For the grammatically correct, doubling down makes no sense, but for blackjack players doubling down is quite a favourable option.
If you are wanting to use doubling down to your advantage it is important to locate a title with this rule in place. To help you out we have mentioned a few titles which permit players to double down below which you can play online. But for now read on to find out when the best times to double are.
What does it mean to double down?
Doubling down is an option which you can take after the dealer has dealt you your two cards and dealt themselves two cards — with one facing up and one concealed. If you choose to double down you will be able to place another bet equivalent of up to your initial bet in exchange for only being allowed to receive one more card.
It is like hitting, but you are placing more money on the bet and your bet concludes after you choose to double down. By using the basic blackjack strategy chart which has been created via statistics you are able to figure out when exactly you should perform a certain action. The basic strategy chart won’t ensure a certain win but it will help determining when it is the best time, in terms of statistics, to double down.
Best cards to double down on in blackjack
We have seen it all before, crazy folk doubling down on less than strong hands, which often ends in tears for the punter. When should you double down? Basic strategy suggests the best time to double down is when your first two cards amount to a hard nine, 10, or 11.
Hard nine – When your hand amounts to a hard nine it is recommended to compare the dealer’s revealed card. If they are holding a bust card of three, four, five, or a six, then is recommended to double down, while a two sees the chart advising players to hit instead. This is based on the common variations which are played with four to eight decks.
Hard 10 – A hand amounting to 10 sees players being advised to double down if the dealer has an up card of anything from two to nine, but hit if they have a 10 or an Ace. Perhaps the best time to double down is when a player has a hand totalling 11. For the variation featuring the rule that the dealer has to stand of a soft 17, players are recommended to double down on any up card a dealer may have except for an Ace. If the title allows the dealer to peek to see if they have blackjack, it can be a good indication they don’t have 21 if they have an Ace as their up card and the game continues. This will also help decide if you want to double down when they have an Ace despite the chart.
What is soft doubling with the rule of nine?
On blackjack strategy charts there is rarely an indication as what to do when you you have a soft hand featuring an Ace and a second low card. This is where the ‘Rule of Nine’ enters to help where the basic strategy chart doesn’t. Players who have a soft hand with an Ace and a card which values anything from two to seven should double down, however this is dependant on the dealer’s up card.
For those with an eight or above, players should not double down. In order to determine whether or not players should double down with an Ace and a card from two to seven, we need to add the amount of the dealer’s up card to the amount of your card that isn’t the Ace. If the sum of the two cards is nine or greater, it is advised to double down, while if it is less than nine it is recommended players hit instead. However there are scenarios when this rule will not work including when the dealer is showing a two, a seven or higher.
When to never double down
It is important to know when not to double down as the idea of doubling your winnings can seem quite enticing and take away common sense. By learning when you should never double down you are ensuring you won’t lose more than you were initially prepared to lose.
Never double down on;
- Any pair unless it is two fives. For this pair double down rather than split them even if the dealer is showing a bust card. However don’t double down on the pair of five if the dealer is showing a 10 or an Ace.
- A soft 19 or 20.
- A hand which is able to bust with just one additional card.
Can I double down after I split?
Some titles of blackjack offer the option to double down even after splitting and the basic strategy chart features when exactly to do so. It is recommended to split after doubling down in these cases;
- Pairs of twos and threes if the dealer has an up card of two or three.
- Pais of fours if the dealer has an up card of five or six.
- Pairs of sixes if the dealer has an up card of two.
What online blackjack titles allow the double down rule?
Atlantic City Blackjack – Follows standard game play of traditional blackjack but a hand can be split up to three times and double down is permitted after players split a pair.
European Blackjack – Played with two decks and no hole card, players can only double down on a nine, 10, or an 11. Players can only split their cards once and they cannot double down after a split.
Vegas Downtown Blackjack – Similar game play to European Blackjack but players are allowed to split up to three times, but only once with Aces. Doubling down after splitting is accepted.
Vegas Strip Blackjack – Similar game play to Atlantic City Blackjack but is played with four decks instead of the eight and doubling down is only accepted on two cards, with a double down also accepted after splitting.