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Double Attack Blackjack

Introduction

Double Attack Blackjack is a variant of the standard Blackjack game. Double Attack Blackjack uses Spanish decks, which are a standard deck of 52 cards with the four 10 pip cards. The Face cards (also considered a value of 10 when playing Blackjack) are still in the deck. This means the deck has a total of 48 cards.

We are currently aware of Double Attack Blackjack being offered by the following online casino softwares – Playtech and IGT.

Play Structure

Differences to standard Blackjack and rules that are standard to the online game;

 

·         The dealer’s first card is dealt before any other cards.

·         After the dealer’s first card is dealt the player is given the option to Double – or ‘Double Attack’ – before any other cards are dealt.

·         Blackjack (a Ten card and an Ace dealt as the first 2 cards) is paid at 1 to 1.

·         Insurance pays 5 to 2.

·         Played with a Spanish deck – 10 pip cards removed.

·         Player may Double at any point before Standing or Busting.

·         Player can Double once per hand (excluding Double Attack).

·         Player can choose to Double only the initial bet or both the initial bet and the Double Attack bet.

·         Player can Surrender a hand at any point before Standing or Busting.

·         The dealer must Stand Soft 17.

·         Double After Split allowed.

·         Double on 2 card 9, 10 and 11 only.

·         8 decks.

·         Re-Split to 4 hands.

·         No Re-Split Aces.

 

Other than the above the game functions as a standard Blackjack game in terms of the play of hands and how wins are decided.

Rule Variations

Over and above the above mentioned rules, the following online software providers offer slightly different rules as detailed;

Playtech  – Standard rule set shown above.

WagerWorks – No Resplits, Insurance pays 3 to 1.

Optimal Strategy

There are two different decision sets to be considered when playing Double Attack Blackjack. The first decision relates to whether or not to Double Attack after the first dealer card is dealt, then after a Double Attack has been made or declined, the standard Basic Strategy decisions that are required for all Blackjack games.

Double Attack Strategy

Playing optimally, the player should take the Double Attack option any time the dealer shows a 2-8 upcard and not to take the Double Attack when the dealer shows 9-A.

Basic Strategy

  Dealer’s Upcard
Player’s Hand 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 T A
5-8 H H H H H H H H H H
9 H H H H D H H H H H
10 D D D D D D Dr16 H H H
11 D D D D D D Dr16 Dr16 Dr16 Dr17
12 H H H H H H H H H H
13 H H H H H H H H H H
14 H H S S S H H H H H
15 S S S S S H H H H H
16 S S S S S H H H H H
17 S S S S S S S S S R
18+ S S S S S S S S S S
A2 H H H H H H H H H H
A3 H H H H H H H H H H
A4 H H H H H H H H H H
A5 H H H H D H H H H H
A6 H H D D D H H H H H
A7 S S S Ds Ds S S H H H
A8 S S S S S S S S S S
A9 S S S S S S S S S S
22 H P P P P P H H H H
33 H P P P P P P H H H
44 H H H H H H H H H H
55 D D D D D D Dr16 H H H
66 H H P P P H H H H H
77 P P P P P P H H H H
88 P P P P P P P P P P
99 S S P P P S P P S S
TT S S S S S S S S S S
AA P P P P P P P P P P*

 

Legend

Code Best Play
H Hit
S Stand
D Double else Hit
Dr16 Double else Hit, Surrender after Double if total less than 16
Dr17 Double else Hit, Surrender after Double if total less than 17
Ds Double else Stand
P Split
P* Split, Follow post Double Surrender strategy after AA split when not possible to Hit
R Surrender

 

When playing the WagerWorks* version of Double Attack Blackjack, the lack of Resplits does not make any difference to the strategy, however the 3 to 1 payout on Insurance actually makes this bet player favourable (unlike standard Blackjack). As such you should take Insurance any time there are no ten cards (J-K) visible on the table.

* The WagerWorks game appears to have been taken offline.

House Edge*

The House Edge for Double Attack Blackjack is shown below for each known software provider;

Playtech – 0.35%
WagerWorks – 0.36%

Fairness Calculator

Below you can find a calculator to allow you to check the fairness of your wins/losses when playing Double Attack Blackjack.

*This fairness calculator will assume that you’ve been playing with the optimal strategy detailed above. If you have not then the calculator will NOT return accurate results.

Winning Strategies

Offline

Double Attack Blackjack is likely to be vulnerable to all of the standard advantage play techniques that standard Blackjack can be beaten by. Strategies information for gaining an edge over Double Attack Blackjack games are not in common circulation (we are aware of no publications discussing these issues either on or offline) however Eliot Jacobson has confirmed that Card Counting can be deployed against Double Attack.

Hole Carding will not be possible due to the lack of Hole Card.

Online

There are several methods of legitimately gaining an advantage playing online Double Attack games. By and large these involve the use of promotions, bonuses and comp point systems as the games by themselves – assuming the game is functioning in a correct fashion and there are no errors in the paytable – will not provide any additional information about the cards and shuffles after every hand.

It should be noted that online advantage play is not specific to Double Attack Blackjack and in recent years the wagering requirements for player’s choosing to play any table game has inflated to the point that Double Attack is now often a sub-optimal choice for the player. For more information on beating online casinos see BeatingBonuses.com.

* All ‘House Edge’ figures in this article are based on the ‘loss per unit wagered’ rather than ‘loss per initial bet’.