How to Play Double Deck Blackjack
Double Deck Blackjack is blackjack but played with just two decks of cards rather than the more common six. This reduced amount of cards and favors the player, more so at least than in other Blackjack games where, with exceptions, there are more decks in play. However, for all the benefits this short deck game brings, the aim of the game differs ever so slightly from the original blackjack.
In the game’s traditional and most famous format, players must score a figure of 21, or as near as possible, without going over, known as busting. With this alternate format, however, your aim instead is to better the dealer’s score by getting closer to 21 than they do, again without busting.
Winning pays even money which means that your original stake is returned to you on top of an equal amount of cash from the dealer. In the event of a tie, then the outcome is what’s called a push and your original bet is returned to you, but without the win, part paid on top.
Scoring-wise, all of the numerical cards in the deck are worth face value but Ten, Jack, Queen, and Kings are all worth 10 points. Aces go both ways and are worth either 1 or 11 points depending on what you’re holding. So far, so almost familiar. But how do we actually play Double Deck Blackjack?
At the beginning of each hand, all players place their bets before being dealt two cards both with faces showing. The dealer will also then be dealt two cards and, like regular blackjack, the other is left face down. After calculating your own total and checking on the dealer’s show-card, players then decide their next move. Moves available include adding another card or not adding another card.
The first option, to add a card, is to Hit with the aim being that you are trying to ever so cautiously creep up on the target of 21. To not add another card to your hand is to Stick and is used in cases where you feel one more card will tip you over the edge.
Your only other options are betting-based options, the first of which is called double where you place a bet equal to the size of your initial stake in return for one final card from the deck. Players can double down if their first two cards total 9, 10, or 11, after this, they must stand.
If you were dealt a pair, two cards of equal value, you have the option to split your hands into two separate hands, both of which will be played against the dealer’s hand. This move can only be undertaken once per game and requires players to place a further wager to the same value as your starting bet. If the dealer deals themselves an Ace as their exposed card you can buy insurance for half the amount of your total bet owing to the fact that the dealer has a strong likelihood of making a blackjack.
Regular blackjack card sharks will recognize that there is precious little difference between the two games other than a different purpose and a massively reduced deck from which to work with. But, it is this significantly smaller deck that makes all the difference and requires a whole new approach to what might not seem like, but actually is a whole new game.
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