A few weeks ago, we introduced you to the concept of splitting pairs in blackjack. This week, we are going to cover a basic strategy that many beginners struggle with. You’ll often face multiple situations in a session of blackjack where you can opt to double down on a hand. However, knowing the proper times to do so can make a huge impact on your long-term profitability in the game.
When playing blackjack online, you’ll come across certain situations where you can double down on a hand. Doubling down allows you to place an additional bet on your hand that’s equal to your initial bet. However, the catch is that you only get one additional card.
You’ll only have the option to double down after the initial deal. If you split a pair, you cannot double down in most games. After you hit, you can no longer double down.
If you win the double down bet, you will win 1:1 on both bets.
Basic Strategy For Doubling Down
Some online blackjack variants will allow you the option to double down after any dealt hand. Doubling down whenever you wish without employing a proper strategy will drain your bankroll quickly. Below are the times you should double down in most blackjack games:
Hard 10 or 9 – If the dealer shows a low card and your cards total nine or ten without an ace, you can double down.
Soft 18, 17, or 16 – When your hand totals 16, 17, or 18 with an ace in your hand, double down when the dealer shows a low card.
11 vs Low Card – When the dealer has a six or under and you have an 11, double down. The reason is that a dealer must hit until they have 17. They will bust more often, giving you better odds for winning.
Don’t Double Down in These Situations
The above strategy is a solid double down strategy for most blackjack games. Like any strategy, there are exceptions. Here are some times where you should avoid doubling up, even if you have the hands listed above:
Dealer Showing an Ace – If the dealer has an ace, don’t double up. When the dealer has blackjack, the best you can hope for is to hit 21 and push. When they don’t have it, chances are they will have a high hand close to 21.
Dealer Shows 7 or Higher – You’ll hear conflicting recommendations here. Some strategy experts say to avoid doubling down when the dealer shows a nine or better. That’s still a bit too loose of a strategy. With a 7 or 8, the dealer could have 17 through 19, and you’ll lose your bet more often.
Don’t double down against a dealer ace.
Additional Tips for Doubling Down
When playing blackjack online, pay attention to the table rules. Australian online casinos offer multiple blackjack variants, so don’t assume the rules are all the same.
For example, if your game has the dealer hit up to 16 instead of 17, the dealer will bust less often. As such, the profitability for doubling down drops.
Also, there are some online blackjack games that only permit you to double down when holding 10 or 11. That takes away most of your options for the move and increases the house edge against you. Pick a different game.
All online casinos in Australia offer blackjack, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice your new double down strategy. If you would rather practice without risk, several online casinos such as Pokie Pop offer free blackjack games. Once you’ve mastered doubling down, you can graduate to real money online casino games. Using the above tips will help you win more while playing blackjack online.