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Blackjack Strategy: When to Double Down in Blackjack?

Blackjack Strategy: When to Double Down in Blackjack?

When playing Blackjack, there are several wagering options for you to choose from. And one of them is the Blackjack double down option. As a player, knowing when to go with the Blackjack double option and when to refrain from using it is crucial. Continue reading as we explain to you when you should and shouldn’t double down in Blackjack.

What is doubling down in Blackjack?

Before explaining to you when you should and shouldn’t use the double down option, it’s important to cover some Blackjack basics first. In any standard Blackjack game, your main objective is to have a hand total that’s exactly 21 or the closest to it. As for the Blackjack card values, numbered cards carry the value that’s printed on them and picture cards are valued as 10 in Blackjack. Depending on your chosen Blackjack variant, the Ace card can be valued as either 1 or 11.

When playing Blackjack, 21 is the best possible value you can have. But it isn’t strictly the only value one needs to have. For many experienced players, it’s all about getting a hand total that’s higher than that of the dealer. After all, it allows them to win the game without getting a perfect score of 21.

And this is the point where doubling down can help you, though it won’t reduce your Blackjack odds. When you double down, you place a bet that’s double the size of your initial stake to receive one more card. Then your hand total is calculated by adding the value of your initial hand and the additional card’s value.

It’s worth noting that your hand will get over once you double down in Blackjack. Also, doubling down on a low hand total increases your risk of losing an amount that’s double of what you’d lose in a regular Blackjack round.

When you should double down in Blackjack?

Below are some of the instances when you would want to use the double down option in Blackjack:

Dealer has a weak hand

The first instance when you should use the Blackjack double down option is when the dealer seems to have a weak hand. According to Blackjack experts, the dealer is likely to have a weak hand if the value of their face-up card is 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6.

Soft 16, 17 or 18

In Blackjack, a hand that is made up of an Ace and some other card is referred to as soft hand. And having a soft 16, 17 or 18 is another good time to double down in Blackjack. This is because there’s a good chance of you improving your hand with a single card. Again, you must only double down here if the dealer is showing a weak hand.

Cards total 11

As a Blackjack player, you’d want to double down when your initial hand value is 11. Here, getting a 10 on the additional card would help you in getting a Blackjack (exact hand value of 21). And even if don’t get a Blackjack, you’ll still have a better hand than the one you had before doubling down.

Hard 9 or 10

When playing Blackjack at our online casino UK, a hard hand is the hand that doesn’t consist of an Ace. If you happen to have a hard 9 or 10, it’s a good opportunity to double down. Here, you won’t go bust even if you get the highest valued card. And drawing any other card will help you in having a better hand.

When you shouldn’t double down in Blackjack

Doubling down isn’t always the best move to make in Blackjack. Below are the times when you must avoid using the Blackjack double down option:

Dealer has an Ace

Based on the player and Blackjack dealer rules for your chosen variation, the value of the Ace card can be either 1 or 11. This flexibility in value makes Ace a great card to have in Blackjack. As such, you should avoid doubling down if the dealer has got an Ace card.

A hard hand that’s higher than 11

When playing Blackjack, you lose your bet if the value of your hand exceeds 21. And drawing an extra card by doubling down on a hand that higher than 11 increases your chances of you losing the bet (going bust).

Summing Up

All in all, doubling down is an interesting move to make in Blackjack. Hopefully, our article has given you a clear idea about when you should and shouldn’t go with the double down option. If you want to know more about the introduction of this wagering option in Blackjack, you should check our comprehensive article on Blackjack history. Have an entertaining Blackjack experience there!