Sitting at your favourite blackjack table and getting dealt. Do you double down and hope for a ten or face card or do you play it safe and just say “hit me” leaving an option open to ask for another card afterward. Doubling down is an exciting move to make when playing blackjack but there are times when you should not double down. If you play your cards right doubling down can be profitable or else it will increase your risk. Doubling down means you only get one card. If you get a low card you cannot say “hit me” again. You are stuck with what you are dealt with.
It is very essential to know when you should or should not double-down during a game of blackjack. You need to get the balance right between taking the risk and playing it safe, and this sounds much easier than done when you are in the middle of a game.
When should I Double down?
Although there are a variety of times that you can double down during a game of blackjack there are three specific times that are recommended.
If you have a soft 16, 17, or 18, which means that you have an ace plus another card you should double down. An ace can be played as a 1 or 11. The point to remember is that you should only double down when the dealer has a low upcard. If you have a soft 18 you may decide to stay but if you select another card you will not bust but you can increase your chance of improving your hand
If your cards have a total and the dealer has a six or lower showing. The reason is that you have a great chance of hitting 21 without going over and can get closer to the magic number 21. The dealer has to keep going until they reach 17 so there is a chance that they will go over or bust.
If you have a hard 9 or 10, which means that you do not have an ace. The dealer should be showing a card of six or lower for you to double down.
The best opportunity to beat the dealer is when they have an upcard of 2 to 6 because if they have to hit with any of these up cards they are more likely to bust.
Although you may not always have things going your way, then if you use the doubling down strategy perfectly, it will increase your edge against the house.
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Not a good idea to double down
When considering doubling down remember that you should not automatically double down if you have an 11. It may be tempting to do that but before you do, look at what the dealer is showing. If the dealer is showing a 10-value card, an ace, or even a 9 there is a great chance that they have a high chance of getting a good total. This decreases the odds of you winning.
If the dealer is showing an ace do not double down, no matter what cards you have. The chances of the dealer getting a blackjack are too high and even if they do not get a blackjack, the dealer could get a total close to 20.
You should never consider it if you are showing anything that is higher than an 11 because the chances of being busted are very high. That is too much a risk to take because you could bust. It is smarter to stick on a lower total or just simply hit and then hope that the dealer busts.
Signalling double down in a brick and mortar
The simple way for a player to signal double down is to push a stack of chips next to your bet but has to be of equal value to the regular bit. This generally works 99% of the time but if for some reason it does not just tell the dealer of your intention of doubling down, and then point with one finger to let the dealer know that you want one more card. When you push the chips in do not put them on top of your initial bet. This could signal that you have tampered with your initial bet and that is frowned upon.
Doubling down – what to look for
The most important thing to look for is the rules for the casino. They will tell if doubling down is allowed. Many casinos will only allow a player to double down if they are showing 10 or 11. You should also look to see the value the dealer has to hit up to because this will help you see how likely they are to bust. In most casinos, the dealer has to hit up to 17 but some only say 16 so if that is the case the chances that they will go over 21 lessen. The more likely they are to bust or go over 21 the more you should consider making a double down bet.
When the dealer checks for blackjack look to see if they have been dealt a 10-value card or an ace. If they don’t, the game will continue. If you then place a double-down bet it makes your chances of winning higher.
If you have split your cards you will most likely not be allowed to double down. Ninety-nine percent of the time you cannot double down after hitting because it would give the player a bigger edge over the casino. You also cannot double down on 21 because you have hit blackjack. Doubling down can be a good bet if you know what you are doing and do it correctly. If you are considering doubling down remember that you have a chance of doubling your original bet if you win, but on the other side of the coin you can lose you lose twice the amount of your original bet. It is something that you need to realize if you are considering doubling down. You only have a certain time to signal your intentions so if you remember the basic rules you will know exactly what you are going to do when the dealer looks at you to see how you want to play your hand.