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The primary advantage to playing a double-deck game is the volatility of the count.Unlike a 4- or 6-deck game, the running count, which is converted to the True Count (count per remaining deck) in a DD game can rise or fall quickly, but it’s gone almost as fast, due to the shuffle. That’s obviously good when the count is negative, but no fun at all when the count is “up”. Things happen quickly in a DD game and the wise counter takes advantage, but it requires good skills at converting to the True Count and almost needs some ability to anticipate what’s going to happen, while remembering that we never make guesses when counting.
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Double Deck Blackjack is easy to understand: you have to come as close to 21 without going over, while still having a higher total than the Dealer. To receive your cards, first place your bet. The cards are dealt in rotation from the dealer, moving left-to-right. The dealer’s hand features one card face up and one face down. You can then choose to receive more cards for your hand or showdown and see who has come closest to 21 without going over.
- Double deck blackjack is played using two decks which are reshuffled after each hand.
- Dealer will stand on a soft 17.
- You may split up to three hands.
- You may not surrender any cards.
- Split aces receive only one card.
- No re-splitting of aces.
- A split ace and a ten-value card is not a Blackjack.
- You win when you hold a score of 21 or less but greater than the Dealer’s final total or you achieve a score of 21 or less when the Dealer’s final score exceeds 21.
- Card suits are irrelevant.
- Cards 2 to 10 have face value.
- Jacks, queens, and kings are worth 10.
- Aces have a value of 1 or 11.
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If you have never played DD games as a counter, you need to do some basic planning first. While they aren’t a world apart from 6D games, here are some differences to consider:
Many, though not all, DD games are dealt facedown and that requires you to count the cards in a different way.
Because it will be difficult to leave the table when the count drops, you’ll need to learn more “negative” Basic Strategy variations.
Many DD games require the dealer to hit soft 17 (I’m going to assume that throughout this series), so there are some Basic Strategy changes needed. You can get them at www.blackjackinfo.com
With penetration being such a crucial factor, you should first check your local game to see if it’s even worth the trouble.
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