What is Double Down?: Its relevance and applicability

Online Blackjack is one of the most popular games among players. Many casinos provide this game on their page to attract the blackjack players. If you are eager to learn how to play Blackjack strategically, you have to understand the double down rule. However, this isn’t some magical way to beat the dealer. It is an added extra that can help increase your returns when the cards are on your side. If you are a blackjack novice, we at Winissimo do provide various versions of blackjack for your practice. Here in this article, we will cover everything on doubling down in Blackjack, from its relevance to its applicability.

What is Double Down?: Its relevance and applicability

What does Double Down mean?

If you have ever played online Blackjack or even live Blackjack, you’ll know there are two basic moves: hit and stand. In certain cases, however, you’ll have the option to double down. It is an extra move that costs money but in favourable conditions helps you to increase your potential win rate. As with all “extras”, this move is also optional. It can be a powerful tool to have in your arsenal, however, once you understand what it is and when to use it in the game.

What is Double Down in Blackjack?

Doubling down is one of the most thrilling moves in Blackjack. This option is available in all settings of play including the live casinos. If it feels right up your alley you can have a go at it at our online casino too. It allows you to double your bet in the middle of a hand in exchange for one extra card. Whenever you double down in Blackjack, it’s because the game dynamics are weighed in your favour. Doubling down in Blackjack is more than a betting option. This move is commonly made when the player is in an advantageous position i.e. they have a strong chance of making a total of close to or 21 exactly, and the dealer’s up-card is weak.

When the Blackjack Double Down is an Advantage for the player

Firstly, we need some rules for when to double down in Blackjack. As a basic guide, you need the following to be true:

  • You have a two-card starting total that’s likely to make a score of 20 or 21 e.g. your starting total is 10 or 11.

  • The dealer has a weak up-card e.g. a 3, 4, 5 or 6.

If you have the following two conditions, you are strongly placed as a player. It is important to take your advantage home whenever you are in this kind of place. This means bringing more resources to the table in this situation.

By paying double down on Blackjack (the cost is equal to your opening bet), you allow yourself to maximize your returns when you’re strong and the dealer is weak. This should improve your overall win rate over time which is what you want when you play for money, of course.

When it is a Disadvantage

There are some downsides to this move as well. You risk more money because you have to match your opening bet. But the big disadvantage is that you only get one card. Thus you may end up with a poor total.

For example, you could hit and receive a 3 if your starting total was 11. That takes your total to 14 which is not worth standing on in most cases. You could reach again at this stage, and try to increase your score. In comparison, if you doubled on the 11th and got a 3, that’s your lot. To put it another way, you are stuck with 14. That is the chance that you take when you play a double Blackjack.

Casino Rules on this Move

Every casino and every form of Blackjack can have slightly different double down rules for Blackjack. You may be able to double on any starting total for example in some games. Some could limit it on totals of 10 and 11. Other than subtle differences in when to do this, your opening bet will always be the size of the cost. So if you wagered 1 coin, it could cost a doubling of 1 coin.

The Value the Dealer must Hit and Stand on in Blackjack

What is Double Down?: Its relevance and applicability

The dealer must always hit a score of 17+ in Blackjack. To put it another way, the dealer can’t stand on any total which is 16 or lower. This rule guides our decision to double down or not. It is already known that you need the dealer to be “weak” to double at the best time. It can be said the dealer is weak when they’re showing a 3, 4, 5, or 6 because they have to hit to 17+. Because there are more cards with a value of 10 in play than any other, we always have to assume the next card will be worth 10. Therefore, if the dealer is showing a 5, it is known that their best score can be 16 (i.e. if their hidden card is an ace). With that being true, they will have to draw a third card. Whenever you draw in Blackjack, there is some risk involved. Thus, it can be said that the dealer is weak with a 5.

Double Down on Hard Counts

A hard count in Blackjack is a total which doesn’t contain an ace. Since aces are worth 1 or 11, the hands with an ace in are described as soft, i.e. two possible values exist. Strong numbers are set, by contrast. There is a slightly greater risk with that being the case when it comes to doubling on hard totals. Because of that, these two instances need to have separate rules. For reference, the following totals (excluding pairs) should be doubled:

  • 11 = double when the dealer is showing any card except an ace.

  • 10 = double when the dealer is showing any card except a 10 or ace.

  • 9 = double when the dealer is showing a 3, 4, 5, or 6.

Double Down on Soft Counts

If your hand is soft, you can double under the following conditions if the table rules allow:

  • A-8/A-9 = Don’t double.

  • A-7 = double when the dealer is showing a 3, 4, 5, or 6.

