Interestingly, you can find Double Exposure Blackjack at RealTime Gaming Casinos under the name of Face Up 21 because the company felt the need to distinguish themselves from other giants such as the aforementioned Microgaming and Playtech. Real Time Gaming has a bit of a rocky history thanks to the UIGEA Act which was passed in 2006. Despite having started out in Atlanta, Georgia, RealTime made the wise decision of selling the company to Hastings Limited, a gaming company out of the Netherlands Antilles island of Curacao. Thanks to the UIGEA Act, RealTime Gaming has turned into the number one supplier of software to casinos which take players from the United States. It is interesting to note that RealTime Gaming’s most famous client is Bovada Casino and thanks to the fact, this casino is out of American jurisdiction, there is no danger of there being trouble because they accept American gamblers.

Double Exposure Blackjack Strategy Chart

Our chart is based on the rule that the dealer must hit on soft 17. Notable for first-time Double Exposure players is that as long as your cards' value is lower or tied with hands the dealer must stand on, in this case all hand ranging from 17 to 20), it is strategically correct to draw another card. Even though your chances of hitting an Ace are very slim, if you opt to stand you automatically give up the hand since the dealer wins all ties. Same thing if you decide to stand with a hand value lower than dealers 17 through 20 hands. If you don't take another card in these situations you are giving away the hand without a fight. Basically, you have nothing to lose in these situations.

double exposure blackjack strategy chart

Download our large Double Exposure Blackjack Strategy here.

Payment Reviews

Play Roulette

Free Roulette - Start Choosing Your Bets and Spinning the Wheel

Free Roulette - Start Choosing Your Bets and Spinning the Wheel

The thrill of watching the spinning red and black Roulette wheel has long served to grip many avid gamblers around the g...


Bonus Calculator

Play Blackjack

Free Video Poker: Joker Poker

Free Video Poker: Joker Poker

Video Poker is one of our favorite online games. And who could blame us for loving it so much? This wonderful game is on...