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What is Face Up 21?

October 10, 2021

Anyone familiar with Blackjack knows that there are many different variants of the famous table game. Some simply alter small aspects of gameplay and others change entire rules and game mechanics.

Face Up 21, also commonly known as Double Exposure Blackjack, is one of the variants that deviates from traditional Blackjack in one major way. As its name hints, Face Up 21 sees the dealer deal all cards face up, so that both the dealer’s cards and those of the players are completely exposed.

Although the main objective of Blackjack – to beat the dealer’s hand by scoring 21 or as close to 21 as possible – remains the same, being able to see both the dealer’s cards from the off does change your approach a little.

Since the card values are visible, players have a considerable advantage due to knowing what total they need to make to beat the dealer if they have a made hand, or how conservative they can be when the dealer has a total under 16. This means the game has lower payouts than regular Blackjack, with blackjack paying even money instead of the typical 3:2.

Another fixed rule that is unique to Face Up 21 is that the dealer automatically wins all ties, except in the event that both dealer and player have a two-card natural Blackjack. Additionally, players can only double down on hands of 9, 10, or 11.

Because of the dramatic shift in gameplay where all cards and their values are exposed, Face Up 21 forces players to rethink the strategies they may be used to.