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Blackjack Strategy: Know When to Double Down in Blackjack


Doubling Down is a popular betting move to make in the game of Blackjack. Getting it right can greatly improve your chances of winning in the game. But if you don’t, it will quickly consume your bankroll at the Blackjack table.

That being said, knowing when you should and shouldn’t double down is an important skill to have as a Blackjack player. Here’s an article that offers insight into the use of the Blackjack double down option. Keep reading!

What is doubling down in Blackjack?

Before talking about when to double down in Blackjack, it’s important to know what the concept actually is. When playing Blackjack, the main aim is to get a hand value that’s exactly 21 or as close to it as possible. And that needs to be done by using the Blackjack hit stand option and without going bust.

While having the perfect score of 21 is great, you don’t always need it in order to win. If you ask Blackjack veterans, they’ll tell you that the real game is to have a score that’s higher than the dealer. That way, you are able to beat the dealer and win without having the perfect 21 value.

This is where the doubling down option can help you in European Blackjack and other Blackjack variations. When you double down, you increase your bet size by your initial wager to draw an extra card. As you’d guess, your final score is then calculated by adding the values of your initial two cards and the additional card.

Knowing when to double down is important because your hand gets over after using the option. Also, if you’re dealt a low card, doubling down increases your risk of losing an amount that’s double of what you’d lose in a regular Blackjack round.

When to double down in Blackjack

Here are some instances when you might consider doubling down in online Blackjack and land-based Blackjack games:

Dealer has a weak hand

This one doesn’t require much of an explanation. As a player, you’d want to double down if the dealer’s hand seems to be weak. Generally, the dealer is considered to have a weak hand if the value of his/her face up card is between 2 and 6.

Soft 16, 17, and 18s

In all Blackjack types, the term ‘soft hand’ refers to the type of hand that includes an ace and another card. Here, the ace can be counted as either 1 or 11. So, having a soft 16, 17, or 18 is another great instance to double down in Blackjack.

Hand totals 11

Almost all experienced Blackjack players would double down when the value of their initial hand is 11. This is because getting a 10 value on the extra card will make their final score exactly 21. And even if they draw a low value card, their hand will still be stronger than the one they had before doubling down.

Hard 9 or 10

When playing Blackjack, a hard hand is the one that doesn’t contain an Ace. But having a hard 9 or 10 is a good time to double down in Blackjack. Again, you can’t go bust here by drawing an additional card. And landing a high value card will make your hand better than it was before.

When not to double down in Blackjack

As with the betting moves for other online casino games, it’s not always good to use the double down option. Below we explain the situations when you should abstain from doubling down.

Dealer has an Ace

As mentioned earlier, the Ace card can be counted as either 1 or 11 in Blackjack. This flexibility in Ace rules makes it a pretty powerful card to have in the game. As such, you should avoid doubling down when the dealer has an Ace card.

Hard hand that’s higher than 11

Doubling down a hard hand that’s higher than 11 increases your chances of going bust in Blackjack. Of course, you can have a strong hand if your extra card doesn’t make you go bust. But the chances of that happening aren’t quite great.

Are Splitting and Doubling Down the same in Blackjack?

Blackjack split is another popular move to make when playing Blackjack at the top mobile casino. Unfortunately, many novice players think that splitting is the same as doubling down in Blackjack. But this isn’t actually true. While the double down move allows you to draw an extra card by doubling your initial wager, splitting provides you with the chance to split your cards into two different hands. Note that to use the splitting option, the value of your first two cards must be the same.