2 Face Blackjack

2 Face Blackjack logo

2 Face Blackjack appears to be limited to brick and mortar casinos in Nevada, and no online versions of the game are currently on offer. Although the rapid pace of progress within the online casino industry ensures that the game will soon be adapted for internet based casinos, should sufficient levels of demand arise.

This page is intended as an introduction to 2 Face Blackjack for players interested in learning more about this intriguing blackjack variant. You’ll find a section covering the crucial rule changes which separate 2 Face Blackjack from the traditional version of twenty one, followed by advice on where to find the game, before concluding with a discussion on proper strategy.

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How to Play and Rules

Two important aspects of online blackjack basic gameplay structure have been adjusted to create 2 Face Blackjack.

#1
First, whenever the dealer’s up card happens to be any face card (J, Q, or K), they must expose their hole card as well. This provides the player with an extra piece of the informational puzzle needed to help make the most optimal decisions while also adding a bit of anticipation whenever the dealer shows up with a face card.
#2
Second, the four 10 rank cards in the standard 52 card deck of playing cards have been removed. This leaves a 48 deck to be used in 2 Face Blackjack, but like in regular blackjack, casinos will opt for a shoe containing multiple decks. The standard shoe size for 2 Face Blackjack seems to be six decks. Aside from the absence of the four 10s, all of the other cards in the deck remain the same and hold the same value as in traditional blackjack (2 to 9 are as ranked, J Q K are 10, and A is either 1 or 11).

Additional Rules

Other rules to take note of concern the usual blackjack provisions on splitting, doubling down, and surrendering.

Double down icon

Double Down

In 2 Face Blackjack, players may double down on their first two cards, no matter what value they happen to hold. Players are also permitted to double down on either new hand after splitting their original two hole cards.


Split icon

Splitting

When splitting, players can choose to re-split up to four times for all pairs except for Aces, which may only be re-split once.


Surrender icon

Surrender

The late surrender option is also included in 2 Face Blackjack – even after the dealer has been forced to expose their hole card. This means you may opt to surrender when staring at the dealer’s pair of face cards for a 20, forfeiting the hand and taking back half of your wager.

Blackjack Payout

One thing to watch for when playing 2 Face Blackjack is the payout for making the game’s best hand (an ace with any face card on your first two cards). According to the Xcite Gaming website, blackjacks in 2 Face Blackjack are supposed to pay at 6 to 5, but many reports from actual players and industry watchdogs have pegged the payout at even money instead. In all likelihood, Centrone and the Xcite Gaming team planned for their game to pay out at 6 to 5 for blackjacks, but casino operators in Nevada elected to reduce the amount to even money at their discretion.

Same Overall Gameplay

Blackjack pays iconAside from these rule adjustments and provisions, 2 Face Blackjack plays in identical fashion to its classic counterpart. Players receive two cards face up after placing their bet. The dealer also gets two cards, but one will be face up, and if it’s a face card, the dealer’s hole card will be turned over.

Based on the strength of your hand relative to the dealer’s holding, your job as the player is to hit (draw another card), stand (remain at your current total), double down (increase your wager by one increment while drawing a single additional card), split (turn a paired holding on your first two cards into two separate hands by doubling your wager), or surrender (forfeit the hand to take back half of your wager).

The objective of 2 Face Blackjack is ultimately to reach a total of 21, or closest to it, without going over or “busting.” However, as any experienced blackjack player can attest to, the real art of the game involves avoiding going bust while allowing the dealer to do so.

Best Casinos to Play 2 Face Blackjack

Las Vegas strip casinosUnfortunately, the scope of influence for 2 Face Blackjack has not grown along with that of Xcite Gaming’s other blackjack variant, Double Attack Blackjack.

With legal status in only a single state, the game has been limited thus far to casinos in the Las Vegas and Reno metropolitan areas.

In fact, the Xcite Gaming website currently lists eight casino properties in the United States and Canada which currently offer Double Attack Blackjack tables, and a few more venues running the company’s Bust It! side bet. Under the “Installations” heading for 2 Face Blackjack, however, no casino properties whatsoever are listed, which may suggest that the game has failed to catch on with customers or casino operators.

Reports from players in 2013 indicated that the Paris casino in Las Vegas was home to 2 Face Blackjack tables, but by 2014, those same reports confirmed that the Paris had removed the game from its floor.

When it comes to online casinos, 2 Face Blackjack doesn’t appear to be included in any major software packages. This may be due to Xtreme Gaming’s ownership over the concept, but even so, no unlicensed imitation games have been located online either.

2 Face Blackjack Strategy

Betting Strategy iconAccording to the esteemed game theorist and mathematician Michael Shackelford – the man behind the curtain at the Wizard of Odds website – 2 Face Blackjack offers players an extremely low house edge of 0.34 percent when using a six deck shoe.

Of course, this massive expected return of 99.64 percent can only be achieved when playing according to strict optimal strategy. Just like in traditional blackjack, the game’s decision-making process has been boiled down to mathematical certainties, and a chart listing the optimal play given every possible scenario has been constructed.

You can check out the Wizard’s page to study a full optimal strategy chart for 2 Face Blackjack, and for the most part the decisions will hew closely to the same baseline, but a few crucial deviations can be found.

2 Face Blackjack Hand Example

In traditional blackjack, the maxim “never split 10s” form words to live by for longtime players. The reasoning holds that a pat 20 is a strong enough hand to keep intact, no matter what the dealer happens to show. However, when playing 2 Face Blackjack, the optimal strategy chart directs players to split their 10s whenever the dealer shows a 15 or 16 total.

Small wrinkles like this make the game of 2 Face Blackjack an entertaining diversion from basic blackjack, and several of them can be found within the optimal strategy chart. So make sure to study the plays before heading out to find a table featuring this rare variant.

You can also see and interact with a lively forum discussion about this game.

2 Face Blackjack Created

Developed by casino game developer Joe Centrone and Xcite Gaming, the company behind blackjack variants like Double Attack 21 and Bust It!, the game of 2 Face Blackjack offers a clever twist on the classic game of twenty one.

The game first appeared in Las Vegas casinos in 2013, following Centrone’s successful trademark application for the name “2 Face Blackjack” the year before. According to the Xcite Gaming website, 2 Face Blackjack currently holds legal status in the state of Nevada. However, the company’s other proprietary blackjack variant, Double Attack 21, is legal in New Jersey, Mississippi, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Ontario, Canada, so it’s very likely that 2 Face Blackjack will expand to these areas in the future.