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21 Duel Blackjack (Playtech) Rules & Strategy Card - How To Play
Preview 21 Duel Blackjack

21 Duel Blackjack is the Playtech's variation of the blackjack that uses 6 regular decks of 52 cards and has 2 Up side bet. However, there is no Blackjack here, all hands with a total of 21 are equal (Ace and 10 is the same as a three-card 21) and the rules are completely different. The object of the game is to have your points' total higher than the dealer, but no higher than 21. All card values are the standard: Aces count as either 1 or 11 points, picture cards as 10, and number cards as their face value.

21 Duel Blackjack Rules in Brief:
  • 6 card decks
  • Create your hand from your 1 up card and 2 community cards
  • Dealer Stands on Soft 17
  • Dealer's qualifying hand - 13 or better
  • All 21-value hands are equal
  • Your win is paid 1:1
  • Optional 2 Up side bet on first 3 cards

How to Play?
Player places chips to the ANTE section. You can place an additional side bet (by clicking on the area marked 2 UP) that has the same size as your ante bet. Note: this bet is not mandatory. Click the Deal button to receive 2 cards, one face up and one face down. The dealer will be dealt 2 cards face down. Two more cards will be dealt face up in the middle of the table. These are the communal cards - they can be used in both your hand and the dealer's hand to create the highest combination.

You now have the following options:
Fold: end the round and lose your ante. If you placed a 2 Up side bet and won, you'll still get your winnings.
Left card/Right card: select one of the 2 communal cards to use with your face-up card. Click on the communal cards. Here you will need to place an additional bet to keep playing. Note: It's not always the best strategy to pick the highest-valued communal card (see below).

The point total of your face-up card and the chosen communal card is shown. You now have the following options:
Hit: open your face-down card and add it to your hand. If your point total goes over 21, you lose the game round.
Stand: discard your face-down card and keep playing with only 2 cards. This option is chosen automatically if the 2 cards make up a total of 21 points. If you have a strong hand, or already have 21, then you can Stand and keep your 2 face-up cards.

The dealer reveals one card and chooses a communal card. The dealer's communal card is chosen according to a set of rules, explained below (Dealer's Rules).
• If the dealer's point total is higher than 12 and higher than yours, you lose both bets.
• If your point total is higher than the dealer's, you win 1:1 on both bets.
• If the dealer's point total is lower than 13 he does not qualify. You win 1:1 on your Ante bet and push on the additional bet, even if your point total is lower than the dealer's.
• If the point totals are equal, it's a push and your bets are returned to you.

Dealer's Rules
After you have made your choice, the dealer reveals first of his face-down cards, and chooses a communal card. When choosing the communal card, the dealer must create the best possible hand according to the House Way. The table below shows the possible hands. Better hands are on top, and the dealer must choose the first one possible.

Dealer's Hands Rankings

The dealer must always hit on 16 or lower, and stand on all 17's. If the dealer hits, his second face-down card is shown. 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 you win the round, even if your point total is lower than the dealer's. In this case, you win even money on your Ante bet, and push on the 2nd bet.

2 Up Side Bet
This is a side bet on the first 3 cards to be shown on the table (your face-up card and the 2 communal cards). If these cards contain any pair, you win 3:1 on your bet. If the cards make up 3 of a Kind, you are paid 20:1 on your bet.

Multi-hand Version
You can also play this game in Multi-hand mode. Select "3 hand" game in the casino lobby when launching the game. Play with up to 3 hands simultaneously. You can play one hand only if you wish, or any number of hands up to three with its own bet amount.

21 Duel Blackjack Strategy

With the correct strategy players can lower the house edge to about 3.08%, defined per initial bet. The average bet size is about 1.90 x the initial ante bet, making the house edge per unit wagered 1.62%. This value is more appropriate to estimate expected loss over a wagering requirement. As far as you cannot see dealer's cards the traditional strategy card cannot be drawn, but the optimal strategy for Playtech's 21 Duel Blackjack game can be summarized in the set of rules below. These guidelines will halp you to keep a house edge of about 1.65% per unit wagered.

Fold on the following hands on the first round, otherwise play. The folded hands have a player's upcard of 2 to 7 and a communal card of 10 or A.

Player Upcard Communal Card 1 Communal Card 2
2 10 5-6
3 10 4-5
4 10 3-4
5 10 2, 7-10
6 10 6-10
7 10 5-7
2 A 5-6, 10
3 A 9-10
4 A 8-10
5 A 7-10
6 A 8

If you are playing the hand on the second game round, choose the communal card such that you form the highest 2-card hand on the list below:

Soft 16
Soft 15-12
Hard 16 when stand*
Hard 12
Hard 13
Hard 15 when stand*
Hard 14-16 (when hit)

* - hit 16 or less and stand on 17 or greater with the following 3 exceptions:
• Hit soft 17, if one of the communal cards is an Ace
• Stand on hard 15-16, if both communal cards are 2-6
• Stand on hard 16, with communal cards of 10 & 2

As you may see it's not always the best strategy to pick the communal card with the highest value. If your upcard plus a communal card totals around 11, stick with that card, even if the other gets you 17 or 18, because your face down card might bring you closer to 21.

Where to Play?
You can play the 21 Duel Blackjack game at Europa Casino - popular International online casino and one of the leader in Europe due to customer support in 12 languages and localized casino software. Europa offers you to play 10 different versions of Playtech blackjack games, like BJ switch, surrender, single deck, 21 Duel and pontoon. New players can receive up to €/£/$ 2,400 in welcome bonuses.

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