When to Double Down in Blackjack (And When Not To) in 2021?
Blackjack (formerly Black Jack and Vingt-Un) is the most widely played casino banking game in the world. The game is played with decks of 52 cards and is an American descendant of a global family of banking games known as Twenty-One. This family of card games also includes the British game of Pontoon and the European game, Vingt-et-Un.
Blackjack players do not compete against each other. The game is a comparing card game where each player competes against the dealer.
Doubling down is an exciting move to make in blackjack – and profitable if you get it right. This is when you double your bet in the middle of a hand, after which you only receive one more card. It’s risky because if you get dealt a low card, you can’t hit again, and could risk losing twice as many chips.
Knowing when to double down during a game of blackjack is essential. It’s all about getting the balance right between playing it safe and taking the risk – being sure you have an advantage. In this post we’ll give some examples of when you should double down, how to do it in a casino, as well as answer some common questions.
When to Double Down in Blackjack?
There are three times we’d recommend placing the blackjack double down bet:
1.) When your cards total 11
This is because you have a fantastic chance to hit 21, and even if you don’t, you’re likely to get a score close to that magic number.
2.) When you have a soft 16, 17 or 18 [This means that you have a card plus an ace]
Here you should generally only double down if the dealer is showing a lower card. You might be tempted to stay as you are, especially with a soft 18, however there’s actually a great chance of improving your hand with a single card.
3.) When you have a hard 9 or 10 [“hard” describes a hand with no ace]
Once again, only when the dealer is showing a low card. Providing you get a reasonably high card, you’ll be in very good shape against the dealer.
Please remember that you won’t always find things going your way when you double down. The tactic, when used properly, will increase your winnings over a long period of time though.
When Not to Double Down in Blackjack?
Here’s a pretty obvious one: never double down when the dealer is showing an ace.
Quite simply, the chances of them getting blackjack are just too high. Even if they check and don’t have blackjack, there’s a very good chance that they’ll end up with a total close to 21.
Never double down when you’re showing anything higher than an 11, as the chances of going bust are too high to risk. It’s better to simply hit or stick on a lower total, and then hope that the dealer goes bust.
Basically, if you’re ever unsure whether to double down, stick to the safe option and keep your bet as it is.
You’ll see some players at a table doubling down all the time, and they’re usually the players losing money at a significant rate. You shouldn’t be doubling down on the vast majority of hands – only take the risk when you’re a clear frontrunner.
How to Signal Double Down in Blackjack?
When looking to double down in blackjack, there’s only one thing you need to do: push a stack of chips next to your initial bet. This stack must be of equal value to your starting bet.
If pushing the extra chips onto the table doesn’t work (it will 99% of the time), simply tell the dealer your intention to double down and point with one finger to signal that you want one more card. It really is that simple.
Top Tip: Don’t put the chips on top of the initial bet. This is frowned on by croupiers and other casino staff as it could mean you’ve tampered with the initial bet.
Things to Look for When Doubling Down in Blackjack
There’s one important thing to look for when doubling down: the casino’s rules. The most basic of these will tell you when doubling down is allowed. Many casinos only allow players to double down when they’re showing cards totalling 10 or 11 – if you have any other value hand, you’ll only be able to continue as normal (unless you have the chance to split, of course).
Also, pay particular attention to the value the dealer must hit up to. Why? Well, this impacts on how likely they are to go over 21.
Most games make the dealer hit up to 17, however in some games, the dealer only hits up to 16 – something that makes it less likely they’ll exceed 21. The more likely they are to go over 21, the more you should think about making a double down blackjack bet.
Finally, learn whether the dealer checks for blackjack when they’re dealt an ace or a 10-value card – if they do check and the game continues, they don’t have blackjack. This makes your chances of winning when placing a double down bet much higher.
You’ll know if they have blackjack, as the hand will stop there, and everyone will lose (except those who have also got blackjack).
Should you Always Double Down on 11?
As the player and dealer aim to get as close to 21 as possible in order to win the hand, the player is in a strong position when holding 11 after two cards are dealt. If the dealer is showing a lower card than a 10, it is good strategy to double down.
If the casino rules dictate the dealer must hit soft 17, you should always double down on 11 no matter what the dealers up card.
Now that you know the basics of when to double down when playing blackjack, enter your state below to find the top online casinos in your state as well as the best bonus offers available!
What does double down mean?
Doubling down is phrase most often associated with blackjack. It describes a situation in which the player doubles his or her initial bet due either their confidence in the cards they are holding and/or their perceived weakness of the cards being held by the casino dealer.
Can you split twice in blackjack?
It is possible to Split twice within one hand. Say you are originally dealt a 10 and a Jack, and you choose to Split. You now have two hands in play (10 & J). If the next card you are dealt on your 10 is a Queen, you have the option to Split again.
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