doubling down

When to double down in Blackjack

Doubling Down in Blackjack

Last Updated: 21/09/2020

In the modern-day, the art of doubling down in Blackjack sounds much worse than it is. Why? Because now the term ‘doubling down’ has been associated with aspects far more devastating than the Blackjack strategy. The phrasing doubling down is where players are dealt their two cards and decide to double their stake in return for a single card. They either lose double their money, or win, but it is a calculated risk that can be made from knowing the maths behind the strategy.

Rules of Doubling Down in Blackjack

Whether you’re playing our online uk slots or at our Live Casino there are a basic set of rules that should be abided by. This holds true for even the smallest sections of Blackjack. If you’ve already checked out our other How to Play Blackjack guides, then you’ll know this already. However, there are also some rules that we suggest you follow before doubling down and they are:

- Assume every down-facing card is a 10. There are more of these than any other card, so you should plan to come against cards with a ten-value, which means you want to double down on 9s, 10s and 11s and steer clear at any other point. This is made easier in some land casinos when these situations are the only time you are allowed to double down.

- Always bet with the dealer’s up-card in mind. So many players will see that they have a 17 and think that’s not quite good enough, but will completely dismiss that the dealer is sitting with a six and is likely to lose. Don’t be that person. If you can land a good hand and the dealer has a weak hand, that is when you want to be doubling down.

- Be conservative and wait for your moment. We have seen numerous Blackjack guides that tell players to be aggressive despite most world-class Blackjack players saying players should bide their time. Doubling down is dependent on players biding their time, so don’t lose double your money on a stupid bet.

When should I Double Down In Blackjack?

You can double down at any point in our Blackjack games, but that doesn’t mean that you should. Doubling down and being aggressive can make players look like fools and can lead to them making rash decisions and chasing losses which is the worst thing you could do.

Your Total Decision Reason
4-6 Don’t even think about it Best you can get is 16. Poor odds
7-8 Judge on the dealer’s cards If the dealer has between 4-6 or 13-16, try it
9-11 Double down Best odds you will get at any time. Unless dealer as ace/10
11-13 Judge on the dealer’s cards If the dealer has between 4-6 or 13-16, try it
14-16 Don’t double down You have a good chance of going bust if you do

The difference between a good player and a great player is being able to judge the dealer’s cards. It is easy to say what should be done in a specific situation, but the reality is that the dealer’s up card changes everything. The dealer needs to get between 17-21, and if it’s highly unlikely that the dealer can get there and another card won’t bust you, then you are well within your rights logically to double down.

Doubling Down: The Key to big wins in Blackjack?

Double down can indeed provide players with the biggest wins in Blackjack, but it is also true that it can lead to the most significant losses. Like any useful tool, it’s efficiency and effectiveness isn’t valued based on what it does, but how it is used. In this situation, doubling down is only as good as the player. If you’re looking for Jackpot slots style wins, you may not be in the right casino game. If you’re a Blackjack player that plays a straight game without utilising pairs, splitting or doubling down, then your odds of winning overall do decrease. However, if you’re a Blackjack player that plays a game where you utilise pairs, splits and doubling down ineffectively, your chances of winning are even worse. Read up on the subject, know what you’re doing and once you’ve taken in the knowledge, follow your instincts. If you feel like you’re on a ‘hot streak’, be a bit more aggressive. If it’s simply not your day, be more conservative.

How to Signal Double Down

If you’re sitting in a land-based casino and you wish to double down, then you will have to use the appropriate signal to let the dealer know. Players should push the second stack of chips alongside their initial bet, make sure the stack is the equivalent of your original bet. If this doesn’t work, point to your cards with one finger to signal that you want an extra card and say ‘double down’. However, it likely won’t come to that. Make sure your new chips aren’t on top of the initial bet and are alongside.

Blackjack Doubling Down Questions

Q. Can I double down after hitting?

If you hit, you will not be able to double down, only because it would be significantly easier for the player to win. The only thing you will be able to do is hit or stand.

Q. Can I double down after splitting?

In land casinos, you will never be able to double down after splitting. However, in online casinos, you will sometimes be allowed depending on the game. This is simply because you are still in a similar situation that you were in when a hand was dealt.

Q. What are the best hands to double down on?

Any time you have a 9, 10 or 11 from your first two cards you should look to double down as you can likely land a 19, 20 or 21 with an extra card. Any other time, you should judge the dealer’s up card before deciding when to split. For example, if the dealer has a 6, you have a good chance of winning and should double down if you can.