Doubling down can help you maximize your winnings when you have the advantage in 21. Learn how basic strategy will help you find these ideal moments with Mr Blackjack.
Double down is an essential part of blackjack. If you want to win you have to capitalize on the opportunities to maximize your wagers while you have the advantage. Basic strategy tells you exactly that.
What does doubling down mean? Doubling down means that you double your wager by placing an equal wager next to your initial wager and you will receive one, card and one card only.
Before doubling down, you should always look at the dealer's up-card first. If the dealer's card is a 5-6 you should double your bet for one more card when you have a total value of 9,10 or 11. Five and 6 are considered the worst cards for the dealer, whereas a hand value of 9, 10, or 11 puts you in good standing to create a strong hand.
If you get a 10-card you can make 19-20 or 21, which is usually a winning hand against the combination of cards that the dealer needs to get when starting with a five or 6.
You will also want to double down on hands that you can not bust on and the dealer has a bust card. For instance, when you have an Ace and a three or an Ace and four (soft 14/soft 15). You can refer to the OnlineGambling.com strategy chart for more examples.
If you have a soft 14 and the dealer has a six, that is an advantageous position. You can never bust by taking one more card because your Ace will simply turn from an 11 to a one to give you that new total.
Doubling down is crucial to the success of any gambling session. You need to know when to double and more importantly when not to double.
If you have an 11 you may think that it’s the perfect opportunity to double. In most cases, it is. You double that 11 on any card — except when the dealer has an Ace. The dealer Ace is extremely tricky. You only have a 30% chance of spiking a 10 on that 11. It is not enough because the Ace gives the dealer two chances to get a better score than you. So in this case, you simply hit the 11 and do not double.
Players, remember: always check the table rules for doubling down before committing any of your bankroll to the game.
So let's recap. Basic strategy on doubling down says you should:
- Double down when you have a total of 9-11 and the dealer has a five or 6 up-card
- Double down on soft 14/15 and the dealer has a bust card
- Do not double down when the dealer has an Ace
Check out more tips and tricks on basic strategy with OnlineGambling.com's complete guide to winning more at blackjack.
Next up, we're looking at strategy charts and how they can help you deploy basic strategy in your blackjack games.
What this lesson covers
- The best hands to double down on
- The worst hands to double down on
- How casino table rules affect basic strategy on doubling down
Meet Mr Blackjack
With a career spanning two decades, Mathieu Blake knows his way around a blackjack table. He's taught and entertained over 100,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel NeverSplit10's . In this series he'll take you through basic strategy, card counting, and bankroll management. Take a seat with Mr Blackjack and become a winning player.
Want to learn more about Blackjack?
- Can I double down on three cards after hitting?
Most casinos won’t let you double down if you have already hit on your hand. Some blackjack variants are exempt, like Spanish blackjack. If a casino does allow this, they will likely adjust other blackjack rules to keep the odds in their favor.
- Should you double down on 11?
You should double down on this hand unless the dealer has an Ace. In this case, you should hit.
- Should you double down on 10?
Generally, you should double down on 10, unless the dealer has a 10 or Ace. In these situations, you have a better chance of winning at blackjack by hitting.
- When do you double down in blackjack?
You must double down after your first two cards have been dealt.
- Do you have to take another card when you double down?
Yes, this is part of the requirement of doubling down in blackjack.
- Can you double down on 21 in blackjack?
No, as the dealer will immediately pay your winnings straightaway or end your turn as you’ve won already.
- Can you double down after splitting?
Most casinos won’t allow you to double down on split hands, but some online casinos accept these rules. Players have a good advantage here, so be aware that casinos may add other restrictive rules to keep the blackjack odds in their favor.