Blackjack got famous because the use of strategies like card counting can significantly improve your chances of winning. This makes it a popular choice for gamblers that are looking to increase their capital. Doubling down is one of the actions in blackjack that will increase your pay-out when you win, but can easily lead to your loss. A good strategy to know is how and especially when to double down in blackjack. Learn here how to pull off this risky move.
The basics of blackjack are simple. You play against the dealer and hope to get a total card value greater than the dealer but below 22, which would be a bust. That’s why many people describe the goal of blackjack to reach a card total of or closer to 21 than the dealer’s card total.
Blackjack is one of the most popular casino table games. But it is not exclusively played in brick-and-mortar casinos. Many online casinos offer blackjack games. You don’t even have to play against a machine. Live casino games will connect you to real-life dealers and other players with a video stream. Check out the impressions of Videoslots on the gambling community Casinomeister. They have a wide variety of table and live casino games where you can enjoy games of blackjack.
What is a Double Down in Blackjack?
A double down is one of the moves a player can choose after the dealer has dealt the initial cards necessary to start a game of blackjack. By doubling down, the player doubles their initial bet and receives one more card. This excludes them from any other moves and receiving further cards till the winner is revealed.
When Can We Use a Blackjack Double Down?
The dealer deals two cards to themselves and every player. The player cards are played face-up, except for one of the dealer’s cards. The players can look at their cards and one of the dealer’s cards. They can now decide if their card value is more likely to reach closer to 21 than the dealer’s two cards combined.
After the initial two cards per player were dealt, they can make multiple decisions, that come down to either receiving another card (hit) or signaling that they are happy with their cards (stand). A third option is to double down. If you choose to double down, you can double your wager, but will limit yourself to receiving only one additional card to your total.
If you are already close to 21 but not in danger of busting, one card is enough to give you the winning hand. That’s why this scenario is the best moment to double down.
When Should I Double Down?
You double down when you feel like, statistically, you have the best chance of getting the winning hand with just one more card added to your total. That’s why there are some scenarios where it’s more advisable than in others. They depend on the cards you already have, and the face-up card of your dealer. The following combinations are favorable for a double down:
● The Total of your Cards Equal 11
The most popular time to double down is when your hand has a total card value of 11. One more card will get you closer to 21, but won’t make you bust. You might even hit a blackjack.
● With a Hard 9 or 10
If you have a hard 9 or 10 and the dealer is showing a lower card, you are in a good situation to win against the dealer. “Hard” in this context means there is no ace involved.
● Showing a Soft 16,17 or 18
A “soft” hand includes an ace, which means you can make it count as a 1 or 11 when it comes to the card value. When your ace and the other card combine to a 16, 17 or 18 and the dealer shows a lower card, your chances of either hitting or getting very close to 21 are high.
When Not to Double Down
The following situations are good signs that a double down would be a bad move:
● The Dealer Has an Ace
When the dealer has an ace, he can use it to get closer to the 21 without busting, because he can control the card’s value choosing between 1 and 11. An ace is a powerful card in blackjack and makes it more likely for the dealer to win.
● You Have a Hard Hand That’s Higher Than 11
If you have a total card value higher than 11, the chances of busting when adding another card’s value are pretty high. Doubling down now is too risky.
Doubling Down at Different Blackjack Tables
Not every blackjack table plays with the same exact rule set. Make sure to inform yourself about the specific rules of the table you are playing at.
For example, one of these changing rules is whether the dealer has to deal themselves another card when they have a total card value below 16. This makes their chances of busting higher and might affect if or how often you want to double down.
More Blackjack Double Down Tips and Tricks
- Doubling down is only allowed after the first two initial cards have been dealt to each player. If you have already chosen the hit action and got another card, you cannot decide to double down anymore.
- In most cases, you cannot double down after splitting, either. Splitting allows you to play with two separate hands when you received two cards of the same value. Some casinos will allow it, others won’t.
- If you are new and unsure on when to double down, always double down when you are showing an 11.
- If you want to double down, you either tell the dealer or signal it by pushing a stack of chips with the same amount of your initial bet next to your current wager. Don’t put them on top of the initial bet, or it might be considered a tampering attempt.
Doubling down in blackjack allows you to double your wager, leaving you with more money when you win. However, the move also excludes you from any more actions in a round of blackjack. You will receive one more card and must hope it will reach or be close to 21 once the other players stand. That’s why doubling down is only a good decision when you are statistically likely to get the winning hand with a single additional card. You can determine the chances by comparing your hand and the showing card in front of the dealer.