Doubling down in blackjack is an option offered to players once the cards are dealt and can be a profitable move if done correctly. The concept is simple, and it involves placing a new bet equal to the player’s original wager in exchange for just one additional card. The extra card boosts the player’s winnings if the hand is strong enough to beat the dealer. Despite its simplicity, it’s easy for novice blackjack players to misunderstand what the double down means and use the option incorrectly. To prevent this, we’ve put together this article to explain what double down is and how to utilize it in a casino game of blackjack.
In a standard game of blackjack, the player is only allowed to double down once per deal after receiving two cards. The dealer then deals a single additional card to the player and the blackjack game is played out. This option is commonly available at land-based casinos as well as online and is a great way to increase the value of your initial bet when you have a strong hand.
When to Double Down
There are some situations where doubling down in blackjack can be a good idea, but only when the dealer has a weak hole card. This could be a card that is low in value, such as a four or six, as the dealer will likely draw again and go bust. If the dealer’s hole card is an ace, it is not a good time to double down because they are much more likely to get blackjack and win the game for you.
Another good time to double down is when you hold a total of eleven and the dealer has a weak card, such as a three or a six. This is a chance to make your hand stronger by adding a card and hopefully improving it to 21. However, you should avoid doubling down on any total under 11 because this is almost always a losing play.
How to Double Down
To double down in blackjack, the player must first place a stack of chips next to their initial bet and then indicate their desire to do so by making a hand signal with one finger. If the dealer doesn’t understand this sign, they can usually be told to simply push a stack of additional chips on top of their initial wager. If this is not possible, the player can also use a hand gesture that signals they only want one additional card.
A player can also double down after splitting a pair of cards in blackjack, but this is not as common and is only recommended when the dealer has a weak hole card. The reason for this is that the dealer will likely pick up a blackjack with the second card, which will make your initial hand much weaker and make it more difficult to beat the house. Doubling down after splitting is a good strategy to employ in tournament situations where you need to improve your chances of finishing in the money.