Face Up and Face Up 21 Blackjack are game variants to play online. Face Up Blackjack is one of many names used to describe a blackjack game where all cards are dealt face up, including the dealer’s cards. This clearly gives the player a big advantage but there are rules to offset this. The rules may vary from one casino to another, but typically players may only double down on 10 and 11 and not after splitting. Blackjack pays even money and usually wins on a tie. The dealer wins all other ties.
Face Up 21, also known as Double Exposure or Dealer Disclosure, is a version of blackjack where both the dealer and player’s cards are dealt face-up, giving players double the information to play out their hands. In this game the house edge is greater than conventional blackjack, but if you happen to find Face Up 21 at your chosen casino, you can come out of a game with a good return should you adjust your strategy and play properly.
The objective in Face Up 21 Blackjack
Face Up 21’s objective remains the same as blackjack: beat the dealer, and get as close to 21 as possible, without exceeding that number. But the game is played with all cards face up. The major difference is as simple as that.
Because your cards and the dealer’s cards are exposed, cards are no longer playing blind against one of the dealer’s cards, nor do you have to guess what their second card will be. You know exactly what you need to win. This major advantage is offset considerably by several house rules which favor the dealer. For instance, the payouts are much lower than in traditional 21: the blackjack is no longer paid out with the normal 3 to 2 odds and instead holds a payout of 1 to 1, so the casino can maintain a better house edge for them.
Having both parties cards exposed also places increased pressure on our part. Say you have a hard hand of 18; you wouldn’t normally hit, but because you can see the dealer has a strong 20, you have to hit in order to have any chance of winning. Surrendering, which is made available, where you can opt to give up half of your bet and save the other, may seem like the more viable option in scenarios like these; however, if it is done too much, significant losses can build up.
In order to understand how Face Up 21 works, you need to brush up on the basic premise of traditional blackjack, as well as understand the key rule differences between the two types of games.
Face Up 21 Fixed Rules
- Your cards and the dealer’s cards are always dealt face up/exposed.
- Blackjack payout is fixed at 1 to 1 odds, instead of the usual 3 to 2.
- Dealer wins all ties, except if we have a two-card natural blackjack.
- We may only double down on a hand of nine, 10 or 11.
- A winning insurance bet, when offered, pays out at 2 to 1 odds.
Face Up 21 Varied Rules
Face Up 21 is usually played from a eight deck shoe, but six decks are sometimes used.
Some online casinos allow you to split your hand more than once.
Player may split more than once.
The dealer can either hit or stand on Soft-17, but the majority of games make dealers stand.
House Edge and Payout
Face Up 21 holds a slightly higher house edge than the traditional game, and a lower payout for obtaining blackjack, to further offset the considerable advantage we have in being able to see the dealer’s cards.
Assuming you follow basic strategy and optimal play, and the game only follows its fixed rules, the house edge of Face Up 21 is around 0.85%. The standardized house edge of Face Up 21 will change depending on the rule variations of the individual game.
How much the house edge is increased on some of the varying rules:
- If six decks are used, the house edge increases by 0.64%.
- If eight decks are used, the house edge increases by 0.65%.
- If the dealer hits on a soft 17 rather than stands, the house edge increases by 0.40%.
- If the dealer only lets you double down with a hand total of nine, 10 or 11 (rather than on any two cards), the casino edge increases to 0.25%.
Face Up 21 is a fun alternative to standard blackjack; it forces you to rethink your strategy, while you can enjoy its double exposure advantage. Due to the fact you play your hand based on what you see in front of you, the game allows for more control over your decision-making. Face Up 21 also grants you the freedom to surrender your hand, should you find the dealer has a two-card natural or other unbeatable combination.
However, the pressure gained from all parties able to see your cards can be a deterrent for some players. The frustration that can come from being dealt 20, and to have the dealer be dealt 20 too (a player loss), can be draining. This variation does however provide you with a different experience and is a worthwhile alternative to traditional blackjack. Only remember the subtle rule changes which favour the dealer to offset the allure of the double exposure rule.
How to play Face Up 21 Blackjack?
You can play Face Up 21 Blackjack at land casinos as well as online casinos.
- Place your bets for the deal to start.
- Both the dealer’s cards are dealt face-up.
- Based on your hand you can do one of the following:
- Hit: A good option if you have a low or moderate-value hand. You are dealt another card to shore up your hand.
- Stand: You have a strong hand and opt not to take an additional card.
- Double down: You double your initial bet and are dealt an additional card; after that you stand.
- Split: You have 2 cards of identical value and split the hand into 2 separate hands. Each hand plays individually and you wager extra.
- Surrender: You have a bad original hand and decide to quit; this option gives you half your bet back.
- The dealer plays his hand and the hand closest to or equaling 21 wins. The payout ratio is different for different wins.
When you play Face Up 21 with 8 card decks the house edge stands at 0.85%. Choose a casino that uses fewer decks of cards as the house edge increases proportionately with the number of decks to win this game.