Double Down in Blackjack

Double Down is a popular optional decision in blackjack. When used strategically, doubling down can be a very profitable action at blackjack tables.

Double Down is a very popular optional decision in blackjack. Whilst many believe doubling down to be a side bet, it is in fact a regular decision offered to blackjack players in most variants.

Often, blackjack double down turns out to be quite advantageous for the players at a blackjack table. There are several rules and strategies when thinking of doubling down, and we'll discuss them in detail in this article.

What Is Double Down In Blackjack

Doubling down is the process of adding another bet to the blackjack game, for receiving a single card. A player makes this extra bet to get one additional card when he is already in an advantageous position. This implies that the player has a strong chance of making it close to 21 or 21 because of a dealer's weak up card or some other reason.

By doubling down, the player is able to increase the initial bet by up to 100% in exchange for agreeing to stand after receiving this extra card.

A double down bet is placed in the betting box, right next to the player's original bet. In some blackjack variations, players are not permitted to increase the bet by any amount other than 100%. Doubling down is allowed in online blackjack too. In this, the player gets a pop-up signal, asking him to place an extra bet if he wants.

Rules of Doubling Down

The doubling down in blackjack rules remain the same except for some casinos and a few blackjack variations. When the player is dealt his first two cards, he has an option of placing an extra bet if the situation seems favorable. To do this, he just needs to place this bet next to the original bet. The bet is to get just one additional card. The cost of doubling down in blackjack is always the size of the opening bet. If the player has wagered 1 coin, he will need to pay 1 coin to double as well.

There is also a rule called the discard after double. This rule implies that there can be times when the player gives up the hand after doubling down. With this option, if available, the player can get back some of the original stakes. Discard after Double is, however, a step rarely taken by blackjack players.

Size of a "Double Down" bet in Blackjack.
Size of a "Double Down" bet in Blackjack.

How To Double Down In Blackjack

Double Down is an extra bet in blackjack. It is preferred by players when they seem to be in a favorable position to beat the dealer. The process goes like this:

  • The player is first dealt his two cards
  • After seeing both the cards, he has the option of placing this extra bet
  • The player will signal the dealer and place the original bet amount in the designated spot on the blackjack table
  • In return, he will receive one additional card, based on which he will decide the strategy, get blackjack or lose the bet

Doubling Down is common in online blackjack too. Here also, the player signals his wish to place the extra bet by clicking on a button that pops up automatically after the initial two cards are dealt.

Double Down Strategy For Blackjack

Players who want to double down must follow a certain strategy and know when exactly the step would be favorable to them. Fortunately, there are several blackjack strategy charts that let you know when to double down. Here is one with the following information that can guide the player in the process.

basic blackjack strategy
The famous basic blackjack decision matrix.

When To Double Down

The instances when doubling down is the best option for the player are:

When the player's two cards total 11

When the two cards dealt total is 11, it is the best time to ask for that additional card because the chance of hitting 21 is very high. If you don't get a 21, getting close to that number is obviously possible.

When the player has a soft 16, 17 or 18

This already means that the player has a card plus an ace. This is a good situation to double down only if the dealer is showing a weak card. Even with a soft 18, there is a high chance of the player's hand getting improved with an additional card.

When the player has a hard 9 or 10

This means that the player has a hand with no ace. Doubling down in this situation is favorable again only if the dealer has a low card. An extra card that turns out to be a high one makes the player's place much better against the dealer.

When Not To Double Down

In blackjack, a player should never double down in the following situations:

When the dealer has an ace

When such is the situation, then the chance of the dealer getting a blackjack is already pretty high. Even if he peeks and find out that he doesn't have a blackjack, he will probably end up very close to 21 anyway.

When the player has card total exceeding 21

If the cards of the player already have a total of more than 11, the chance of going bust is presumably high. It is better to stick to a lower total than expecting the dealer to go bust.

Doubling Down may not always go as expected by the player. But understanding the situations and avoiding the temptation to place this bet every now and then can prevent unnecessary loss of money and win a better fortune in the long run.

Double Down After Split

Double Down after Split (DDAS) is allowed in most blackjack variations, played in casinos, both land-based and online. This is a blackjack strategy that means that when the player is dealt a pair, he can split it and when dealt to those split cards, the doubling situation becomes stronger.

So, while doubling down after the split, the player places an additional wager, which is equal to the original, and then double the stakes on any half of the split he wants. For instance, if the player has a pair of 7's and the house has a 4, he can split the 7's and hope that he receives a 4 to the first seven to come to a total of 11.

Doubling after Split (DAS) gives a fair chance to the player to come to a more advantageous situation. This strategy, when utilized in the right way, can add as much as 13% to the advantage of a player in a game of blackjack.

Video tutorial on how to use doubling down.

Card Counting & Doubling Down

Card counting, though controversial (but legal), is actually a good strategy to understand what cards are there in the deck. Whether the deck has most of the high-value cards or weak cards can be determined by card counting.

In the very same way, card counting is a useful strategy to determine whether to double down and when/when not to do so. For instance, if the player has a total of 11, he will usually double down in the hope of receiving a 10-card. But, if the deck is weak, which can be somewhat determined by card counting, he might want to stay back from doubling down.

doubling down and card counting
Is card counting useful when using Doubling Down?

Blackjack Double Down - FAQ

Here are some of the common questions about doubling down in blackjack answered in brief:

When can you double down in blackjack?

In a game of blackjack, the only point when you can choose to double down or place an extra bet for an additional card, is immediately after the initial two cards have been dealt.

What is DAS in blackjack?

DAS is Doubling after Split in blackjack. It is a rule that allows the player to split his hands and then double down. He will then get one card to any half of his split.

Should you double down after splitting in blackjack?

Doubling Down after Splitting should be preferred when the split pair has the chance of becoming 11 or close to it, when added to the extra card.

Is doubling down in blackjack profitable?

Doubling Down in blackjack is profitable in situations when the player's hand has a total of 11, soft 16,17, or 18, or a hard 9 or 10, given that the dealer's hand shows weak cards.

What cards should you double down on in blackjack?

In blackjack, a player can double down when he has cards that total 11, a soft 16, 17, or 18, and a hard 9 or 10, without an ace.

Can you double down after hitting in blackjack?

No, for about 99% of the time, a player will not be allowed to hit after doubling down as that would give the player too much of an edge over the casino.

What does discard after double mean?

Discard after Double means that the player gives up his hand after doubling down. Though it is rare, it is a way of getting back some of the original stakes of the player.

Is doubling down after splitting allowed?

Doubling Down after Splitting is allowed in many blackjack variations and by most land-based and especially, online casinos. In some variations, it is not allowed though.

How many cards do you get after doubling down?

The player gets only one additional card after doubling down.

When is doubling down more advantageous to the player?

Doubling Down is most advantageous when the player's cards total 11 and the dealer shows a weak or low up-card.

What are the double down odds?

When the option of doubling down is available, the house edge can be reduced by as much as 1.43%. Also, the player will 59% of the time when he doubles down with a hand total of 11 and the dealer has a weak card.

What is the double down payout?

By doubling down, the player can increase the value of the initial bet by up to 100%. So, as for payout, the player will get back the amount equal to his original bet (that is, the bet he has placed) apart from the standard blackjack payout of 3:2.

This is all about doubling down in blackjack and when and how it can actually be profitable to the blackjack players. It may not be rewarding always but it is a risk worth taking when the situation is somewhat favorable.