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A Beginner’s Guide to Double Attack Blackjack

An Introduction to Double Attack Blackjack 

Double Attack Blackjack is an exciting game that is often found in land casinos such as in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. It bears some similarity to Spanish 21, in that all the 10s are removed from the packs of cards used. If you are looking to get started playing Double Attack Blackjack then you are in the right place. In this guide, we will take you through all the rules of the game and explain the basic strategy to help you reduce the house edge and improve your chances of winning.  

How to Play Double Attack Blackjack 

As mentioned, Double Attack Blackjack is played with decks of cards that have had the 10s removed, so the deck contains just 48 cards. Usually, the game is played with six or eight decks. There are various other changes to the rules, and these will be explained later in this guide. However, the aim of the game is the same as other Blackjack variants, to build a hand of cards that has a value closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand, but without going over 21, which is known as going bust. 

As is usual in Blackjack, Aces are worth 1 or 11, picture cards are worth 10, and the number cards are worth their face values. This means that a hand of 21 can be formed with an Ace and a picture card, this is called Blackjack and it is the best hand possible.  

At the start of a round, you place your bet. At this point, it is also possible to place a side bet that is explained later. The dealer then deals one face up card to each player and one to the dealer. This is where the Double Attack comes in. Players may now place a second bet up to double the amount of their first if they so wish.  

After the Double Attack bets have been placed, players receive their second face up card and the dealer receives one face down. If the dealer’s face up card is an Ace, then players are offered Insurance, a side bet against the dealer having Blackjack. The side bet costs half of the initial bet and if the dealer does have Blackjack, it pays at 5:2, which is more than in other Blackjack variants due to the lack of tens in the deck.  

If the dealer’s face up card is a picture card then they will also check for Blackjack, however; insurance isn’t offered. If the dealer then has Blackjack, then all players lose, except those who also have Blackjack, and they receive their bets back as a push. If the dealer does not have Blackjack, players with Blackjack are paid even money and then the round continues. Players are given the following options: 

  • Hit – This means that the player requests another card. It is possible to hit until a player forms 21, or goes bust.  
  • Stand – This means that a player is happy with the hand and play moves on. 
  • Double Down – This means that a player doubles their bets, receives just one more card to the hand, and then play moves on. In nearly every other version of Blackjack, this is just allowed after the first two cards are dealt; however, in Double Attack Blackjack, it can be used after any number of cards. 
  • Surrender – This gives players the option to abandon a hand in exchange for receiving half of the bet back. In Double Attack Blackjack, Surrender is allowed on any number of cards, including after a Double Down. 
  • Split – If a player is dealt a pair then they are given the option of splitting them into two separate hands. This will double the bet and then each of the cards in the pair receives an additional card. Split hands can be both Doubled and Surrendered. 

When all players have finished, the dealer’s face down card is revealed. If the dealer has 17 or higher then they stand. If the dealer has 16 or lower then they hit until they reach 17. The dealer stands on both hard and soft 17s. If the player beats the dealer then they win even money, including if they have Blackjack. 

Blackjack Double Attack Side Bets 

Double Attack Blackjack offers a side bet called Bust It!, Bust Out or Buster. It wins if the dealer goes bust on the third card. It pays as follows: 

  • Third card is a ten. Pays at 3:1. 
  • Third card is a nine. Pays at 6:1. 
  • Third card is an eight. Pays at 8:1. 
  • Third card is a seven. Pays at 10:1. 
  • Third card is a six. Pays at 15 to 1. 

Furthermore, there are larger payouts available if the dealer has an 8 and receives another 8 of the same colour or suit and goes bust: 

  • Same colour 8. Pays at 50:1. 
  • Same suit 8. Pays at 200:1. 

Double Attack Blackjack Strategy 

One of the reasons that Blackjack has become so popular is that it is possible to reduce the house edge by playing with a mathematical strategy. The strategy may be complicated to understand, but it is easy to follow. 

When it comes to Double Attack Blackjack, there are two parts to the strategy. The first is understanding when to use the Double Attack bet. However, this is extremely simple. If the dealer’s up card is anything from a 2 to an 8, then you should double your bet.  

The second part of the strategy is knowing how to play your hand and now we will take you through the different scenarios.  

Hard Hands 

A hard hand is one that does not contain an Ace or a hand in which the Ace counts as 1. If you have a hard hand then you should do the following: 

  • If your hand is worth 4 up to 8 then you should always hit 
  • If your hand is worth 9, Double Down if the dealer is showing a 9, otherwise Hit. 
  • If your hand is worth 10, Double Down if the dealer is showing anything from 2 to 8, otherwise, Hit. 
  • If your hand is worth 11, always Double Down. 
  • If your hand is worth 12 or 13, always Hit. 
  • If your hand is worth 14, Stand if the dealer is showing 4, 5 or 6, otherwise, Hit. 
  • If your hand is worth 15 or 16, Stand if the dealer is showing anything from 2 to 6, otherwise, Hit.  
  • If your hand is worth 17, Surrender if the dealer is showing an Ace, otherwise, Hit. 
  • If your hand is worth 18 or more, always Stand. 

Soft Hands 

A soft hand is one that contains an Ace that can be worth either 1 or 11. If you have a soft hand then you should do the following: 

  • If your hand is worth soft 13, 14 or 15, always Hit. 
  • If your hand is worth soft 16, Double Down if the dealer is showing a 6, otherwise, Hit. 
  • If your hand is worth soft 17, Double Down if the dealer is showing anything from 4 to 6, otherwise, Hit. 
  • If your hand is worth soft 18, Double Down if the dealer is showing 5 or 6, Hit if the dealer has 9, 10 or Ace, otherwise, Stand. 
  • If your hand is worth soft 19 or soft 20, always Stand.  

Pairs 

If the first two cards dealt to you have the same value then they are a pair. If you are dealt a pair then you should do the following: 

  • A pair of 2s: Split if the dealer is showing anything from 3 to 6, otherwise, Hit. 
  • A pair of 3s: Split if the dealer is showing anything from 3 to 8, otherwise, Hit.  
  • A pair of 4s: Always Hit. 
  • A pair of 5s: Double Down if the dealer is showing anything from 2 to 8, otherwise, Hit. 
  • A pair of 6s: Split if the dealer is showing anything from 4 to 6, otherwise, Hit. 
  • A pair of 7s: Split if the dealer is showing anything from 2 to 7, otherwise, Hit. 
  • A pair of 8s: Always Split. 
  • A pair of 9s: Split if the dealer is showing 4, 5, 6, 8 or 9, otherwise Stand.  
  • A pair of Face cards: Always Stand. 
  • A pair of Aces: Always Split.  

This may sound a bit complicated at first. However, you will very quickly get used to it, and there is no reason why you can’t consult the strategy charts as you play. If you use the strategy correctly, then you can reduce the house edge to just 0.62%, meaning that you should be able to keep playing for a long time. 

Conclusion 

Double Attack Blackjack is not a very common game outside of American land casinos, but it is rapidly growing in popularity. Once you have got used to the slightly different rules, it can provide you with hours of fun and hopefully a great deal of winnings. Having read this guide, the next time you see it on offer, you should be fully prepared to start playing. 

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