Many first-time blackjack players like to play it safe by keeping their bets low. But sometimes, playing it safe can turn a good hand into a missed chance. Doubling down doesn’t have to be risky if you know when and how to do it. For your next online blackjack game, we’ve put together a guide on how to use this strategy. Keep reading if you want to know how to double down when playing blackjack online.
What is Double Down in Blackjack?
Doubling down can be one of the best things you can do in blackjack. You double down when you trust your cards enough to raise your bet before you get your last card.
It can pay off to double your bet. If you win, you can get even more money than you would have gotten from your original bet. But there are also some risks. You’ll likely lose twice as much money if you get a bad hand. First, you need to know when to double down.
When to double down in blackjack
If you are a beginner, don’t worry. You don’t need to figure out the odds of winning for every hand. A basic blackjack strategy has already been worked out mathematically.
According to this strategy, there are three times when it’s best to double down. You can’t go bust or get more than 21 points in all three situations, but you’re still likely to end up with a high hand. The dealer also has a higher chance of losing in these situations.
When you have hard nine vs. low dealer cards
A “hard” hand in blackjack does not have an ace. When you are dealt cards that add up to 9, you can double down if the dealer’s up card, or revealed card, has a low number between 2 and 6. There must be no aces in either hand.
That means your cards can be 3 and 6, 2 and 7, or 4 and 5. No matter how low the dealer’s cards are, it’s safer to stand if you have an ace.
When you have soft 16-17-18 against low dealer cards
A soft hand has an ace, counted as 11 by itself. A soft total is what this is. If the dealer has a card between 2 and 6, you can double your bet if you have an ace and a 5, 6, or 7 in your hand. It gives you a soft total of 16, 17, or 18. Because an ace can be counted as either 1 or 11, you can risk a high hand.
If you have an ace and a card between 2 and 4, don’t double down because your chances of getting a high hand are lower.
When you have a hard 10 or 11 while the dealer has a lower card
Let’s look at some 10 or 11 hands that are hard. Hard 10 or 11 hands include 5 and 6, 5 and 5, 4 and 7, 4 and 6, 3 and 8, 3 and 7, 2 and 9, and 2 and 8. If the dealer’s card is lower than yours, this is a good hand for you. Even though you can’t go over 21 or lose, the dealer often does because they have to hit until they reach 17.
When the odds are in your favor, these strategies will put you in the best position when playing live dealer blackjack. Still, things sometimes go differently than you think they will play in blackjack. Even the best plan will only sometimes work, no matter how good. Let’s consider what you shouldn’t do when doubling down in blackjack.
When not to double down in blackjack
Even if you like to go with your gut when you play, there are times when you shouldn’t double down. Here are some tips and tricks to prevent making a big mistake.
Never double down when the dealer shows an ace
With an ace, the dealer has too high of a chance of winning to double down. Even after they’ve checked for blackjack, their total could still be closer to 21 than yours.
Don’t double down if you have more than eleven
When you have more than 11, your chances of going bust greatly increase. Ask for another card without raising your bet, or keep your lower total and hope the dealer will go bust instead.
If many people around you are doubling down, feel free to do the same if your hand is good. Even though there is always an element of luck in blackjack, you need to think and have an excellent strategy to win in the long run.
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