Blackjack strategy is all about making the right move at the right time. To perfect the basic strategy, it’s crucial to familiarise yourself with the nuts and bolts of gameplay. Every action can be both strategically advantageous and detrimental to your game, so make sure to cover the basics, and your bankroll will be very grateful!
This article will dive into doubling down and outline the basic strategy behind it, along with what you need to keep in mind to use it to the best of its potential.
What is Double down in blackjack?
Doubling down in blackjack is optional after the initial two cards have been dealt. If the player doubles down, they double the wager in exchange for an additional card. Only one extra card will be dealt, and players will not be able to hit again.
In other words, if you choose to double down, you must increase your original bet by the same amount. After you double your bet, you can only hit once and then stand on your blackjack hand.
Choosing to double your bet is a relatively standard move, although casino games may put a twist on it to change things up a little. Evolution’s Power Blackjack, for example, allows players to double, triple and even quadruple down!
Other games, like Free Bet Blackjack, offer no-cost doubling down and splitting in specific circumstances, such as doubling down on a hard total of nine, 10 and 11.
Most casinos that allow for playing online blackjack will have online blackjack games, where a specialised computer algorithm acts as the dealer. These games will enable you to play a demo for free! This can be a great chance to learn the ropes, get acquainted with blackjack hands and try out the best-known bets without it costing you any extra money. You can find a wide range of First-Person editions at LV BET!
Bearing this in mind, many casinos may seek to limit the scope of the player’s favourable odds, so they impose rules to adhere to when playing.
Is a double down bet worth it?
Like most moves in this casino behemoth, the double down option could make or break the round for you. You should never use moves in casino games such as this without a strategy in mind or understanding the impact of such a choice.
- You could win extra money from your first bet, but you could also lose twice the money if the dealer wins.
- Once you double down, you can only hit for one more card. If you risk doubling too soon, you risk losing a potentially great chance of winning.
- If you use it without a strategy, you risk miscalculating the losses of other possible moves.
- It might be an attractive option in some circumstances, but it might not be available on that given table.
Ultimately, it is up to the player to weigh the pros and cons. However, it is never worth it if no double down strategy is employed to minimise the risks. Double down in blackjack only when you have looked at the round from all angles.
When and How to use the double down move?
Although doubling down is not an advantage play, certain hands may give you a relatively good chance of preventing a bust while increasing the likelihood of winning if the dealer is showing a lower card. So, when should you double down in blackjack?
There is only one moment when players can double down in exchange for one more card — immediately after the original two cards have been dealt. You will know your hand and the dealer’s face-up card at this stage. Use this information wisely! Doubling down is all about maximising your chances of winning and diminishing the bankroll damage over time.
Another factor that one does well to consider is whether the dealer must hit or stand on a soft 17 and how many decks the blackjack game is played with. Most online casino blackjack tables are played with eight decks, and the dealer must stand on 17 (S17). Also, Live Casino blackjack games are typically NDAS tables.
What’s the difference between split and blackjack double?
Doubling down in blackjack and splitting are entirely different actions. While doubling down is when you double your initial bet in exchange for one more card, splitting is dividing a pair (or a two-card hand with identical card values, such as 10 and J) into two separate hands. Splitting will require the player to place an equal wager on the second hand.
The two concepts merge in table variations and rules. Some tables, called DAS, allow doubling down after splitting; others, called NDAS, do not permit a double down after splitting. The former is very much to the players’ advantage, as doubling down in certain circumstances can turn the tides of the game and increase the chance of winning.
On top of that, a double down after a split reduces the house edge by 0.13%, which is why players will mostly encounter NDAS house rules.
The Best Time to Double Down in Blackjack
In general, there are three main categories of hands with which you should double down in blackjack:
When the player has a hard nine or 10
One of the most critical points in basic blackjack strategy is that 10s are more likely to be dealt, just from how many cards are valued at 10. If you have a hard nine and the dealer shows a low card of two through six, you are better positioned to beat the dealer and win the round.
