22 Oct

Euro Double Deck 21 Rules & Tips

Essential Elements of Pro 21: How to play European Double Deck Blackjack with perfect strategy.

Play to Win: Essential Elements of European Double Deck Blackjack

The “European” (Euro) classification of any blackjack game denotes a specific set of static rules applied to the game. The term “double deck” means just what it says – two standard decks of cards shuffled up and dealt in the game. Put those together, and you have a popular 21 variant colloquially known as Euro Double Deck Blackjack.

This particular title was the brain child of an old digital gambling software group called CryptoLogic. That company disappeared from the consumer side of the business shortly after its 2012 acquisition by Canadian firm Amaya, Inc. (now The Stars Group), but the game itself lives on through many online and walk-in casinos of the world.

How to Play European Double Deck Blackjack

This game doesn’t follow the standard European blackjack rules very closely. In proper Euro form, the game does utilize two decks, limits splitting to once per hand, issues no hole card to the dealer (no peeking for blackjack), and does not allow for surrendering. However, it also imparts typical American blackjack rules of doubling on any 2 cards (as opposed to totals of 9, 10 or 11 only), and requires the dealer to stand on soft 17, rather than hitting.

The no-peek rule is particularly significant. Without the second hole card being dealt prior to each player completing their turn, the dealer cannot possibly check for blackjack when he has an Ace or 10 showing. As such, a less-than-observant player who happens to double or split when the dealer could have blackjack, is risking the loss of the extended bet.

Suffice it to say, when the dealer is showing Ace or 10, doubling or splitting should not be undertaken without great care. The detailed strategy charts below only advises splitting against the dealer’s 10 (never Ace) when the player is dealt a highly favorable pair of Aces. Not only does this reduce the odds of the dealer being dealt an Ace underneath by 25% (since 2 of 8 Aces are now missing from the deck), it gives the player a greater chance of one or both hands achieving a total of 20+.

Specific Rules of Play

  • Decks: 2
  • Soft 17: Dealer Stands
  • Doubling: Yes, on any 2 cards
  • Splitting: Yes, 1x
  • Double after Split: Yes
  • Resplit Aces: No
  • Draw to Split Aces: No
  • Surrender: No
  • Dealer Checks for Blackjack: No
  • Blackjack Pays: 3 to 2

EU double Deck 21 doe snot normally come with side bets. If you come across a game that does offer one or more side bets, please see our Complete Guide to Blackjack Side Bets for more information.

Strategy for European Double Deck 21

Based on the specific rules detailed above, this game should carry a reasonably generous 99.66% RTP (house edge 0.34%). You’ll need to play each hand perfectly to reach it. For your convenience, the following strategy charts are divided into three sections, detailing how to react in all possible situations when dealt a hard total, soft total, or pairs.

How to Decide a Hard Hand

A hard hand total is any hand that does not include an 11-point Ace. As such, any hard total of 12+ can bust in a single card hit.

Hard Total Correct Action by Situation
8 & Under Hit
9 Double against Dealer’s 2-6; otherwise Hit
10-11 Double against Dealer’s 2-9; otherwise Hit
12 Stand against Dealer’s 4-6; otherwise Hit
13-16 Stand against Dealer’s 2-6; otherwise Hit
17-21 Stand

How to Decide a Soft Hand

A soft hand total is any hand that does include an 11-point Ace. Therefore, any soft hand total cannot possibly be busted by a single card hit.

Soft Total Correct Action by Situation
13-14 Double on dealer’s 5-6, otherwise Hit
15-16 Double on dealer’s 4-6, otherwise Hit
17 Double on dealer’s 3-6, otherwise Hit
18 Hit against 9-A; Double on 3-6; otherwise Stand
19-21 Stand

Conditions for Splitting Pairs

Splitting pairs can be dangerous in this game, due to the fact that the dealer won’t peek for blackjack with an Ace or 10 showing. This last chart teaches you how to play European Double Deck Blackjack perfectly when dealt any pair.

Pair Correct Action by Situation
Ace-Ace Split against 2-10; Hit against Ace
2-2 Split against 2-7; otherwise Hit
3-3 Split against 2-7; otherwise Hit
4-4 Split against 5-6; otherwise Hit
5-5 Double against 2-9; otherwise Hit
6-6 Split against 2-7; otherwise Hit
7-7 Split against 2-8; otherwise Hit
8-8 Split against 2-9; otherwise Hit
9-9 Split against 2-6 and 8-9; otherwise Stand
10-10 Stand

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