When to Double Down in Blackjack?

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When to Double Down in Blackjack?

You can double down when the cards sum to 11 because the probability of hitting 21 is high. Even if you don’t, you are still likely to have a score that’s close to this number. You can also double down when there is a soft 18, 17, or 16, which means you have a card and an ace. Generally, you should double down only if the dealer shows a lower card.

Doubling down is a thrilling move to pull off in a game of Blackjack. It’s a way to make twice as much profit without much effort. The act of doubling down, referred to as “reaching deep” by the pit bosses is a true gamble. Timid casino-goers might avoid the double bet at all costs while more adventurous players might make it way too often. I’m going to tell you what doubling down is, when to double down, when to split, which hands you should split, and so on.

Neha Surana

Written by Neha Surana

Updated on April 24, 2023

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There are three scenarios when placing double down bets is ideal in blackjack:

  • When the cards sum to 11: The probability of hitting 21 is high. Even if you don’t, you are still likely to have a score that’s close to this number.
  • When there is a soft 18, 17, or 16: This means you have a card and an ace. Generally, you should double down only if the dealer shows a lower card.
  • When you hold a hard 10 or 9: “Hard” is the hand without an ace. Again double down only if the dealer shows a lower card.

What does doubling down actually mean:

  • Doubling down is when you can bet up to the full amount of your original.
  • You can double down for less than your full bet or go as much as your original bet.
  • Whether you bet the full amount or you double for less, you’re only going to get one hit card if you decide to double down.

Increase your odds against the house by using this blackjack strategy and most importantly, find a way to make money every single time a bet is placed.

What hands should you definitely double down on.

  • The prime hands are the four hands that you will want to double down every single time regardless of what the dealer’s up card is.
  • According to the rule of eleven, if you don’t have an ace in your hand and your two cards equal 11, you always want to double down.
  • If you have an ace, it means you either have a 21 or you want to go ahead and hit because that’s going to be your best odds.

Know the subprime hands, which is also known as the rule of 10.

  • First, look at the dealer’s up card before deciding to double down.
  • If the dealer does not have an ace or a face card (being king queen Jack or 10), then you should double down with four hands. Doing this will put the odds in your favor.
  • If the dealer does have an ace or a face card, just hit. But if the odds aren’t in your favor, then beat the dealer and not push the dealer.

Splitting While Doubling Down

Splitting is when you can take your hand with your two cards and you can make it into two hands. Remember to have a pair in order to split, but there are some pairs you don’t want to split.

Just remember that with splitting, you’ll have to make the exact same bet for the second hand you made originally on your first hand.

So, if you bet $20 on your first hand and you got a pair and you want to split them, you have to bet $20 on your second hand as well in order to split.

Unlike double down, splitting isn’t limited to just one hit card. You can continue to hit on each of these new hands and you can keep hitting on those until you’re ready to hold.

If you make 11 with either of these hands then you would want to double down as we discussed previously and that’s where you would be combining the strategy of doubling down with splitting, and that really puts the odds in your favor.

Let’s talk about splitting which hands you can and should split. First of all, as we said earlier, remember you have to have a pocket pair in order to split and while you can split any pocket pair you shouldn’t necessarily split any pocket pair.

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Pocket pairs that aren’t good for splitting are:

  • King-King
  • Queen-Queen
  • Jack-Jack
  • 10-10

These hands are not a good idea to split because they already add up to 20 and your odds of beating the dealer are too good, so you don’t want to split them and decrease your odds.

Also, there are some pairs that are risky depending on the dealer’s up card which you may or may not want to split.

There are two scenarios where you should split every time regardless of the dealer’s up card.

  • 8-8
  • Ace-ace

If you split these cards, every time you will increase your odds against the house, so no questions asked.

If you get an 8-8 or you get an ace-ace, no matter what the dealer has up to, split them always to increase your odds at blackjack.

In a nutshell, doubling down is a fantastic blackjack strategy. But, your opportunism needs to be informed by one of the situations we’ve just gone through.

If you don’t double down when you’ve got the best chance to turn a profit the house is most likely going to take your cash.

If, however, you pay attention and choose your moments carefully you might step away from the table with a smile on your face and a heavier wallet.

A player can double down by adding to his bet and signalling one pointed finger.

When doubling down a player only gets one card and has to stay. The double down usually only happens when a player’s first two cards equal nine, ten, or eleven. In case the player and dealer come to a tie, such a situation is known as a push.

The player will keep his original bet and the dealer is forced to hit if his first two cards equal sixteen or less the dealer has to stay if his first two cards equal seventeen or more the round begins with each player placing a bet.

A game of blackjack can be played in a profitable manner without too much requirement of luck. I don’t mean to say luck doesn’t play a part, but you can always take the rein in your hands. What is needed is an intelligent brain, alertness, and just a few prayers.

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