Double down while playing blackjack

When to Double Down on Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the most trendy games in any casino. The game is famous for many reasons, including that it is one of the simplest casino table games to learn and play.

Moreover, it offers enough strategy-based decisions to increase the chances of winning.

While the most common options to choose from are “Hit” (take an extra card) and “Stand” (pass), there are other crucial decisions to make, such as knowing when to split and when to double.

Splitting cards: What is it, and When should You Do it?

The ability to split cards usually occurs when a player is dealt two of the same cards, also known as a pair. The player can then divide these cards into two new and individual bets and ask for a new card for each hand.

The two new hands give you an extra chance of beating the dealer.

When should you split?

Should you split with every two similar cards, or is there a better way of knowing when it’s best to split your cards? There is, and it is frequently referred to as the Aces and Eights rule. When you have a pair of Aces, the player can either use the hand as a 2 (total), which is very bad, or a soft 12, which can be just as bad.

If the player splits the Aces into two new bets, the player immediately gives himself the chance to get a 21 twice, and thus to start with a sound starting card.

An equivalent situation is if the player receives a pair of eights, it comes out to a total of 16, which is considered one of the worst hands in blackjack. However, splitting Eights allows the player to get a better total with both hands.

If the player receives a card with a value of 10 or 11, they have a total of 18 or 19. Both are much better than the 16 if they decide not to split. In addition, there is a rule whereby dealers with a total of 17 or lower always take a card.

This means that you won’t see them pass below 16.

Doubling – What Does it Mean?

As the name suggests, this is doubling the bet after placing an initial bet. The additional bet is equal to the initial bet. Of course, it depends on the blackjack rules when you are allowed to double.

It’s always a good idea to make sure you can double your bet in a blackjack game. Doubling the bet can be risky because you are betting twice as much money on the one hand. If you lose, you lose twice as much.

However, if you win, you win twice as much for not much extra work.

How to Double in Blackjack

To double, you must indicate this to the dealer. To do so, you place an extra wager next to the original wager. This is generally accepted in land-based casinos. Some online casinos will let you double for less money, meaning you can still double, but you don’t have to put down the same amount.

Think of it as a special deal.

After telling the dealer that you want to double, they place an extra card next to your two cards. This is where the action ends because you can no longer do anything with the hand. In other words, whatever your total is with the three cards, you will not receive any more cards if you have doubled.

Let the Dealer Know You Want to Double and Not Split

In blackjack, the action for doubling is precisely the same as splitting. This is usually not a problem if you either double or split. However, if you wish to double on a pair, you must let the dealer know that you are doubling and not splitting the pair.

To do this, say the words ‘double down’ when placing the additional wager. This ensures that the dealer knows that you are doubling down.

At online casinos, you can’t do it this way. You click on the ‘double down’ button (in most cases in online blackjack), and your additional bet is automatically placed.

Know the Rules

Not every blackjack game allows the player to double the wager. Not every casino will follow the same rules for doubling. The most common form of doubling will enable players to double the wager on their two-card hand.

Let’s look at some variations of the blackjack doubling rule:

  • The most common rule for doubling applies to the first two cards.
  • Some casinos allow you to double down on a blackjack.
  • Some casinos will limit doubling to a hard 9, hard 10, or hard 11, meaning that your first two cards must total 9, 10, or 11.
  • Players can double after splitting. This applies to most casinos.

When to Double?

Doubling in blackjack is used by many experienced players to increase their winnings more quickly. However, as with any technique or strategy, it is essential to know how and when to use it for the best effect.

Unfortunately, there is a risk involved in doubling the bet. While it can instantly double your winnings, it is also possible that you will lose your bet twice as fast. There are certain situations in which it is best to double.

Read on below for valuable tips and the best odds of winning.

When to Use it Strategically – Strategy Table Blackjack

One of the best advantages of blackjack is that there are plenty of options and strategies to help improve your chances of success. Many experienced blackjack players use a doubling-down strategy, which can be combined with card counting and basic strategy.

However, if you are new to blackjack, and have not played enough blackjack to know when doubling is a good option, then you can follow the guidelines below as a basis:

  • Double by 11: If your two cards total 11, you should probably double. One of the main reasons for this is that there is always a good chance you will receive a 10 as your third card for a total of 21.
  • Double with a hard 10 if the dealer has a 4, 5, or 6.
  • Double with a hard 9 if the dealer has a 5 or 6.

Doubling While Counting Cards

Counting cards is one of the best strategies you can use in blackjack. Many people believe that it is a form of cheating, but the reality is that it is a clever way to find out what is left on the deck.

The way card counting works is quite simple. Different cards in the deck are assigned a specific value, either a minus value or a positive value (-/+), to determine what the deck has left.

An opposing deck means that most of the cards in the deck have a low value, while a favorable deck tells you that there are more high-value cards left in the deck.

Card counting can determine when it is best to double or when it is best to avoid this option. If the deck is rather negative, this tells you that doubling is probably a bad idea. For example, if you have two cards with a total of 11, you would generally double, hoping to receive a 10.

For example, with an opposing deck, getting a low card is higher. If the dealer shows a 10, then the odds of losing while doubling are even higher.


As you can see, doubling can be very effective because you double your winnings in one go if everything goes right.

But there is always a chance that things will go the wrong way, in which case you will lose twice as much. In the end, it’s all about knowing as much as you can about the game.

Applying an optimal basic strategy or other tactics will help you lower the house edge.