Doublet Blackjack is one of the many blackjack variations that can be played online. The game’s main attraction is the fact that certain rules have been changed to enhance the gambling experience. The main feature of Doublet Blackjack is a rule commonly known as “double down surrender,” and along with some other tweaks, this game offers a refreshing take on ordinary real money blackjack.
This guide provides players with an introduction to Doublet Blackjack. It begins with a crash course on the game’s rules and structure, including explanations as to how this game differs from the original. Check out which online casinos currently offer Doublet Blackjack as part of their table games. Get insight into the proper Doublet Blackjack strategy.
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Rules and How to Play
Doublet Blackjack is a new take on the traditional game of twenty-one, and aside from a few pivotal adjustments to the rules, both formats are built on the same foundation.
With that said, if you’re unfamiliar with the way regular blackjack works, head here to review our page on traditional blackjack. After you’ve brushed up on your blackjack basics, return to this page to see how Doublet Blackjack differs from the original.
Deck & Card Value
Doublet Blackjack is played with a standard 52 card deck of playing cards, and six decks are included in the shoe. Each card between 2 and 10 is valued at its numerical rank, face cards (J, Q, K) are valued at 10, and aces hold a variable value of either 1 or 11, depending on the situation.
The objective of Doublet Blackjack is simple enough: reach a total of 21, or closest to it, without going over and “busting.”
Playing Doublet Blackjack
Players begin with two cards dealt face up, and each player can then decide between hitting (drawing one card), standing (declining to hit), doubling down (placing an additional wager before receiving a single additional card), or splitting (placing an additional wager to turn a paired starting hand into two new starting hands).
Double Down Rescue
Aside from these standard rules, the primary attraction of Doublet Blackjack is an option known as double down rescue. Essentially, the double down rescue rule allows players to surrender – or forfeit the hand in exchange for one-half of their total bet being returned – after they’ve doubled down.
In games that allow for surrender, this option is typically granted except after doubling down, meaning players can surrender holding their first two cards. Doublet Blackjack flips this paradigm on its head, only letting players surrender after doubling down. So if you receive an unfavorable two-card starting hand when facing a strong dealer up card, this surrender provision does not apply in Doublet Blackjack – only after doubling down.
This provision acts as protection for players, as the risky double down play can result in a bad card being dealt to complete your hand. Imagine you’ve been dealt a 5 and 6 to start the hand. In this case, with an 11 total, doubling down is almost always the correct play, so you double your wager and sweat the next card. Unfortunately, the dealer delivers a lowly 2 instead of the 10 or face card you were looking to hit, and now you sit with an inferior 13 total and no ability to improve your hand.
In this case, double down rescue provides a convenient out, as Doublet Blackjack allows you to simply surrender (typically when holding a low total against a high dealer up card) rather than hoping for an unlikely dealer bust. Of course, if you happen to go bust after doubling down, the surrender option no longer applies and you’ll lose your total wager.
Doublet Blackjack Rules
In addition to the double down rescue rule, Doublet Blackjack also features a few other deviations from traditional blackjack. Those rules will be described below, along with an explanation of how each one affects your gameplay experience:
The Dealer Receives Only One Up Card to Begin
Taking a cue from the “European” school of blackjack, this rule requires the dealer to take only a single card, face up, to begin each hand. Normally, the dealer will receive one up card and one hole card. In Doublet Blackjack, however, the dealer receives only the up card at first, before waiting until all player actions have been completed. At that point, the dealer will take a second card to complete their hand. On occasions when the dealer’s second card happens to form a blackjack, all player wagers, including double downs and splits, will be claimed by the house (players holding blackjack will push and receive their bets back).
The Dealer Must Stand on Soft 17’s
On occasions when dealer’s hand forms a total of 17 while using an ace (known as a “soft 17” because the value is variable between 17 and 7), the dealer must stand and take no additional cards. This rule is common to “American” blackjack, and over the long run, the dealer standing on soft 17s will benefit the player by a slight degree.
Players Can Double Down Holding Any Two Cards
In most forms of blackjack, the option to double down is limited to certain totals (usually hard 9s through 11s), or to your first two cards only. In Doublet Blackjack, however, you can double down holding any total or any number of cards. This rule gives players a little more flexibility in terms of exploiting favorable totals and dealer up cards with increased wagers.
Players Can Double Down After Splitting
An extension of the previous rule, players are also permitted to double down after splitting their first two hole cards. Let’s say you’ve been dealt a 6 and 6 to start the hand. This 12 total is rather weak and difficult to play, so splitting the cards (at the cost of an additional wager equal to your ante bet) to form two new hands is the proper play most of the time. If you do split the 6s, and receive a 5 to complete one of your new hands, and a 4 to complete the other, your new totals of 11 and 10 are both optimal spots to double down.
Players Can Re-Split Hands After Splitting, Up To Four Times
Once you’ve split a paired starting hand to create two new hands, you may very well receive another pair. Some forms of blackjack limit your splitting option to one occasion per hand, but in Doublet Blackjack, you can split and then re-split pairs up to four times. Each re-split will cost an additional wager equal to your ante bet.
These specific rules aside, Doublet Blackjack is simply blackjack with the double down rescue rule built in, so be sure to study up on the traditional form of the game before diving into this creative variant.
Side Bets: Blackjack & Sevens
Two side bets are available in the game: Player Blackjack and Sevens.
