Blackjack is the classic card game that is a popular option in most land-based and online casinos. In this tabletop game, players aim for the magic number 21 without losing. Blackjack is also one of the two skill-based online casino games. If you do not have the skill to play the game, the house or other players will usually whittle you down. One of the most successful blackjack strategies is to Double Down.
What is Double Down in Blackjack
As the name implies, doubling down in blackjack is an exciting move that allows players to double their bets in active hands. In return, the player in question gets an extra card and then they must stand. While it may be risky to deal a low card, it can also increase the overall payout.
That’s why the next section will discuss when the best time to double down in blackjack is. It’s all about striking a balance between risk and safety.
When to Double Down
In blackjack, a player can only double down after being dealt two cards. If this happens, you should take advantage of the three doubling opportunities. These opportunities allow the player to create a better hand than the dealer without going broke.
The three double down opportunities in blackjack are
1 – When you have a card total of 11
This is undoubtedly a great opportunity to Double Down. With a hand total of 11, the chances of getting an extra card up to 21 or anything closer to it are very high. If you don’t play blackjack, you will get 20, 19 or 18 points and with any of these hands, you can win the tournament.
2 – When you have a soft 18, 17 or 16
A soft hand is a hand with an Ace and another card on it, the Ace card counts as 1 or 11. Soft hands are very beneficial because the player can adjust the hand total accordingly. When your hand shows a soft 16, 17 or 18, consider doubling down. But don’t double down too quickly unless the dealer’s face-up card is low (2 to 6).
3 – When your card total is a hard 10 or 9
A hard blackjack hand is the exact opposite of a soft hand. Here you have a hand with no aces, and if you find yourself in a tough 9 or 10, then this is a great opportunity to double down. The dealer’s face cards should be 2 through 6. The problem is that the dealer has to play to 17, so they may bust.
When to avoid Doubling Down
There are certain blackjack situations where a player cannot double down even at gunpoint.
1 – When the dealer has an Ace
Having aces can be exciting for blackjack players. But it is also true for dealers. If the dealer shows an ace, the odds of hitting blackjack with the next card are definitely in their favor. So don’t have any temptation to double your bet.
2 – When you show anything bigger than 11
If your hand total is greater than 11, then your chances of going bust are high. Unfortunately, most players overlook this moment due to the excitement of the game. Instead of doubling down with a hand over 11, pray that the dealer goes bust.
Can I double down after a hit or split
Hitting and splitting are common strategies in blackjack. A hit is taking an extra card until you reach or exceed 21. In other words, you can hit as many times as you want. On the other hand, if the first two cards have the same face value, the player can split. However, the dealer usually does not allow players to double down after a hit, as this would greatly increase their advantage over the dealer. In addition, most casinos do not allow doubling after a split.
Blackjack is a game full of twists and turns. Fortunately, the Double Down strategy can give you an edge over the house. It’s just a matter of mastering the art of when to use it. But even so, know that the house edge always wins. So don’t get your hopes up. If you are just starting your journey and trying to understand how to play, we suggest you read further.