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Popular Blackjack Variations

Double Exposure and Pontoon are two of the most commonly known variations in blackjack these days, and each one lends something different to players. Though many players may think these games give them an extra advantage--and they do--the pay scales are often modified to negate this.

Double Exposure

In a standard game of blackjack, players are dealt two cards at the beginning of the game; one card is dealt face-up while the other is placed face-down. In Double Exposure, however, both of the dealer's cards are dealt face-up. Though players have an added advantage since they can see the dealer's cards, the pay scale is modified in a way that favors the house. For instance, while typical blackjack games pay out two to one, Double Exposure may only pay out three to two.

Pontoon

Exactly the opposite of Double Exposure, the rules for Pontoon call for both of the dealer's cards to be dealt face-down. This causes a bit of distress for players as they have no starting point from which to judge the dealer's hand, but just as in Double Exposure, the pay scale has been modified to coincide with the odds of winning. In fact, many players enjoy Pontoon due to the increased pay scales.

The House Edge

Determining which of these three variations of blackjack--standard, Pontoon and Double Exposure--has the lowest house edge can be a daunting task. In standard blackjack, the house edge is between 0% and 1.10%, depending upon the casino and the table. In Pontoon, the house edge is between 0.35% and 0.50%, and in Double Exposure the house edge is between 0.25% and 1.5%. Due to the wild variations in the three, it is safe to assume that no one game has a significant advantage over the other.

When it comes to choosing a blackjack variation, players should consider the rules of the game, the pay scale and the odds of winning. Of course, simply playing another variation for the fun of it is absolutely acceptable, as well.