Knowing when to double down in blackjack is one of many skills you need to learn to get ahead in the game. So, what does it mean, and when should you be doubling down?
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the best times to double down in online blackjack and the rules you should follow. Plus, we’ve listed the top strategies and premium online casinos so you can start practicing.
In the game of blackjack, you have the option to double your bet and receive another card as a move. This is called doubling down, and it comes with a few rules.
When you double down, you can’t hit again, and you need to wait for the next betting round. While this move can improve your chance of winning, you need to understand when to use it.
Blackjack Double Down Rules
Rules vary at many blackjack tables, be it virtual or land-based, as well as between variants. So, when you’re playing blackjack, triple-check these rules and what it means for your gameplay.
For the most part, casinos let you double down on any two original cards, and some let you do it on blackjack (ace-11). Then again, some casinos won’t let you do that on a hard 9, 10, and 11.
Lastly, you can usually double after splitting a pair, but not at all casinos. So, figure out the rules of the game you’re playing before you try.
When To Use Double Down Strategy In Blackjack
As you know, you need to reach a total of 21 in blackjack with two or three cards. When the game starts, you’ll get two cards (usually face down). The dealer also receives two cards. Generally, there is a face-up card, or both are shown.
The dealer’s up-card is what you will use to make a decision: whether to hit, fold, stand, or double down. Hitting means taking an additional card without a bet. And standing is choosing to stick with your hand. Folding means you give up your original bet and won’t go any further.
If you’re ready to take the next step, consider these rules for doubling down:
Double Down: Hard 9
When blackjack players have a hand total of nine, you can decide to double down if the dealer is showing any card below seven that’s not an ace. This needs to be a hard nine, so a hand without an ace card. If the dealer has a hand with an ace and a lower card, you should just hit.
Soft 16 To 18
Next, if you have an ace with a five, six, or seven to make a total of 16 to 18, and the dealer shows a two to six, you can double your bet. However, if you have a lower card (two to four), it’s better to hit.
Hard 10 Or 11
Lastly, when you have a hard 11 or 10-value card, you’re in a position with a good chance of winning. This is because you don’t have an ace yet to make the total. So, if the dealer’s total is lower, this is your chance to double down.
Basic Strategies & Chart
There are many blackjack strategies out there that can help you practice and test out moves. But these do not guarantee you will win because house edges vary between games.
While it doesn’t hurt to have a strategy, you need to be more flexible than you may think. If you really want to get an edge over the casino, learn the rules and the best ways to bet.
If you need a reminder about which cards to double down with, check this chart: