21 Duel Blackjack is a game that brings a fresh new twist to the traditional game of Blackjack. The game uses the same hand ranking system with card values being similar to Blackjack as well. Additionally, much like traditional Blackjack, players are required to create a hand with a point total higher than the dealer's, without exceeding 21 points. The dealer is in charge of handling the cards.
How to Play 21 Duel Blackjack
Both the player and the dealer receive two cards each. While the two of the dealer's cards are both dealt face down, the player receives one up-card and one down-card. The game’s most noticeable twist is that 21 Duel Blackjack uses two community cards. This means that the dealer and the player are each required to use one of these cards when making their best possible hand. The two community cards are dealt to the middle of the table face-up. The player must decide which of the two community cards he wishes to use.
After making the decision regarding which community card he prefers to use, the player is then presented with two options how to proceed. Either he can 'Hit,' which means that he chooses to open his face-down card and add it to his hand, or he may 'Stand,' which means that he prefers to forfeit his unexposed card and make his hand out of the chosen community card and the face-up card he is holding in his hand. The dealer then uncovers one of his pocket cards and chooses which of the two community cards he wants to play with in order to make his hand.
The dealer's community card must be selected according to a very specific set of rules. His goal is to form the best possible hand based on the hand ranking system described below (the better hands are placed on top):
21 Duel Blackjack Unique Dealer Rules
Other rules applying to the dealer's decision-making process is that he must always hit on 16 or lower, and stand on 17. If the dealer decides to hit, his second face-down card is uncovered and its point value is added to the hand total.
If the dealer's hand is worth less than 13 points, the dealer doesn't qualify and the player wins the game, even if his point total happens to be lower than the dealer's. Generally speaking, it pays to be aware of these unique rules that the dealer must adhere to when making your choices during the progression of each hand you play.
Two Types of 21 Duel Blackjack Bets
The first type of bet that all players must place in order to play a hand of 21 Duel Blackjack is the Ante bet. This is a straight up 1:1 wager as to whether your hand will beat the dealer’s hand. You can either decide to forfeit your Ante bet or proceed with your hand by matching the Ante bet and then hitting to receive a third card or standing on your two-card holding.
You can also win your Ante bets if the dealer busts (end up with a total holding of over 21) or does not qualify (ends up with a total holding of less than 13); with the latter being true even if you have less than the dealer!
2 Up Bet
The “2 Up” bet in 21 Duel Blackjack is an odds bet on the specific values of the cards in play cards. If you believe that two or more of the cards in play (whether they’re your cards, the community (board) cards or the dealer’s cards will match, you can wager up to $60 on this potential outcome. You’ll receive a 3:1 payout if you’re correct and a pair shows up on the board and a whopping 20:1 payout if there are 3 matching cards on the board.
Note that your total wager per hand cannot exceed $300. Thus, if you decide to make a maximum “2 Up” bet of $60, you can only wager an additional $240 on the Ante.
Important 21 Duel Blackjack Tips
It’s important to note a few other differences when playing 21 Duel Blackjack versus classic Blackjack. Players are not allowed to split nor can they double down. That is to say, you’re very much limited to the hand you’re dealt and must work within that system of cards.
There’s no splitting your hand into two separate hands that each play against the dealer, even if both of your initial cards have the same value. By the same token, once you’ve decided to play the hand (whether you hit or stand), you’re automatically forced to double your ante bet in order to continue playing.
Lastly, a lot of extra online blackjack profits come from making 21 on two cards, or “blackjack”. That’s because blackjack usually pays 3:2 on your wager. In 21 Duel Blackjack, however, there’s no bonus payout for making blackjack. So, don’t be surprised to just get your 1:1 payout.