Why? Let’s say the dealer has a six and draws a 10-point card, now sitting at a hard 16. The dealer then has to be dealt another card, significantly increasing the likelihood of a bust. In turn, this means that the player has a higher probability of hitting a 19 with an extra card, which is a reasonably strong hand in blackjack.
Statistically speaking, when the dealer is showing a low card of three, four, five or six, they are more at risk of going bust in the long run and, therefore, less likely to win.
When the player’s two cards total 11
Hard totals of 10 or 11 will swing probability in your favour. Since the highest-valued cards in the deck are 10 points, there is no way for your hand to bust with a single card.
Simultaneously, the ratio of 10-point cards to those of lower value is also skewed, giving you more chances to form a more substantial hand while the dealer is more likely to end up with a weaker hand or go bust, as they have to keep hitting until 17.
Should you always double down on 11? The short answer is — yes, you should double down. The odds of hitting blackjack are just too good to pass up! Even if you don’t hit that magic number, you will likely get pretty close to it.
When the player has a soft 16, 17 or 18
A soft hand means that one of your two cards is an ace, which can be counted either as one point or as 11. If your hand is pushed over 21, then the ace assumes a value of one, making soft hands generally safer.
With the ace’s flexibility in mind, a double down move against the dealer’s low-valued card has decent odds of improving your hand.
When Dealer’s Hand Is Weak
Another shrewd opportunity to consider going for additional bets is when the dealer is showing a weak hand. Of course, how strong the dealer’s hand is, is relative to your hand.
However, generally speaking, the dealer is considered to have a weak hand if their visible card is between two through six.
When Should You Not Double Down?
Never double down when the dealer shows an ace! The dealer’s chances of getting a blackjack with an ace are too significant to contest, and even if they check their face-down card and don’t have 21, odds are that the hand total will be close to it. Don’t double your wager on a dealer’s ace; your chances of beating a dealer’s 10 are also pretty slim.
To double down when you have a total of 11 or greater is also not a good idea. The reasoning draws from the same logic — here, the chances of you busting are too high.
It may be wiser to simply hit or stand on a lower total instead of taking the risk on a double down bet.
Conclusion – Try your doubling down on blackjack at LV BET.
Playing blackjack is all about strategy and probability. Master the logic, and you’ll be ready to start playing at land-based and online casinos. Research the basic strategy and pull up a chart tool to help you during gameplay!
Remember, if you are unsure whether to take the double down bet, it is best to stick to the safer option and keep your initial bet as is.
Last but not least, if you’re starting out with casino gaming — look into our First Deposit Bonus (Welcome Bonus), which you may be eligible to claim. This one-time casino Welcome Bonus offer can throw in some extra funds to help you get started on your journey to mastering the art of blackjack strategy!
✅ Is blackjack double down a risk?
Even if you double down under optimal conditions every time, there is no guarantee that you will see immediate success. When used correctly, the double down blackjack strategy may increase your winnings and potential profit in the long run.
Be mindful of table rules and check multiple blackjack variants to see which table suits you best and which game offers favourable doubling down conditions.
✅ Can I double down blackjack on my initial bet?
Yes, it’s possible to double down after your initial bet.
✅ Is it possible to blackjack double down twice?
The double down option is available only after you are dealt your first two cards.
Notwithstanding, the game varieties in every casino have their own blackjack rules. Like roulette variations, they offset the house edge with varying levels of player edge (if only for one round).
On some such table variations, you may have the option to split and then double down on either one of your two new hands or both. Say you split two aces; the next card drawn is a six. You have a hard 16, so you decide not to double down. The second card for the second hand makes a soft 19, at which point you opt to take it.
As always, a scenario such as this is only possible on a table that permits it and the casino’s rules.
✅ Can I double down after hitting?
No, it is not possible to double down after hitting. The option is limited to one specific point in the round: after the initial cards are dealt before you hit or stand. The player advantage would be too great if this were not the case.
The option to double down is available after splitting for some blackjack variants, but this depends on the casino and the table in question.
✅ Do I always get only 1 card after a double down?
Yes, you will only draw one more card after you double down. Irrespective of its value, the game disallows you to hit or split.