When to Double Down in Blackjack (And When Not To)
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Seasoned veteran in the world of gambling writing
Seasoned veteran in the world of gambling writing
Born in 1975 in a town in the midwest, Edward is a seasoned veteran in the world of gambling writing. Getting a taste for the scene by getting involved in local poker tournaments, he soon turned his passion into a job by securing a role writing about gaming on a freelance basis. After building up his portfolio, he joined us in 2013 and has since progressed to become our all-knowing editor-in-chief for anything poker or casinos.
Blackjack is a game with one of the lowest house edges in casinos. This is only beneficial with an excellent working strategy.
One thing that gives you the advantage is to know when to use your double down to reap the best results. Using this article, you’ll get an answer to the questions, ‘What is blackjack double down?’ and ‘What does doubling down mean?’ Plus, by the time you’re done, you’ll be able to use the strategy of blackjack double down like a pro.
This is an introduction to learn when to double down in blackjack
What is double down in blackjack?
So then, what does doubling down mean in blackjack?
In a game of blackjack, you place an initial bet before the cards are dealt. You usually won’t be able to place a bet after that.
Blackjack double down is an exception to this. Double down allows you to place another bet. This additional bet is equal to your ante bet in return for one, and only one, extra card.
Your hand is over after receiving this third card. Now you need to wait to see what the dealer has. If used correctly this strategy will give that online casino’s best payout.
Before using the blackjack double down as a strategy, it’s vital for you to check the rules of the game you’re playing before you start. Different variants allow you to double down with certain restrictions. Some only permit you to double down if you have a total of either 9, 10 or 11. Other variants allow you to double down on any total value.
Blackjack double down Rules
The first blackjack double down rule is the same as the first rule of blackjack: assume the next card is a 10.
Statistically speaking, you have a higher chance of it being a 10-value card than it not being so. A blackjack double down rule of thumb is to only double down when the dealer has a lower card than you.
The second rule is to always double down on 11. The exception to this is if the dealer has a number valued ten or higher, or the dealer has an ace.
The third rule of blackjack double down is to be aware of the permissible rules around doubling down where you’re playing. The rules of doubling down may vary on different new U.S. online casino sites through to live casino gambling, affecting your overall strategy.
Some only allow you to double down if you have a total of either 9, 10 or 11. You’ll have to play as normal if you have a value higher or lower than this. If the value of the cards is lower, you may split (if the opportunity avails itself) and then double down.
Other variants allow you to double down on any total value. At some casinos, it’s possible for you to double with three or more cards. In casinos like these, it is possible to find more hands with more opportunities to double down.
It is possible that you find that some casinos’ rules say you can’t double down when your normal strategy would say to do so. An example would be not allowing you to double down on a soft hand, the hand with an ace in it. If double down when you want to it is not allowed, it’s often best to take a hit from the dealer.
Blackjack double down, things to look out for
It is essential to pay attention to the value dealers need to hit up to. This is because it will affect their likelihood of going over 21 and hitting a bust.
It is common practice for dealers to hit up to 17. This, however, isn’t a rule set in stone. In some games, dealers only need to hit up to 16.
The advantage of this is that they are less likely to bust with a value greater than 21. The more likely a dealer is to hit a bust, the more you should consider placing a blackjack double down bet.
The last thing you should do is learn if the dealer checks for blackjack when they’ve dealt themselves an ace, or a 10-value card. If the dealer does check for blackjack and the game continues it means that they don’t have blackjack.
In this instance, your chances of winning when you place a blackjack double down bet would be much higher.
When do you double down in blackjack?
At the beginning of a game, you will be dealt two cards, and the dealer will receive one card. In this example, the dealer shows either a 5 or a 6 and you reveal 9 or 10. To have an increased chance of having a winning hand you need a 10-value card. The 10-value card will increase your probability of winning with your hand. This would be a good opportunity to place that extra bet.
In a standard deck of 52 cards, there are 16 10-value cards. These 16 include the 10s of every suit as well as the jacks, queens and kings for each of the four suites. This means that the probability of the next card you’re dealt being a 10-value is higher than it being any other value card.
The probability increases in online casino tournaments when you play with large shoes that have a lot of decks. Casinos generally play with a shoe containing 6 to 8 decks.
Using your blackjack double down in this instance means that you will have an increased chance of winning that hand.
When should you double down in blackjack? You should double down when your cards are the following:
You should bet when the total value of the card in your hand is 11. The reasoning for this is because you have a higher chance of getting 21. Even if you don’t get 21, you’re more likely to get a score closer to it.
