Doubling Down

Blackjack has many terms and basic rules which players should be familiar with if they want to leave the casino as winners. Hit, Stand, Surrender, Double Down and Split are crucial for the game as they indicate the possible actions players can take. In this chapter, we will concentrate on the term Double Down.

Most of the players are familiar with it but are not so sure when to apply it in the game. In order to illustrate all of the possibilities this turn offers the players and to get to the bottom of it, we will start from the very beginning. It is really important for players to acquire as much information and knowledge as possible about doubling down as it is very common and they are bound to face it at some point during the game.

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Doubling Down In The Past

In the past, when the casinos first started offering Blackjack, there were restrictions on when players can double. Gamblers were allowed to do so only when they had a two-card with a final amount of eleven or ten. In any other case, players were deprived of the chance to double down and take advantage of this move. But time changes and so does Blackjack and nowadays things are rather different. The casinos allow the rest of the additional moves and players have the freedom to decide when to double. Since then doubling down has become a double-edged sword for many gamblers and this is the reason why they should acquire the needed knowledge for it. Having to choose among so many options, many of them find it even harder to make up their minds.

When to Double Down

When players are dealt the first two cards, they have the opportunity to make their original bet twice as much by doubling down. When gamblers double they get one more card in order to complete their hand. In general players are advised to double only when the dealer is in a disadvantageous position. In order to explain better the use of this term, let’s have a look at some common situations players find themselves in. For instance, if the dealer’s up card is six, five, four or three and the players’ first two cards are four and five, then it is recommended for them to double their wager as the dealer is placed in a bad position.

Player is dealt a Nine Hand. Dealer’s Up card is 3. Player should Double Down.

Double Down Options

As already mentioned, double down is the action that allows players to double their initial wager. However, there are many cases where gamblers double for less than 100% of their original bet. This can be often observed when players are not entirely sure whether the dealer is truly in a weak position but at the same time they wish to proceed with such a move. To be on the safe side, they bet less than the initial amount. For instance, instead of $10, players bet the amount of $5. They have the right to make their own decisions and play the game how they want if their choices comply with the rules.

However, if they are wise enough they will seek for an expert’s advice in order to find out more about this tricky situation. The professional opinion of many experienced gamblers is that such a decision – to double for less – is simply not beneficial. They advise that players should double down the full amount or refrain themselves from such a turn. Players need to bear this in mind next time they face such a situation.

Double Down Signal

In order for players to indicate they would like to double down, the following gesture is accepted – they need to put an amount of extra chips next to the initial bet and point it with their finger. It is really important for players to know how to express every move they would like to make correctly as this is also an indicator to the dealer and the rest of the players of how experienced they are. Also, failing to do so might result in misunderstandings and troubles which can turn out to be very serious. The reason for this is that Blackjack involves money and if the dealer is not able to read correctly the gestures players do this can result in a loss for the particular player.

A Nine Hand and Doubling Down

It is very beneficial for players to double down if they have nine in their hand and if they are dealt with a ten-card or queen, jack, king. If we do the maths, we will notice that this leaves them with a total of nineteen which is not a bad position to be in. In case players draw an ace, the result will be twenty which is indeed a great hand. In order to make the most of this situation, it is recommended for players to double down when the dealer has three through six.

Player is dealt an A-9 Hand. Dealer’s Up card is 3. Player should Double Down.

A Ten Hand and Doubling Down

In situations where players hold a two-card with a total value of ten, then they should double down against the up card of the dealer of a two through seven. In order to make the best possible moves, players should take into account the number of cards left in the deck. In case the deck doesn’t have many of them, it is advisable for players to refrain themselves from doubling down.

Player is dealt a Ten Hand. Dealer’s Up card is 5. Player should Double Down.

An Eleven Hand and Doubling Down

In such cases where players have an eleven hand, they should double down only against two through eight. Many gamblers like to risk and double down against the ten or the ace of the dealer. However, the professional opinion of many players is that it is too risky to try to improve their hand of a ten or eleven by getting only one more card.

Player is dealt an Eleven Hand. Dealer’s Up card is 3. Player should Double Down.


It is really important for players to take their time and get familiar with this term and its specifications. The above mentioned example situations are just a few of the many possibilities the game offers. If players want to make sure that they are prepared for most of them, they should have a closer look at the basic rules of the game. When they acquire the needed knowledge, they will be able to make reasonable decisions based on what they’ve read and learned and this is how the game really works.