  • A-6 = double when the dealer is showing a 3, 4, 5, or 6.

  • A-4/A-5 = double when the dealer is showing a 4, 5, or 6.

  • A-2/A-3 = double when the dealer is showing a 5 or 6.

After Split in Blackjack

Under certain rules, after splitting a pair, you can double down. If this move is feasible, simply treat your split hand as two new hands and you can double by the rules outlined so far.

What is Double Down?: Its relevance and applicability

Blackjack Bust Percentage

We cannot of course always believe the dealer is going to go bust. Also, according to the figures, the dealer’s Blackjack bust percentage for any given hand is 28.36%. However, the closer we move to up-cards with a value of 4, 5, or 6, the greater their chance of busting. For example, with an ace, the chance of a bust is 11.65%. However, with 6 of them, the chance is 42.08%. Therefore, when it comes to defining the rules for when to take this move, you want to ensure that the dealer’s chance of busting is high.

  • Dealer’s Face UP Card: 2

  • Dealer Average Percentage: 35%

  • Player Average Percentage: 10%

  • Dealer’s Face UP Card: 3

  • Dealer Average Percentage: 37%

  • Player Average Percentage: 13%

  • Dealer’s Face UP Card: 4

  • Dealer Average Percentage: 40%

  • Player Average Percentage: 18%

  • Dealer’s Face UP Card: 5

  • Dealer Average Percentage: 42%

  • Player Average Percentage: 23%

  • Dealer’s Face UP Card: 6

  • Dealer Average Percentage: 42%

  • Player Average Percentage: 24%

  • Dealer’s Face UP Card: 7

  • Dealer Average Percentage: 26%

  • Player Average Percentage: 14%

  • Dealer’s Face UP Card: 8

  • Dealer Average Percentage: 24%

  • Player Average Percentage: 5%

  • Dealer’s Face UP Card: 9

  • Dealer Average Percentage: 23%

  • Player Average Percentage: -4%

  • Dealer’s Face UP Card: 10

  • Dealer Average Percentage: 23%

  • Player Average Percentage: -17%

  • Dealer’s Face UP Card: J, Q, K

  • Dealer Average Percentage: 23%

  • Player Average Percentage: -17%

  • Dealer’s Face UP Card: Ace

  • Dealer Average Percentage: 17%

  • Player Average Percentage: -16%

What is the Redouble Rule in Blackjack?

Another special condition, the redouble rule in Blackjack is the rule which allows you to double after a double. If you double for a second time, it costs you the amount of your initial bet (not the total wagered to that point). This is a tricky move in terms of strategy. However, you can use this as an aggressive play when the dealer is weak and you’re at little risk of going bust.

Discard Double

Although it’s rare, there are times you can give up your hand after doubling down in Blackjack. If this option is available, you can pay to double and then get back some of your stakes if you decide not to proceed and see what the dealer’s total is.

Hit After a Double Down

In some games, you can hit after doubling down. In this sense, you are simply playing the hand as if you hadn’t doubled, and basic Blackjack strategy will still apply.

Doubling in the European version

Live casinos handle doubling down a bit differently. Usually, in the European Blackjack version, you will only be able to double-down with a total of 9, 10 or 11. This contrasts with the US version of the game, where you can choose to double on any score.

Some of the most frequent doubts that arise in the players’ mind:

These are quite a few questions about doubling down in Blackjack.

Can you do this move after splitting?

Typically, you won’t be able to, however, you will find some virtual casinos that allow this to happen. If you can, use the same decision-making process you would when evaluating any normal hands dealt with you.

Can you do this move after hitting?

99% of the time you will not be able to. The reason this isn’t allowed is it would simply give the player too much of an edge over the casino. Once you have hit, you won’t be able to do anything else other than hit again. It is also not possible to split or get insurance.

Should you always double down on 11?

The long-held belief among casual Blackjack players is that you always double down a total of 11 because there is a good chance you will receive a 10 for a total of 21. Many professionals, as well as beginners, always do this. It usually is the right play, but those who know how to count cards understand that there is never always when it comes to Blackjack. Card counting, however, can help players to dictate whether or not they should double down, even on a total of 11.

Should I double down on 10?

Once again, this depends on the card the dealer is showing. If they have an Ace or a 10-value card, you might not want to, as there’s a real chance that they could get a nice hand and easily beat you. If they’re showing a 6 or lower, then doubling down is a feasible option.

Can you double down on 21 in Blackjack?

No, you cannot. If you could, everyone would do it every time the dealer dealt them Blackjack! If you are lucky enough to get Blackjack, you’ll find that the dealer pays you straight away and you won’t be able to do anything else with your hand.