Doubling Down in Blackjack

Blackjack is an interesting casino game whose rules are very straightforward and easy to understand. It is one of the most played card games of all time as it offers players the chance to influence its outcome by applying a strategy. In order to manage to follow their chosen strategy successfully, blackjack enthusiasts should be fully acquainted with the possible moves they can make during the game.

The choice whether to hit, stand, split or double down can be very hard, especially if you don’t know the pros and cons these options have. Doubling down in blackjack is one of the best opportunities that the game offers as this move can be very profitable and beneficial if used correctly. Since doubling down is one of the basic moves that can be made, it is essential to get familiar with all of the situations in which it is best to use it in order to manage to make the most of every game.


Blackjack Double Down on 11Doubling down is one of the most exciting moves that you can make during the game. Thanks to it, you are able to make your original wager twice as much which gives you the opportunity to win more money. In order to indicate this move, you must put the extra bet next to your initial wager, outside the designated betting area and point the amount with one finger. After you are dealt your first two cards, you receive one more card. The amount of the additional bet that can be placed differs from one casino to another.

Some games allow half of the amount of the initial bet to be placed, whereas others require the full amount to be put. Even though the amount, that needs to be placed, is not fixed, it should be noted that this wager cannot exceed the original bet under any circumstances. The rules regarding this move can vary, depending on the casino and the particular version of the game. Some casinos allow doubling down on any two cards, whether others have certain restrictions when it comes to this matter. Thus, it is essential to double check the rules in advance in order to be prepared for all of the possible situations that might occur.

Best Situations for Doubling Down

Doubling down can be a very beneficial move, however only on the condition that you know when it is appropriate to use it. While it is true that whether a particular hand will win or lose cannot be predicted as blackjack is a casino game, it is possible to influence its outcome to a huge extent by applying a basic strategy. The basic strategy contains valuable information about the situations in which it is best to perform a particular move, including doubling down.

You should decide whether to double down by taking into account the up card of the dealer and the total of your hand. Usually, it is advisable to make this move if the dealer is currently in a visibly unfavourable position. When he has low valued cards, you stand a very good chance of winning and thus, it is essential to get the most out of such situations. For example, if you have A-2 or a total of eight in your hand and the up card of the dealer is either five or six, it is best to double down. It is essential to get familiar with all of the cases in which it is best to double down as this way you will be able to win enough money to compensate for the times when you lose.

Strategy for doubling down in Blackjack
Player’s Total The up card of the dealer
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ace
8 H H H D D H H H H H
9 H D D D D H H H H H
10 D D D D D D H H H H
11 D D D D D D D H H H
A-2 H H H D D H H H H H
A-3 H H D D D H H H H H
A-4 H H D D D H H H H H
A-5 H H D D D H H H H H
A-6 H D D D D H H H H H
A-7 S D D D D S S H H H

Doubling Down a Pair of 5’s

Usually, when players get a pair of two cards of the same rank, they decide to split them in order to form two new hands and this way increase their chances of winning. In most cases, it is a good idea to do so, however there are several exceptions that should be considered. One of them is when you get a pair of 5’s and the up card of the dealer is from two through seven as then you should double down instead of splitting.

Even though two 5’s form a very decent total, if they are separated, they won’t make two strong hands. In fact, if you split such a pair, you will have exactly the opposite effect as you will end up with two hands whose chances of winning are fairly low. This is the reason why you should double down instead as the dealer is placed in a weak position and the odds are in your favor. It is really important to make the most of such beneficial situations as they offer valuable opportunities which shouldn’t be missed.

Rule Variations of Doubling Down

Doubling Down VariationAs already mentioned, doubling down rules strictly depend on the particular version of the game and the casino. Every change of the rules, even a seemingly insignificant one, actually has a huge impact on the house edge. Thus, you should always take your time to consider when you are allowed to double down and when this move is forbidden as it determines to some extent your chances of making a decent profit.

For instance, if doubling down is allowed after splitting, the house edge is reduced approximately by 0.14%. If you are permitted to double down only on 10’s and 11’s, providing that the game is played with six decks, this works in favor of the casino as it increases the house edge by 0.61%. Let’s consider the same situation but instead of six decks, let’s assume that the game is played with two packs of cards – the house edge increases by approximately 0.26%.

In case that you are allowed to double down whenever you wish, this rule works in your favor as it decreases their house edge by 0.62%.


Blackjack is a casino game which requires both skills and luck and thus, the final outcome of every hand can be influenced significantly. By applying a reliable strategy, you can drastically increase your chances of winning, however there is never a hundred percent guarantee that a particular hand will be a winning one. Doubling down is often a move performed by more advantageous players who like to increase their level of excitement and adrenaline.

It can be also a very beneficial move as it offers you the opportunity to increase your initial wager greatly which makes it worthwhile. However, in order to be able to take advantage of it, it is important to get familiar with all of the situations in which you have the highest chances of winning. Otherwise, you will have the opposite effect and instead of doubling your profit, you will lose money.