Blackjack Double Down strategy - When to use it and how
The blackjack double down strategy is an exciting move that involves doubling your bet value during a hand. After placing the wager, you can only receive one additional card. Even though this strategy can be risky, experienced gamblers know how to use it at the right time to maximize their potential winnings. Below we have created an in-depth guide that explains how to correctly use this blackjack bet and increase your odds against the house.
How the Blackjack Double Down Bet Works
The universally accepted method to signal your wish to make this bet in blackjack is pushing a stack of chips next to your initial bet. The dealer will understand your intent and deal an extra card. The additional amount added must be equal to the original value of the wager you’ve placed at the table.
The land-based casino etiquette requires you to call “double” if you are planning to go for this move while holding a pair because the actions for the blackjack double down and split bets are identical.
Extra Tip: when gambling at a brick and mortar casino, make sure you don’t place your extra chips on top of the initial wager. The croupiers are against this move because it could mean that you’ve tampered with the bet amount.
Players that are gambling at an online casino just need to click the DOUBLE button and their bet will be placed instantly. Visit this page to find out more about the most lucrative online blackjack bonuses and strategies available.
Doubling down is all about using the information you have on the dealer. Essentially, when the croupier has a card that can potentially result in him going bust(e.g. a hard 2), it is a good opportunity for you to hit double. Check the chart below to understand what are the best situations in which you should be using this strategy:
When to Double Down
By using mathematical probability, experts have found the best blackjack double down strategies that will increase your winnings in the long run. There are three situations in which you can’t go bust and you are in a position where you are likely to finish with a high hand, while the dealer has a high chance of losing.
Hard 9 versus the Dealer’s low cards
When your cards add to a total of 9, you should double if the dealer shows any card below 7, excluding the Ace. Essentially, a “hard 9” means that you have no ace in your hands, so the possible combinations are 2-7, 3-6, and 4-5. If you get an A-8(also called a soft 9) it’s recommended to stand, no matter what hand the dealer has.
Soft 16, 17 or 18 versus the Dealer’s low cards
A good moment for doubling down is when you get an Ace and either a 5, 6, or 7 (meaning you will have a “soft total” of 16 to 18) and the croupier has a low card from 2 to 6. If you have an Ace and a lower card (2-4) your chances of finishing with a high hand are decreased significantly, meaning the best move would be to hit.
Hard 10 or 11 versus any lower Dealer card
The most powerful position in blackjack is getting any two cards, not including an ace, that add up to a total of 10 or 11(2-8, 3-7, 4-7, 5-6, etc.). If the dealer’s total is lower, you can safely double your bet and win. Professional players recommend that you should always double down on 11, as you have a very high chance of landing a 10-point card.
When not to Double Down
Whenever you feel unsure about doubling down, it’s highly recommended to just go for the safe option and maintain your bet value. On top of that, using this move too often can result in great losses, and it is recommended to only take the risk when you’ve got an advantage over the dealer. Here are two situations in which you should never use this move:
The Dealer is holding an Ace
When the dealer gets an ace, their odds of getting a blackjack are very high. Therefore, you shouldn’t risk going for a double, because even if they check and don’t instantly get blackjack, there is still a solid chance that they will end close to 21.
You’re holding a hand higher than 11
The reason why you shouldn’t be doubling down in this situation is obvious – your odds of going bust are too high to risk it. You can simply hit or hold on a lower total and hope that the dealer goes bust.
Always check the rules
This strategy is available in most Blackjack games, but some operators might have different rules which could affect your decision-making process, so it is important to read those in advance.
Some casinos only allow players to go for a double when their total card value is 10 or 11. There are also situations when the rules might say that you can’t double on soft hands. If that’s the case, you should hit instead.
Our recommendation is to try out this strategy in a live blackjack casino before going to a land-based location because you will be more prepared to defeat the dealer and go home with your pockets filled with cash.
The bottom line is that the blackjack double down move is a great strategy, but the opportunities to apply it successfully aren’t as common as you might expect. Choose your bets right and you can go home a winner. But always remember that the house still has an edge over the players, which means that no matter what strategy you’re using, in the long run, the casino will be the one who makes the profit.
Doubling Down FAQ's
Can you go for a double after a split?
Players are usually allowed to split after doubling down, but they must understand the most optimal situations for performing this move. The players can choose to split if they are dealt an identical pair. The second hand must be covered with a bet that has the same size as the initial wager. The croupier will deal two cards to complete both hands.
You now have two hands and you can use the doubling down technique on either one of them. However, you should read the rules in advance to know if this combination of moves is allowed.
Should you always double down on eleven?
The answer is yes. This is the most efficient way to make money as a casual blackjack player because it has the highest chance of getting a card value higher than the dealer.
How many cards do you get after doubling?
Once you choose to go for this move, you will only receive one additional card. A common mistake that new players make is that they think that they will receive as many cards as they want. This is one of the reasons why this bet is risky, as you could end up with a low total card value if the next card dealt is low.
Is doubling down allowed after you hit?
The doubling down move can only be performed after the two initial cards were dealt. Therefore, players must decide at that moment if they want to double or not. The opportunity for this move is limited to the first decision you make, so if you chose to hit a third card, doubling down won’t be allowed.
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