When to Double Down in Blackjack

To double down in Blackjack means to double your stake, get dealt 1 more card, and then end your turn. This can be very profitable but is also quite uncertain, if you’re dealt a low card you can’t hit again and will lose twice the amount of chips.

No Blackjack strategy is failproof, and there will always be times when you lose after doubling down. However, if you stick to the best Blackjack advice, over time your winnings should increase. To learn exactly what that advice is, read on below.

Before You Double Down

Before you’ve even looked at your hand and started thinking about what move to make, check the rules that apply to the dealer’s hand. Most stipulate that the dealer hits until a total of 17 of higher, but some lower that total to 16. In the second case, the dealer hand is a lot less likely to bust.

In general, it’s a better idea to double down when the dealer has to hit to a total of at least 17 and has a higher chance of going bust. Also, the odds of the dealer getting Blackjack if their face-up card is an Ace are just too great, and you should never double down in this case.

When to Double Down

Don Johnson famously won more than $15 million against 3 Atlantic City casinos in the space of6 months by playing real money Blackjack, and doubling down played a big part in his success. Channelling you inner Johnson and doubling down is advised when your total is 11, and the dealer’s face-up card is 6 or lower.

You have a great chance of hitting 21, or coming close and beating the dealer. On the other hand, since the dealer has to keep drawing until they hit 16 or 17, they have a high risk of busting. If the dealer shows a 9 or higher they have a better chance of winning, and doubling down here is not a good idea.

Soft 16s, 17s and 18s – where your hand includes an Ace – are also perfect double down situations as long as the dealer card is low. This can seem a little counterintuitive, especially with a total as high as 18, but your chance of improving your hand with a single additional card are actually high.

Finally, if you have a hard hand – a hand which doesn’t contain an Ace – total of 9 or 10, you should consider doubling down if the dealer shows a low card. As long as you get a reasonably high card, you stand a good chance of winning the round.

Take Calculated Risks Only

When it comes to doubling down, you want to balance playing it safe with taking a risk. The best rule of thumb is to only make this move if you feel you have a clear advantage. If not, stick to hitting or even standing and keeping your current hand as it is. Any time you double down is risky; make sure you only take calculated chances.