A Beginner's Guide to Blackjack Double Down Strategy

Oliver Keegan

Casino expert

Blackjack Double Down Strategy

When you’re confident about your advantage, it’s only sensible to tweak your game around blackjack double-down rules. Still, you should get familiar with the appropriate scenarios in which to apply this staple blackjack strategy.

What Does Double Down Mean in Blackjack – Everything You Need to Know

What Does Double Down Mean in Blackjack – Everything You Need to Know

The rules allow you to double the value of your original bet. To take advantage of it, you must accept an additional card from the dealer. At the same time, you forgo the opportunity to split or place other side bets.

Otherwise known as ‘reaching deep’, doubling down holds the potential to be a lucrative opportunity. However, this move is not without risk. You’ll need to have sufficient confidence in the value of your existing hand and be well versed in probability.

It would also serve well to overview the most current blackjack variants since the situations in which you’re allowed to double your wager may differ.

Practice your blackjack strategy the right way

It’s a good idea to practice your statistical skills and blackjack strategy with a registration bonus. Still, it should provide enough value to cover multiple game rounds.

While you’re practising, keep your stakes on the low end and make sure you have enough time to complete any wagering requirements. A casino’s security and house rules should also be kept in view. Blackjack is often restricted from bonus wagering, so be aware.

If you claim any entry from our list of top casino bonuses, you are ensured that bonus rules are fair for blackjack players. Our experts make the checks while testing each platform. 

Not every game of blackjack operates with the same rules

Some blackjack variants will only let you double down if your current hand totals 9, 10 or 11. Other blackjack games will allow it irrespective of your current hand’s total.

Check the game rules before commencing play. In live dealer casinos, the most played variant is European. Be aware that you have a limited time to place your bets.

Moreover, you should follow basic etiquette and refrain from outrageous actions towards anyone at the table. Intimidating other players will likely result in a ban, and your winnings may be confiscated.

When Do You Double Down in Blackjack?

When Do You Double Down in Blackjack

There’s only one stage in a round of blackjack when you can do this – immediately after your initial cards have been dealt. It ultimately depends on the hand you’re dealt.

Below, we break down the three scenarios when doubling down is most beneficial.

On a Hard 9 or 10

It may be a good time to double your bet if you have a hand with a 9 or 10 card (and no ace). However, it’s also vital that the dealer shows a low card. In that case, you’re in a good position because there’s a significant chance you’ll be dealt a higher-valued card than theirs.

If Cards Total 11

You may consider doubling down when your hand totals 11. Depending on the round’s development and cards already in play, a third card may very well bring your overall total close to 21, if not bang on the magic number itself.

On a Soft 16, 17 or 18

If your hand includes an ace and boasts a combined value of 16-18, you may go through, but only progress if the dealer shows a face card or 7-10.

At this stage, the dealer may have a 10-valued hole card. You run the risk of going bust, but it’s better to try and improve your hand. However, when the dealer’s upcard is a 2-6, basic Blackjack strategy advises you to stand and let the dealer bust.

When Do You Not Double Down in Blackjack?

When Do You Not Double Down in Blackjack

Watch out for these blackjack scenarios and avoid going bust. Think your moves through before deciding on doubling down.

Blackjack pros are aware that sometimes you should act defensively and rather withdraw what you’ve got than risk further.

Never Double your Wager if the Dealer Has an Ace

If the dealer is presenting an ace, the chance of landing a blackjack is high. Even if they don’t reach 21, their hand will likely get extremely close. In this situation, the house is at a significant advantage.

Avoid Doubling Down if Your Hand is Higher Than 11

If your hand totals 11 or higher, it’s best to stick with the cards you have and avoid tempting fate. Should you call for another card, you will likely go bust. In this situation, the best advice is to stick with your current cards and hope the dealer goes bust.

Things to Watch Out for When Doubling Down in Blackjack

Things to Watch Out for When Doubling Down in Blackjack

  1. Consider doubling down if your starting total is 11 and the dealer shows a low card.
  2. Avoid it when the dealer’s upcard is an ace.
  3. Think about it if you have a soft hand totalling 16-18.
  4. Never act without considering the dealers’ up card.
  5. Proceed when in a strong position and if the dealer has a low-value up card.
  6. Do not proceed if your hand totals 11, as the risk of going bust is high.

Double Down Signals in Blackjack

Double Down Signals in Blackjack
Source: sandiegouniontribune.com

Hand gestures are a staple part of any casino table game. However, unlike other casino favourites, blackjack gestures are few and far between. There’s only one gesture you need to get to grips with when it comes to doubling down.

Should you decide you have a good hand, all you need to do is slide a stack of chips representing your double stake into position alongside your starting bet. This bet needs to be identical in value to your initial bet.

This gesture may not always work in some cases, especially if you’re playing with an inexperienced dealer. If your hand signal goes unnoticed, instruct the dealer about your wish to double your bet. As you tell them this, use one finger to point to their hand to let them know you’re waiting on a third card.

Are there any hand gestures in online blackjack?

When you play online, particularly in live dealer situations, hand gestures are replaced with designated betting areas in the game window. You ‘drag’ your chips with the aid of your mouse. Things are no different in virtual table games.

You may receive bonuses suited for blackjack titles as casino chips. They’re sometimes marked as ‘golden chips’ or otherwise in your stack of chips, so make sure you select the suitable chips if you want to place your bonus chips. In cases where the bonus is granted as cashback, it should go straight into your balance.

Blackjack Double Down Strategy – A Visual Chart

Blackjack Double Down Strategy – A Visual Chart

Are you still struggling to wrap your head around the concept of doubling down? Refer to the chart and see when it’s best to call for a third card and double your stake.

Blackjack Double Down – The Verdict

Doubling down can prove a profitable venture for players brave enough to take the risk. If you’re having a bad run of luck with cards, doubling down can pull you out of a rut and make or break your session. Stick to an expert-approved blackjack strategy to secure the best chance of a return.

With that in mind, you should always be wary of your bankroll. You may feel confident in your hand. Still, there’s a possibility the cards won’t have it your way, so ask yourself if you’re comfortable with losing twice your original bet. Make responsible decisions in your blackjack sessions, both online and offline.