Doubling down is one of the most satisfying and potentially profitable moves in blackjack – however, there are only a few situations where it makes sense. As blackjack relies on strategy, you need to use this move wisely to get the upper hand over the dealer and give yourself the best chance of winning a hand.
Unlike poker, where you have the ability to raise multiple times during a hand, blackjack only allows the player to double their bet after the initial two cards have been dealt. It’s at this point that a player must decide whether they are in the right position to double down.
What hands are worth doubling down?
There are only three situations where it makes sense to double down. The first is when you have been dealt a “hard” nine and the dealer has a pair of low cards. You can make a hard nine with two numbered cards with combinations such as 3-6 and 2-7 but not an ace. Because the dealer is showing a lower total here, this is an excellent time to double your bet.
The second is arguably the most popular move for blackjack players at the best NJ Online Casino, when you have two cards that add up to a total of eleven. By doubling down here, you have a chance of making “blackjack” with a ten card, which can be any of the picture cards or a ten. Getting a score of 21 is the aim and betting here gives you a chance of doing just that.
Perhaps more importantly, doubling down on eleven means you won’t go bust. If you decide to act with a total of 12, 13 or 14, for example, there is more of a risk of that happening. This is also a good time to double down if the dealer’s face-up card is lower as it will essentially be a “free hit” to increase your score.
The third and final scenario comes when a player has a “soft” 16, 17 or 18. Soft hands in blackjack are defined as any with an ace. Aces can count as either one or eleven depending on the hand. This versatility is beneficial for players and it actually gives you a greater chance of hitting 21 or getting nearer to that number.
When is it most likely to pay off?
For all the different situations where doubling down is viable, it is also important to take the dealer’s cards into account. When the dealer’s card is of lower value than yours, it is generally always a good idea to double down in each of the three scenarios.
Overall, doubling down is most likely to pay off when you have an ace in your hand and a higher total than a dealer, who should ideally not have an ace. In this situation, doubling down is the most profitable decision in the long term. In contrast, when a dealer has an ace and your hand is higher than 11, you should opt against doubling down. By following these rules, you can be more successful playing blackjack online.