How to Play 21 Duel Blackjack: Rules, Strategy & Odds
21 Duel Blackjack is the most unique variant of blackjack to date. It is only available at PlayTech powered online casinos, which, unfortunately, prohibits US players from being able to wager real money on this highly intriguing online casino game. What makes 21 Duel so exceptional is that it takes the standard game of blackjack and turns it into a communal type poker game.
If you never thought Holdem Poker could be combined with Blackjack, think again. In this variation of 21, the board is dealt a total of 6 cards. Two go to the player, two to the dealer, and two more to the center of the table as community cards. After the player makes an Ante bet, the cards are dealt. Both community cards are placed face up, but the player can only see one of his hole cards. The dealer’s cards are hidden as well.
The player’s exposed hole card must be played. The player will then select which of the community cards to combine with his hole card to develop his starting blackjack hand. If the player does not wish to choose either of the community cards, he has the option to fold at this time. If the player folds, the Ante bet is lost. However, if the player continues with the game, he must place a Play bet, equal to the Ante. In blackjack terms, this bet is akin to a Double Down bet.
After selecting a community card, the player must then choose whether to Hit or Stand. Note that Splitting is not an option in 21 Duel Blackjack, and neither is a traditional Double Down bet since doubling is automatically applied when a player chooses to continue.
A player can only Hit once in 21 Duel Blackjack. If the player chooses to Hit, his second hole card is revealed, its value combined with the current total of his hand. The player must stand on the resulting total, unless it busts, in which case the player automatically loses. If not, the game proceeds with the dealer’s hand.
The dealer will reveal one of his two cards and his selected community card to combine it with. The online casino uses strict rules, known as the ‘house way’, to determine which cards the dealer will select. If the dealer’s hand is 16 or below, he will Hit, using his second face-down card to do so. If the dealer’s total is 17 or above, he will stand.
Like most online casino games that involve and Ante and Play bet, the dealer’s hand must “Qualify”? in order for the player to win the total bet. Thus one of five things can happen once the player and dealer have both set their hands.
- Dealer Busts: If the dealer busts, the player automatically wins both the Ante and Play bets, paid 1 to 1.
- Dealer Does Not Qualify: If the dealer does not have a total of at least 13, his hand will not qualify. When this happens, the player always wins, regardless of whether his hand is higher or not. The player will win even money on the Ante bet, but the Play bet is returned as a push.
- Dealer Qualifies; Player Hand Wins: If the dealer has a total of 13 or more, and the player has a higher total, the player will win even money on the Ante and Play bets.
- Dealer Qualifies; Dealer Hand Wins: If the dealer qualifies, and has a higher total than the player, both bets are lost.
- Hands Tie: If the player and dealer hands tie, both bets are a push, returned to the player.
Duel 21 Blackjack Side Bet & Payouts
Duel 21 Blackjack has an optional side bet called the “2 Up”? bet. A player can place any wager amount on the side bet, within the table’s stake limits. This bet will only pay out if the player’s ending hand involves a pair or three of a kind.
- 3 of a Kind Pays 20 to 1
- Pair Pays 3 to 1