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Blackjack Strategy: When To Double Down On A Bet

Doubling down is one of many blackjack strategies

Doubling down is a risky move that many experienced blackjack players will have used at least once (and not to mention a few inexperienced players too). It’s a bold decision that can net you considerable reward — when done right. When done at the wrong time with the wrong hand, it could mean game over for you. But what is doubling down, and when is the best time to use it?

What is doubling down in blackjack?

Doubling down is when a player chooses to double their initial wager after collecting their first two cards. The rule of doubling down depend on the casino and the game you’re playing, but in general the dealer will ask if you want to double down after the first two cards have been dealt.

Once a player has doubled down, they are dealt one additional card and place a further bet that either matches or is slightly less than their original bet. Their turn is now over, and they cannot make any more moves.

If they beat the dealer with the third card, then their bet is matched and they win the pot.

How do I double down in a casino?

In an online casino, the blackjack game you’re playing will give you the option of doubling down. However, in a real casino you will need to show this yourself. The generally accepted way of doubling down in a casino is by placing another stack of chips that is equal to or less than your initial wager next to it.

Remember though: if you are doubling down a pair, you need to let the dealer know that you are doubling down rather than splitting a pair. To do this, simply say the words “double” or “double down” when you place your bet.

What is splitting a pair?

Splitting a pair involves literally splitting two cards of the same value into two separate hands and doubling your bet. This gives you two chances to win or lose. Each hand is played as normal, but knowing when the best time to split a pair can be the difference between beating the dealer or losing.

When should I double down in blackjack?

So you know what a blackjack double down is. But when should you use it? As a rule, there are three circumstances in which doubling down is statistically most advantageous to the player.

Hard 10/11 vs. any lower dealer card

If you are dealt a 10 or 11, this immediately puts you in a strong position. A hard hard is any hand that doesn’t include an ace, and so the hands that would make up a hard 10 or 11 would be:

  • 2-8
  • 2-9
  • 3-7
  • 3-8
  • 4-6
  • 4-7
  • 5-6

If the dealer’s cards total less than your hard 10 or 11, it’s time to double down.

Hard 9 vs. low dealer cards

If the dealer has given you two cards that total 9 without an ace, you’ve been dealt a hard 9. This hand could be one of the following combinations:

  • 2-7
  • 3-6
  • 4-5

If the dealer then shows any card below 7 excluding the ace, double down. If you’re dealt a soft 9 (i.e. an ace and an 8), do not double down.

Soft 16-18 vs. low dealer cards

If you have been dealt a soft 16-18, then you should double down. This hand would consist of an ace and either a 5, 6 or a 7. If the dealer shows any card between and including 2 to 6, it’s worth doubling your bet.

Now you know the basics of doubling down, go to OnlineCasinos.co.uk and find the perfect blackjack table for you to get practising and reap the rewards of your new knowledge! You never know, you could bag yourself a tidy pot...

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