What Is Face Up 21 Blackjack?

Casinos are notorious for introducing new twists and turns in classic games for several different reasons, but most of the time it is to simply attract new betters into making an unwise decision. Take face up blackjack, for example, and the instant appeal the game has since players get to see both the dealer’s playing cards. On paper it may look pretty darn awesome, but betting it may be a mistake.

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Rules of Face Up 21

In case you’ve never seen this format before, face up 21 is a blackjack game that gives the player several benefits and weaknesses. Here are some of the common house rules of Face Up 21-

– Both of dealer’s cards are dealt face up
– The dealer will always hit on soft 17.
– Blackjack only pays 1:1
– The Dealer wins all ties (except blackjack)
– Players can split Aces, but they only receive one extra card afterwards
– Players can double down on split cards if it amounts to 9, 10 or 11.

Benefits of Face Up Blackjack

On the plus side, the dealer turns over both of his cards before the player decides on hitting/standing/etc. This is a tremendous benefit in certain situations…think about how many times you took a hit because the dealer showed a 7-8, only to see him flip over a 5-8 as his hole card. It allows gamblers to make much smarter decisions on how to play against the dealer, which sounds almost too good to be true since normal blackjack only has a built-in 1-4% house advantage.

Another benefit is the elimination of the insurance bet; it simply is no longer necessary now that you can see both of the dealer’s cards from the start of the hand. Most tables do allow other sucker bets under the Face Up 21 format (pairs, rummy, etc) and we highly advise our readers to resist temptation and skip these types of wagers.

Downside of Face Up 21

As you can see from the above rules, players are giving up a heck of a lot in terms of advantage just for seeing the dealer’s second card. The overall house edge jumps to a whopping 15% in this format simply because the dealer collects on all ties and the lower payout on blackjack, so in all honesty our staff is not big fans of Face Up Blackjack. Splitting aces with only one hit is a large risk as well; statistically it has a much lower chance for success than in regular blackjack.

Face Up Blackjack Strategy

If you want to give Face-Up Blackjack a try for yourself, then you’ll have to make a few modifications from the traditional blackjack strategy. Here is what our staff recommends-

When to double-

– Always double up when the Dealer has 14, 15, or 16
– If you have between 8-11, double if the Dealer has 12 or 13 as well

When to hit-

– Hit against 7 if you have 16, against 7-9 if you have 15
– Hit against 7-10 if you have 14, or against 7-11 if you have 12 or 13.
– Always hit when the dealer has a higher total

Soft Hands-

– Double against 15 or 16
– Double against 12, 13, or 14 if you have soft 20 or lower
– Always hit in other losing situations
– Against dealer soft hands, hit with soft 18 or less, stand with soft 19 or more