Blackjack is a hugely popular table game that is available at a wide range of different casinos. It is essentially a battle between the player and the dealer to see who can get the highest score, without going over the value of 21. There are a lot of different actions that can be taken out when playing Blackjack, one of the most famous is to double.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes.
What is doubling?
Doubling, also known as to double down, is when you are dealt a hand and you double your overall wager in return for being dealt one last card. Once this card has been dealt you will have to stick with whatever you have. If you think that you have a very good chance of winning once the next card is dealt, then it is a great way of increasing your potential winnings.
Can I always double?
Put simply no. Not every Blackjack table offers the ability to double. So if doubling is a tactic that you like using, or would like to try out in the future then it’s vital that you check to make sure that doubling is available at the table.
If the table allows you to double then this becomes an option to you. However, you can’t double down if you have already hit after receiving your first two cards. So you can only double after you have been given your initial deal. It’s important to remember this because you don’t want to make a fool of yourself when playing at the Blackjack table.
When should I double?
There are a wide range of different times when you should double. The full run down requires learning something called basic Blackjack strategy. This will teach you exactly when the right time to double is. Because this is a long and in depth process, we will instead just go through the most common times that doubling is the right call.
The first time that is an obvious time to double is when you are dealt a hard 11 and the dealer is showing a low card. A hard 11 means that you have got a hand that adds up to 11 and doesn’t include an Ace in it. The reason why doubling on a hard 11 is the right time to do so is because it is impossible to go bust on a hard 11. No matter what card you draw next, you will remain within the boundaries of 21. There is also a very good chance of having a good hand from a hard 11. This will allow you the opportunity to double your return.
The next time when you should double down is if you have a soft 16 and the dealer is showing a low card. While it might seem best to stick with what you have, you actually have a good chance of improving your hand from a soft 16, which makes your chances of winning a bigger prize much better. You can also class a soft 17 under that bracket as well, but this is usually for the braver punters.
When shouldn’t I double?
There are two main times when you should never choose to double. The first is an obvious one. If the dealer is showing an Ace or a card worth 10, do not double. The chances of them having a very good hand are quite high and so doubling here will be a huge risk. For every time it works out you could end up losing another five times.
The next time is if you have a hand that’s above a hard 11. The risks here are way too high and you will have a good chance of busting rather than improving your hand. You sometimes might choose to hit in this scenario, but you should never double.