Due to the simplicity of the rules, style of play, and low house edge, Blackjack quickly became one of the most popular casino games.
Even though blackjack might appear as a simple game based on its rules, it still involves many different strategies that can help you increase your winnings. You can click here to find out a complete list of strategies to increase your chances.
One of the most thrilling moves in Blackjack is doubling down. Doubling down is a move that allows you to double your bet in the middle of the hand in exchange for one extra card. It is a risky move that is very rewarding, but at the same time, it can empty your budget since if you receive a particularly low second card, you are not allowed to hit again.
That’s why it is important to find the balance between safe and adventurous play by choosing the right time for doubling down.
How to Know When to Double Down?
Even though blackjack is a game that requires skill, at the end of the day, it is still a game of chance where mathematical probability can be calculated. Based on professional players’ opinions and what’s history of the game has told us so far, there are three best situations for doubling down.
All of these positions have the best chance for you to end up with a high hand, and statistically, the dealer will end up with the losing hand.
Soft 16 to 18 Against the Dealer’s Low Cards
If you have an Ace and 5,6 or 7 giving you a ‘soft’ hand of 16 to 29, and the dealer shows a card from 2 to 6, it is the perfect time to double your bet. With an ace and a lower card from 2 to 4, it is better to just hit, since your winning chances are lower than the previous example.
Hard 9 Against the Dealer’s Low Cards
When you have a total of 9 in your hand, and the dealer’s upcard shows a number below 7 (not including the Ace), it is a great time to double down. Having a hard 9 with no Ace can is statistically proven to be a great time to double down. So, combinations 2-7, 3-6, and 4-5 with the dealer’s upcard between 2 and 6 can give you a high chance of winning.
Hard 10 or 11 against Any Lower Deale Card
There is no better place to be than with a hand of 10 or 11. A hand where any two cards, not including an ace, that make 10 or 11 dictates a great time to double down, especially if the dealer has a lower total.
Having a 10 or 11 starting pair puts you in a great position since the chances of you receiving another 10 valued cards are very high.
Pay Attention to the Rules
Even though Blackjack is a game with few simple rules that are easy to follow, there are still some differences between games played at different casinos. This can affect your decision-making and possibly change your style of play when it comes to doubling down.
That’s why it is important to browse through the rulebook of the casino and find out about some changes they might have made. Some casinos don’t allow you to double on soft hands (with an Ace) for example.
Additionally, players are not allowed to hit and then to double down. Doubling down is an option that is only available after the two cards are dealt with by the dealer.
Doubling down is a great and highly rewarding strategy that can massively boost your winnings. However, it should only be used in moderation and when the chances of winning are high.
With that said, doubling down is a highly used strategy nowadays, but most of the time people don’t calculate the best time to make such a move. By choosing the best time (high and promising hand) doubling down can be highly beneficial, but it is important that you have a clear understanding of the strategies we mentioned in this article. Doubling down is the best way to increase your winnings, but only if used at the right time.