Player Blackjack Bet
Betting on the Player Blackjack side bet means you’ll place an additional wager, with a payout of 19 to 1 when you happen to make a blackjack.
The objective of the Sevens side bet is to land consecutive 7s, and players are paid out based on the number of 7 value cards held in their hand. The Sevens side bet begins with the player’s first card, if you receive a 7 to begin the hand, your side bet will be paid off at 8 to 1 odds. When the second card is also a 7, the payout jumps to 40 to 1 and making three consecutive 7s will pay out a huge 250 to 1 bonus.
Best Places to Play Doublet Blackjack
Doublet Blackjack is a proprietary product of Gamesys N.V., which means the game can only be played through an online casino platform which is powered by the company’s software suite.
Generally known as a boutique software servicer within the industry, Gamesys N.V. has taken a different approach when compared to its larger competitors like Microgaming, NetEnt, and RealTime Gaming (RTG). Rather than associate its games and services with dozens, or even hundreds, of client casino “skins,” Gamesys N.V. has devoted the majority of its resources to powering just a handful of online casinos. In doing so, the company has prioritized security and game integrity above all else, a policy that longtime players appreciate above all else.
Below you will find a list of Gamesys N.V. powered online casinos which currently offer Doublet Blackjack tables:
Currently, Doublet Blackjack is only available online via one of these Gamesys N.V. client casinos. As the game becomes more widespread, however, it’s possible that a brick and mortar casino game designer will approach the company in an effort to bring the game into the live arena.
In fact, the concept of double down rescue isn’t unique to this game, so feel free to give your local casino a call and ask for the table games manager. If the property runs a blackjack game which includes the double down rescue feature, you’ll basically be playing Doublet Blackjack for all intents and purposes.
Strategic Considerations for Doublet Blackjack
Whenever a new blackjack game hits the market, the most important strategic aspect sharp players tend to consider is the house edge percentage.
If you’re playing ordinary blackjack by relying on nothing more than your gut instinct, the game carries an average house edge of 1.50 percent. This means that for every $100 you wager over the infinite long run, the house can expect to win $1.50 as a result. By adopting a basic strategy and playing your cards correctly, you can lower the house edge on regular blackjack down to under 0.50 percent – making the game one of the best bets on any casino floor.
Sufficed to say, blackjack variants have big shoes to fill when it comes to offering players favorable odds. By tweaking the rules here and there, casino operators have discovered ingenious ways to increase the house edge, even when the new rules appear to be advantageous to players. Another Gamesys N.V. product known as Diamond Blackjack increases the house edge to 1.24 percent, for example, so players should always be aware of the house edge rate they’ll have to overcome in any casino game.
Doublet Blackjack House Edge
In the case of Doublet Blackjack, the game’s designers have served players well, creating a total house edge of 0.38 percent. Of course, this low number can only be attained by players who are utilizing strict basic strategy, and fortunately for you, renowned game theorist Michael Shackleford over at the Wizard of Odds site has developed a basic strategy chart specifically for the rules found in Doublet Blackjack.
This chart is used in the same way that basic strategy works in all forms of blackjack, so you’ll simply compare your hole cards to the dealer’s up card to arrive at the proper play.
With a house edge that is actually lower than that found in normal blackjack games, sound strategy dictates taking your bankroll to the Doublet Blackjack tables whenever possible. When it comes to blackjack variants, this game offers one of the lowest house edge rates around, so you’ll improve your overall expectation in the long run.
Double Down Rescue Strategy
As far as the pivotal double down rescue rule, the strategic guidelines for making this play are rather straightforward:
- After doubling down and landing a 16 total or worse, surrender when facing a dealer up card of an 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K, or Ace.
- After doubling down and landing a 17 total, surrender when facing a dealer Ace up card only.
Side Bets are Sucker Bets
The game’s two side bets carry high enough house edges to warrant the “sucker bet” label, so sound strategy dictates avoiding these temptations at all times.
The Blackjack side bet offers a probability of winning equal to 4.75 percent, against a house edge of 5.02 percent, so you’re essentially facing the same odds as you do betting on a single number in double zero roulette.
For the Sevens side bet, your first card will not be a 7 on 92 percent of hands, while a 7 will appear first on 7 percent of hands. The odds of landing two or three 7s in a row are less than 1 percent of the time, respectively. The Sevens side bet offers a house edge of 4.09 percent.
In both cases, the risk is simply not worth the reward, and with such a low house edge in the Doublet Blackjack base game, there’s just no reason to increase your variance and volatility.
Gamesys Creates Doublet Blackjack
The hybrid table game known as Doublet Blackjack was designed by online casino software developer Gamesys N.V.
Experienced online casino players may recognize the Gamesys name as a major U.K. based software firm also operates under the Gamesys name. And while the two companies are likely related, officially speaking, Gamesys N.V. exists as an independent limited liability corporation (LLC) licensed by the government of the Netherland Antilles.
At one point Gamesys N.V. served a wide range of online casino brands, but following a legal clampdown by the United States government, the company has whittled its list of client casinos down to just five. BetVoyager is the flagship platform for Gamesys N.V., serving as the primary outlet for the company’s latest casino game offerings and software updates, but sites like BetRaiser, BetVictor, Goldfishka, and Ice Casino are also powered by Gamesys N.V. software.