Doubling Down in Blackjack

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While playing blackjack online or in person, doubling down is an essential weapon to lower the casino's house advantage. I have seen and heard many people that do not double down ever for risk of losing two bets. If this is the case, then you are more then likely betting more then you are comfortable with. At an online casino, when clearing a bonus, many people think that doubling down when playing online blackjack for money can only hurt them. This is not the case at all.

The reason that we double down in the first place is when we are given a certain situation, over time the double down will make us money. By not doubling down when we should, we are increasing the house advantage for the casino, as our low .4-.5% HA includes the double downs in them.

Dealer Bust Percentages

Up Card
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ace
Bust Percentage 35% 37% 40% 42% 42% 26% 24% 23% 23% 17%

The table above is made from test data of millions and millions of hands of blackjack. You can see that 4,5, and 6 (as well as the 2 and the 3) especially are very good cards to see in the dealers hand.

doubling down in blackjack

The following situations will return a larger amount of money versus not doubling down:

Double down on hard 11 when the dealer's face card is 2 through 10.
Double down on hard 10 when the dealer's face card is 2 though 9.
Double down on hard 9 when the dealer's face card is 3 through 6.

Double down on soft A-2 and A-3 when the dealer's face card is a 5 or 6.
Double down on soft A-4 and A-5 when the dealer's face card is 4, 5 or 6.
Double down on soft A-6 and A-7 when the dealer's face card is 3, 4, 5 or 6.

Never double down on a hand that can bust with one card. The one that I have seen the most is doubling Hard 12 against a 5 or 6. Do not do this.

blackjack double down

I have "mis-clicked" double down when playing online blackjack several times in my career. Some shady online casinos put the buttons very very close together, often appearing to encourage miss clicking. Just be aware of the Double Down button when playing online blackjack.

Opportunities To Increase Your Bet

A strong blackjack player must know when to double down. It is a very important move! Check my chart and you’ll see most doubling down plays are when the dealer has a 5 or 6 as his up card. Next, we attack the 4, then the 3, and finally the 2 and 7. Against the 8, there is only a token attack.

Most people think doubling down is done when you have a better chance of beating the dealer. This is technically inaccurate. What you really look for are opportunities to increase your bet when the dealer is most likely to go bust.

You are in trouble when the dealer shows 9 through Ace. Therefore, when he’s weak, you must bet more money against him. Otherwise, you have no chance of leaving the table a winner.

The Average Winning Hand Is 18.5

Imagine you are dealt a 5 and an Ace for a soft 16. The dealer’s up card is a 5. You know he is in trouble.

You feel pretty cocky because my chart tells you to slide out another bet and double down. What will you get as your final hand? Remember, the average winning hand is 18 ½.

The dealer hits your Ace, 5 with:

  • 5 - You have 21 (very strong)
  • 4 - You have 20 (strong)
  • 3 - You have 19 (still pretty strong)
  • 2 - You have 18 (less than the average winner)
  • Ace - You have 17 (a nothing hand)

All other card possibilities (6-K) will give you a trouble hand.

Don’t Be A Coward

This is a typical example of doubling down, where you wind up with a bad hand eight out of thirteen times and a neutral 17 and 18 once each. If you can expect only three good hands out of thirteen, why is doubling down such a strong move in this situation?

Well, the dealer faces the probability of similar rotten combinations. And, any time he hits again (because he’s still below 17) further increases his chances of busting.

The idea is to keep your bets down until the dealer is in trouble, and then sock it to him! He should be in trouble several times each shoe. When he is, and you have the proper cards to allow a double down against him, don’t be a coward.

Go after him!


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