Another instance in which you should double down is when you have either a soft 16, soft 17 or soft 18 against a dealer’s low card value. A soft hand happens when you have a card value less than 9, and an ace card.
You may be tempted to stay and not to double down or take a hit from the dealer when you have these soft hands. However, there’s essentially a significantly better chance of you improving your hand with one card in cases like these. This is especially true with a soft 18.
Similarly, you should double down when your hand is a hard 9 or 10 against the dealer’s low card. A hard means that you have a hand with no ace in it. You’ll stand a good chance against the dealer if you get a reasonably high card.
Advantages of blackjack double down
Blackjack double down gives you an additional wager when you think your hand has an increased probability of winning.
When you double down in blackjack, you can double your initial bet. Thus, you are risking more. If your risk was the right move, you’ll stand a chance of reaping a sizable reward for it.
Why should you always double down on 11?
The first rule of blackjack is to assume that the next card is going to be a 10-value card. This rule can also be taken as the first rule of blackjack double down.
It’s strategically wise to assume this because there are 16 10-value cards in a standard deck of 52 cards. This means that the probability of the next card you’re dealt being a 10-value is higher than it being any other value card. The chance increases when you play with shoes that have a lot of decks in them.
Casinos generally play with a shoe containing 6 to 8 decks. It’s because of this rule that you should always double down on 11; 11 being the sum of the cards in your hand. When you double down on 11, it means that whatever card you are dealt with you won’t hit a bust by going over 21. Even if you are not dealt a 10, you’ll be closer to the magic 21.
You should especially double down on 11 if the dealer has a card lower than 10. If you do this, then you will have an increased chance of winning that hand. If the casino has a rule that states the dealer must hit soft 17, then you should always double down on 11, regardless of the card the dealer is showing.
If used correctly, blackjack double down can be your key to an overall victory.
Blackjack, like any other casino games, is about the risk factor. You need to be able to take that leap of faith to earn that big win. Playing blackjack straight – that is playing the game with no split or double down – may seem like a safe thing to do, but really it reduces your chances of winning.
To grab that victory means you need to be able to make that risky bet with some strategy. That’s what makes the winnings from gambling so much sweeter.
It’s unfortunate, however, that many players are afraid to place their second bet. This is especially true for blackjack amateurs. These players will choose not to use the double down, even when it is obviously the best option.
You can’t let fear dictate the way you play. This will only keep victory away from you. Take that plunge and double down when it is strategically the best option. An opportunity to double down is a chance to increase your winnings.
Blackjack, like other casino games, is about the thrill and the action that each bet gives you. One would hope that you are playing blackjack to have fun. Usually making money comes with the thrill of the risk. When you double down, you will have helped accomplish both making money, and having fun.
Risk that bet on the unseen face down card that the dealer gives you. Watch the thrill of the action unfold and discover your fate. If lady luck was indeed on your side for that hand, then you’ll be able to collect your money. If she wasn’t, then your doubled down bet will be delivered into the house’s coffers.
It’s essential to note that blackjack double down does not always guarantee a winning hand. It is a tactic that needs to be used strategically. Doubling down increases your long term winnings, not your short term winnings.
When shouldn’t you double down?
You should never double down when the dealer has an ace card. This is because the dealer has an increased chance of getting blackjack in this instance. This is unfavourable for you, so don’t double down.
You should also never double down when your hand is a hard value higher than an 11. The probability of the next card being a 10-value card is exceptionally high. This means that your chances of going over 21 and hitting a bust are near-inevitable.
In a nutshell, if you’re ever unsure whether to double down, stick to the safe option and keep your bet as it is.
When you’re sitting at a casino table, you’ll see many players doubling down on most of their hands. They’re normally the players that are losing money at a remarkable rate. Don’t be like these players. Only double down when you’re confident you’re going to be in the lead.
Disadvantages of blackjack double down
Blackjack also has its disadvantages. Doubling down still has some elements of risk for every presented opportunity. The dealer is not your friend; they go after players so that the house wins.
In addition, they have more information to hand than you. It’s this extra information that gives the house a slight edge over the players. However little this edge is, it is still there. It’s crucial to remember that in blackjack, even if you double down and the hand is tied, you will only receive your stake back.
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Now you have all the information you need to enjoy, and hopefully, find some success using blackjack double down as a strategy. You now know what it means to double down in blackjack. You’ve also learnt when you should double down as a strategy when playing blackjack.
Following that, you also learnt that different casinos have different rules that can impact on your blackjack double down strategy. It’s vital to pay attention to these rules so you can play your best game.
Lastly, you’ve now learned when not to double down. Not all situations are favorable for you to double down, so be careful not to play recklessly.