Blackjack Odds: Doubling Down

There are several strategies that you can use to get the most winnings from blackjack, but doubling down is one of the best and most profitable of these strategies. In its most basic sense, doubling down simply means doubling down on the bet you made after your first two cards are dealt with. You will then be given one more card which you can use to get your best hand possible in that particular situation.

Depending on the casino’s in-house rules, doubling down is allowed on any two cards you can get, but some establishments only allow doubling down if you either have a 10 or an 11 in your starting hand. While many blackjack players are afraid to double down and prevent the risk of losing twice their bets, doubling down can be really profitable and players should take advantage whenever the perfect situation calls for it – and the following can show you how.

When to Double Down in Blackjack

Many people think that the primary object of blackjack is to hit 21 without going over and get the best returns for their bet. This is not necessarily so as the real goal in blackjack is to beat the dealer’s hand and it would be more profitable to do so whenever you double down. You can double down according to the amount of your original bet or less, but not more. The question that would arise would be – when should you double down?

The basic situation for doubling down is when you are dealt with a 10 or 11 total with your first two cards while the dealer’s up card is only 4, 5 or 6. The logic behind this is that you are in favor of getting a 10-valued card which signifies a bigger chance of being a winner and win double your original bet. If you get a card less than 10, you are still in a favorable position as the dealer still needs to make a hit with his hand and has a big possibility to break.

When the dealer’s up card is a 10-valued card, it is not advisable to double down as the odds are in the dealer’s favor and he has a big possibility of getting a total of 20. You can end up losing twice what you bet for. The idea for doubling down stems from the aim of trying to win more money when the situation calls for it: when you have a favorable card while the dealer have cards with a higher percentage to bust, as shown in the chart below:

Dealer’s Up card 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ace
Bust Percentage 35 37 40 42 42 26 24 23 23 17

How to Double Down

The following describes how you can double down and the preparation required to master this strategy and use it successfully whenever the situation calls for it.

* Preparation

• It is vital that you learn the basic rules and strategies of blackjack
• Practice – at home, online, or a simulation program – to gain the skills and experience before heading out to a live blackjack game

* Considerations

• When doubling down, you will only get one more card and cannot hit again
• House rules per casino vary on how they allow doubling down
• Whenever the situation is favorable for doubling down – go for it!

* Procedures and Strategies

• Double down with a hard 11. This is the most powerful doubling down hand. You can double down against all dealer up cards when you are playing a single deck game. If you are playing a multiple deck game, you can double down on any dealer’s up card except when it is an Ace or 11

• Double down with a hard 10 and the dealer does not have an ace or 10-valued card as an up card. This strategy can be used in both single and multiple-decked games.
• Double down with a hard 9 when the dealer’s up card is between 3 to 6. The dealer has a greater probability to go bust. You should not double up against all other up cards and you should draw.
• Doubling down with an 8 in a single deck game when the dealer’s up card is 5 or 6. Do not use this strategy for multiple decked games
• Double down with a soft hand when the dealer’s up card is between 3 to 6

While others may see doubling down as risky, good blackjack players see this as an opportunity to increase their winnings. However, you should master the charts and various situations that will indicate to you when it would be the perfect time to double down. Doing so will increase you chances of winning – and get the most profit from your game of blackjack.