What Is Double Down Hand In Online Blackjack?
For those who may be a little unsure, doubling down in blackjack is a move which allows you to raise your bet by an amount of up to 100% (i.e. to double it). Once your raised bet is on the table, you are then allowed just one more card. In a game scenario, that means once you have been dealt your initial two cards, that’s the thrilling moment in online blackjack when you could decide to double down.
Of course, there are strategies involved, and doubling down can sometimes be a risky blackjack gamble. It almost invariably ends your betting options too. The double down pressure decision usually resolves itself in a fairly predictable way: Those players who are much too cautious rarely double down, and so miss out on an opportunity to improve their winning odds, while over-confident players try the move far too frequently, and thus crash out of games they could perhaps have handled a lot better.
When to double down when you play online blackjack
Blackjack is reputed to be one of the casino games with the lowest ‘house edge’, which can make it more profitable for the average online casino player. However, experts will remind you that this actually means an average player who knows the rules of blackjack and follows a logical and optimal blackjack strategy during online blackjack games. No tactics in the world can ever help a player who just bets and selects card play options on a whim.
But one important point about choosing to double down at the right moment is that used correctly, it can gain you an even better house edge. So this really is a move worth becoming well-acquainted with. So much so that online blackjack players would be well advised to try a few cash hands away from the screen to develop a better feel for when to call the move before you try it out in online blackjack games for real money.
Hard 9 double down
If you get dealt a hand totalling 9, double down whenever the dealer reveals a card between 2 and 6 (so any card under 7, but not including the Ace). This has to be a hard 9 hand – so you cannot hold an Ace. Your combinations might be 4-5, 3-6 or 2-7. But if you’re dealt A-8 (a soft 9) you should always stand.
Hard 10 and Hard 11 double down
When you hold a hard 10 or 11, you’re in a powerful position. Two card combos that might give you this are: 2-8, 2-9, 3-7, 3-8, 4-6, 4-7, 5-6. So if the dealer reveals a lower total, go for the double down.
Soft 16 to 18 double down
When you hold an Ace plus 5, 6 or 7, that gives you a ‘soft’ total of 16 to 18. So if the dealer reveals a card from 2 to 6, you should immediately double down. Don’t risk this move on an Ace plus a lower card (2,3 or 4); it’s better to just hit instead.
Advantages and disadvantages of doubling down
Executing a double down is a way of giving yourself an extra bet when you have a pretty good idea things ought to go your way. Even though you risk more of your bankroll, you have some good information out on the table to support your decision.
Don’t forget some games also let you double down on a split pair. For example, holding a 10-10 hand with the dealer showing a 3, 4, 5, or 6, you immediately have an option to split your pair of tens, double down on each, and go for 21 on both of those hands!
But remember too that you take a risk when you choose to double down. The dealer always plays his cards after each player and therefore has a little more information on which to base his card play. Of course, this is precisely what constitutes a house edge. And don’t forget also that when the hand is tied, all you get back as a player is your original stake money.
Pay Attention to the Rules
The double down blackjack strategy described here should work well in virtually every blackjack game. But just be aware that, even in a land-based casino, the rules of blackjack can be subject to some variation. And online casinos can seem to be awash with variant versions of the traditional blackjack game.
Sometimes this won’t matter too much, but sometimes it can (or should) influence your decision making.
In almost every blackjack game this strategy should stay true. However, be aware that the rules of blackjack do vary between casinos, which can affect your decision making. For instance, if you’re allowed to double with a hand of three or more cards, then there will be additional hands you could double down using the principles explained here. And also, the game rules may stop you from doubling down when your usual gaming strategy says you should. So if you are prevented from executing a double down, take another hit instead.