Blackjack Double Down: what is it and when can I do it?

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What is Blackjack Double Down

The Blackjack Double Down option in Blackjack is one of the best known and favourite bet options in the game.

It allows the bettor to double their initial bet and in return you will be dealt one more card only. Doubling down should only be done in certain circumstances though. Bettors use Blackjack double Down when there is a statistical advantage by doing so, and is done as part of blackjack optimal best play strategy.

When Should I double down when playing Blackjack double down?

You have one opportunity to double down, this is immediately after being dealt your initial two cards. Double down will be done when you cannot go bust by being dealt one more card but the dealer can possibly bust.

There are typically two separate scenarios where it is advantageous to double down.

1.  You are dealt a hard 9,10 or 11.  (Hard meaning you hold no Ace) On a 9 you would not double down if the dealers up-card shows a 7 or higher, on a 10 you would not double down if the dealer shows a 10 or an Ace. And on 11 you would double down regardless of the dealers up-card.

2.  You are dealt a soft 13 through to a soft 18 and the dealers up-card is either a 3,4,5 or 6.  You would double down on all these soft totals where the dealer shows a 5 or 6, however if the dealer only shows a 3 or a 4, then only certain hands you will double as per the strategy chart below.

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Blackjack Hand with double down in action:

Double Down strategy chart

For a visual aid, here is a strategy chart which you can refer to while playing. Dh and Ds are marked in dark and light blue, those are situations where there is a statistical advantage to double down against the house. Remember, this is part of optimal strategy, if you deviate from optimal strategy you are essentially increasing the house odds against you. For example, if the version of blackjack you are playing has a 99% Return To Player (RTP), for every time you deviate from the optimal play in the chart, you are reducing the RTP and thus enhancing the house odds.

blackjack double down

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