How to Double Down In Blackjack

Morten
27 January 2023
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Blackjack is one of the most popular card games in the UK gaming industry. It was formerly known as Vinght-et-un or 21, and is played by one or more punters. Unlike other card games, each person plays against the dealer or house with the aim being to get a score higher than the dealer’s but not above 21.

Blackjack is available in all top UK casinos, either brick and mortar or online, and played using one or card decks, with the most common type being the 6-deck or 8-deck “shoe”.

Blackjack rules

In Blackjack, 13 different cards are of utmost importance, four of which are ten-value cards( ten, Jack, Queen, and King) and an Ace that could pass for a “one” or “eleven”, depending on what the holder needs. The other cards carry the value of the number written on them. If you score higher than 21, it is called a bust. This means you win nothing while you lose your chips. However, you should double down if you have a higher chance of winning after being dealt the first two cards.

Doubling down in blackjack means increasing your stake by 100%, which doubles your original stake if the score is higher than the dealer’s. This article takes a closer look at what doubling down in blackjack entails. If you want to learn more about blackjack rules, head on to our complete guide.

Double down in Blackjack

To double down in blackjack means to double your bet or to increase it by 100% during a hand, after which you can only be dealt one more card. You are only allowed to double down after receiving your first two cards. Generally, players are not allowed to do this after getting a blackjack, a hit, or after placing an insurance bet. Fortunately, you can double down countless times during a game of blackjack, though only once per round.

To sum up, players can double down:

  • After receiving their first two cards
  • Only once per round

Players are NOT ALLOWED to double down:

  • After placing an insurance bet
  • After getting a blackjack
  • After a hit

This is one of the best bets in the game, but it is only logical that a blackjack player will double down if they have a feeling of scoring higher than the dealer or winning the game. Because the number of cards in blackjack is known, punters can calculate the possibility of winning in order to have an idea of when to double their bets.

Nothing is for sure, but players get a hint when they are likely to win. Therefore, the game offers the option to stake higher in exchange for receiving just one card if you are certain of beating the dealer or getting closest to 21 without a bust.

When to Double Down in Blackjack?

It is essential to know when to double down in a game of blackjack. Apt timing is key to being profitable with this bet. Below are scenarios in a blackjack game where it is logical to double down.

When your cards add up to 11

This means you are likely to get a 21 or a number close to 21. So you not only get a chance at the lucky number, but you are also at an advantage of beating the dealer’s score without a bust.

When you have a soft 16, 17, or 18

A soft 16, 17, or 18 means you have an ace included in that score. This is a good time to double down, especially when the dealer shows a card of lesser value. Sometimes it could be enough (in the case of a soft 18) to win, so you might want to stay as you are. But with the possibility of getting closer to 21, you should double down.

When you have a hard 9 or 10

A “hard” means you have a hand without an ace, and it is only logical if the dealer shows a lower card. If you have a very high card, you definitely have the advantage.
It is good you know that doubling down will not always come out positive but has proven to increase winnings over time, so be patient and strategic if you intend to increase your payout.

When Should You Not Double Down?

It is good to know when to double down and, even better, to know when not to do this. As a rule, if the dealer shows an ace, never double down. This is because the chances of them getting a blackjack (21) are high, and even when the dealer does not get a blackjack in this case, chances are high that they will reveal a total score closest to 21.

It is unwise to double down when you are already showing a card higher than 11 because your chances of getting a bust (above 21) are high. Generally, do not choose this option if you are unsure of blackjack to avoid unnecessary loss. Stick with the safe option of keeping your bet as it is.

How To Signal Double Down In Blackjack

Signalling a double down during a round of BlackJack is pretty easy. Simply push a stack of chips near those representing your original bet. This stack should carry the same value as your initial bet to notify the dealer that you have raised your stake by 100%. Another way to signal a double down is to tell the dealer you want to double and indicate you want just one more card by showing a single finger.

Can You Double Down After Splitting?

Most online casinos do not permit customers to double down after splitting. Splitting in blackjack is an option you get when your first two-card hand includes two cards of equal value. This option is to take each card as separate hands while you get an additional card for both. It is possible that you find some casinos that allow you to double down after a split; however, they are not common. If the casino permits it, use the same strategy as a normal double-down.

Can You Double Down After A Hit?

A hit in Blackjack is when you request an extra card from the dealer during a round. It can be done either verbally or by tapping the table. No casinos allow their customers to double down after a hit in a game of blackjack because it gives the customer a higher advantage over the house and other players. You cannot perform any actions after a hit, so do not be alarmed if it is not possible to double your stake or insure your bet.

Conclusion

Doubling down in Blackjack provides the opportunity of leaving the casino with a high payout. Many players are too timid to double down in blackjack because they are afraid of losing their chips, however, it is about finding the right balance. You should only double down when you are sure of winning the game.

There are blackjack strategies to help guide your decision, some of which are highlighted in the article. Before playing blackjack at an online casino, read the terms and conditions to know if they permit customers to double down after a split or not.

Author Morten

After being a recreational gambler for over 10 years, my professional gambling career started at LeoVegas in January 2019. I am now Head of SEO & Content at Casinogrounds, responsible for what you read on UKCasino.com, Casinogrounds.com, and Casinoscores.com.