How to Play Double Attack Blackjack

Published: 10/11/2013

Invented by Geoff Hall and distributed by Shuffle Master, Double Attack Blackjack is a variation of blackjack played with eight “Spanish decks” of 48 cards each—i.e., the tens have been removed, but all of the face cards remain. The impetus for this game is the natural desire of players to have more money wagered when the dealer shows a “bad” card and seems likely to bust. The game also involves quite a few rule twist that directly impact basic strategy.

The Basic Rules

One of the biggest differences between Double Attack Blackjack and other versions of “21” is the order in which the cards are dealt. After the players have made their initial bets, the very first card from the shoe is dealt to the dealer face up. At this point, before any of the players’ cards have been dealt, there is an option to double the size of the wager by placing an amount equal to the initial bet in the Double Attack betting box in front of each seat.

Players then receive the remainder of their cards face up, and the dealer gets one additional card dealt face down. If the dealer’s up card is an Ace, players are given the opportunity to purchase insurance, which pays 5:2 in the event the dealer has a natural blackjack. The dealer will then check the hole card. This is also true if the up card is face card, when no insurance is offered. If the dealer has a blackjack, the hand ends and all players lose except those who also have a blackjack, which it treated as a push, no winner or loser.

If the dealer does not have a blackjack, all insurance bets lose and the game continues in much the same way as standard blackjack. Actions allowed include doubling down on any two cards, doubling down after hitting and splitting up to four hands, except for Aces, which can split just once and only one card is dealt to each Ace. Otherwise, players are allowed to double down after a split, even after drawing. Note, however, that if the player made a Double Attack wager, the extra bet must be matched on a split. On a double down, the player is permitted to double down for less than the total bet, including the Double Attack bet. Surrender is also allowed at any time, with half of the original and Double Attack bet refunded.

Some versions of Double Attack Blackjack also feature an optional “BustIt” side bet. This bet pays out if the dealer busts with exactly three cards. Otherwise, it loses. Premiums are paid for certain combinations, such as 200:1 for a bust on three suited 8s, but the House edge on the side bet overall is just over 8%, making it a poor wager.

Playing Strategy

Whenever the dealer shows a 2~8 as the up card, the proper strategy is to make the Double Attack bet. Although it is possible to wager less than their original bet on the Double Attack bet, a full double should be wagered if the up card is not a 9, a face card or an Ace. Note also that insurance is generally not a good bet, even though the payout is higher than the usual 2:1. The House edge on insurance is about 12.3%.

Similarly, there are very few instances in which surrender is the proper action. One of them is when holding hard 17 facing the dealer’s Ace. The only other time to surrender is when holding 16 or less after doubling down against the dealer’s 8~A. It is important to note, however, that if a player surrenders one part of a split hand, any other split hand(s) will still be in play and not affected.

Most of the plays regarding hitting, standing, doubling and splitting are quite similar to basic strategy. Always split Aces and eights; never split fours or face cards; stand on hard 17 or higher; double down on any count of 11 and on 10 when facing the dealer’s 2~8; and hit no matter what card the dealer shows when holding hard 13 or less or soft 13~15.

Published on: 10/11/2013

Go To bet365
Open Account Offer
Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365.
Min deposit £5 and 1x settled bet requirement to release Bet Credits. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Comment on this article
Your Name:
Your Email:
What is  + 7