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When to double down in blackjack

Last update: May, 2024

Written by: Jaqueline Quintero Content Writer
When to double down in blackjack

Have you ever wondered when to double down in blackjack? This profitable move consists in increasing your initial bet and, therefore, having to stand after receiving one more card. This entails a certain risk because you are unable to hit once again, and if your most recent card was a low card, you could end up losing even more chips.

In order to win big, it is important to know how to properly double down during blackjack, creating an advantage while staying on the safe side of the gambling game. Below, you can read about the best times to double down in a casino and get ready to enjoy the game and land some winnings!

What Does It Mean to Double Down?

To double down when playing blackjack is to make your initial bet twice as big after the croupier has given you the first two cards. You have to keep in mind that doubling down can be done differently depending on the specific blackjack game that you are playing, so before getting ready to gamble, make sure to learn the rules so that your risky move can turn into a successful one.

How Does Doubling Down Work?

In most brick-and-mortar and online casinos, when your aim is to double down, you just need to point this out to the dealer by putting the amount of chips that matches your opening bet on the table.There are places that will allow a double down bet that is lower than your initial one, making it a great bargain.

When the croupier has seen your double down move, he or she will confirm this move by placing a last card across your original two ones and you will have to stand. You won’t have any more hits and your hand for that game will be the one composed of the three cards on the table.

How Can the Dealer Know That You Are Doubling Down Instead of Splitting?

During blackjack, when doubling down and when splitting, the player performs the same movement. Although this normally doesn’t constitute an issue, if your goal is to double down on a pair, you will have to make this clear to the dealer by pronouncing the words “double down” while making your additional wager.
When playing blackjack online with a computer program as the dealer, there is normally a “double down” button that you can press and will automatically activate the bet for you.

What Are the Rules?

Doubling down during a game of blackjack can be done differently depending on the casino and on the particular game that you are playing. As previously mentioned, the conventional double down move grants the player the ability to duplicate their initial wager after the first two cards have been handed.

There are, however, a few variations to the double down norm:

  • There are casinos that will only allow doubling down on either hard 9, hard 10, or hard 11.
  • Sometimes, casinos allow players to double down after a split.

When Should You Double Down?

When playing blackjack, gamblers bet against the dealer and their goal is to earn a bigger hand than that of the croupier’s. If you glimpse a statistical advantage, then you should think about doubling down and enjoy the excitement!

Following, you can read some hands when doubling down can be particularly profitable:

  • When all your cards equal 11: This is perhaps the best time to double down in blackjack, because the chances of hitting blackjack or reaching a close number are very good. Many players choose this as their opportunity to double down.
  • When you have a hard 9 or a hard 10: When a player doesn’t have an ace in their hand, it is called a hard hand. If you have a hard hand and the dealer has a lower card, a good chance presents itself for you to risk and ask for a doubling down.
  • When you are showing a soft 16, 17, or 18: When a player has a hand that contains an ace plus another card, it is called a soft hand. An ace can be the key to a blackjack win, since it raises the statistical chances of hitting 21 or staying very close to it. In this instance, it is also wise to only double down when the croupier is showing a lower card.

When Should You Not Double Down?

While doubling down is an exciting move, there are cases when it is not recommended. The times when doubling down becomes a big risk are:

  • When the dealer’s face-up card is an ace: Since the ace is probably the most powerful card in a blackjack game, when the dealer is showing it, chances are that the odds will be in their favor.
  • When you have a hard hand that is higher than 11: In this case scenario, the possibilities of busting are so high that doubling down is not advised. It is always better to not take the risk than to end up losing big quantities of money!

Card Counting and Doubling Down

Card counting is the most prominent blackjack strategy, and although a lot of people think of it as a way of cheating, it is a clever movement to guess what the blackjack deck contains. This trick can be used to consider when to double down and when to discard that idea. For example, if the deck has a negative value, that is that most of the cards there are of low-value, it wouldn’t be a good choice to double down.

How to Play It Safe

The allure of this double down technique is that you can duplicate your profits in a quick way, but it is always important to keep in mind that things can go wrong and that risking everything is not a recommendation. This is why learning as much as you can about the game and practising are good ways of honing your gambling instincts in order to be able to choose your best movements.


Should you double down on 8?

A starting total of 8 is certainly a low hand for choosing to double down your initial bet. Statistics show that in most cases it is not enough to beat the dealer, even if the dealer has a weak hand.

Should you double down on 11 against a 10?

11 versus 10 might give you a higher chance of profiting from your double down move.

Do you hit a 12 against a 2?

When the dealer is showing a 2 and you have been dealt a 12, your chances of winning are lower than those of the croupier.

What happens when you double down in blackjack?

Doubling down in blackjack gives you the chance of elevating your original bet after you have been given your first two cards. Subsequently, you will only be able to get one extra card, your hand will be over, and you will have to wait for the croupier to show what they have. Blackjack is a very exciting way of earning money and spending a great time at the casino, and doubling down is a smart and profitable move that can increase your winnings in a second!

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