What Is Double Down?
Double down means that you may make a second wager no higher than your original bet (but not necessarily doubling your original bet) and receive one additional card in return.
After you have been dealt your first two cards, you may feel that you may have a good hand that will become an excellent hand with just one additional card. This would be the time to double down! After your first two cards are dealt, to signal a double down option, all you need to do is move your double down wager into the betting square next to your original bet when it is your turn to play. The dealer will then automatically deal you one card.
Note: if you are playing a face down game (where you are holding your cards), you must turn over your cards in addition to placing your additional wager.
For example, let us say you were dealt a 6 and a 5. The dealer has a 5 showing. Eleven is a very good number to double down. Let us say your initial bet was $5.00.
Slide another $5.00 (or less) out into the betting square next to your original bet (some casinos want your double down bet behind your original bet; let the dealer correct this if this is the case). The dealer will then know that you want just ONE more card (sometimes, when faced with another situation where you have two 5’s the dealer will ask if you want just one card. That means he’s asking whether you are doubling down or splitting the fives into two separate hands).
In essence, what you are doing is taking advantage of a situation that could advantage you, by wagering more money where you would probably win. For this privilege, the casino will give you one additional card, which you must take.
You would hate to see small cards come up here, but remember: you stand with 12 or higher against a 5 anyway!!!
Proper Double Down Strategies
When discussing the “double down”, one must divide the potential double downs into two categories: hard doubling and soft doubling.
Always hit (not double) 8 or less (some people suggest doubling against a 5 or a 6; that is very aggressive play indeed!).
Always double 11.
Double 10 versus the dealer’s 9 or less.
Double 9 versus the dealer’s 3-6 (to be aggressive, you may even go against the 2).
As we said earlier, not all casinos allow soft doubling. Soft doubling doesn’t occur as often as hard doubling, but it is an important weapon in the player’s arsenal. Remember, soft hands are any hands that contain an Ace.
Always stand (no double obviously) A,9 and A,8 and of course A,10!!!
Double down A,7 versus the dealer’s 3-6.
Double down A,6 versus anything less than a 7 (2-6).
Double down A,2 A,3 A,4 and A,5 against the dealer’s 4,5 or 6.
Most casinos allow doubling with any two-card hand. However, some may be restrictive in this regard. Remember that casinos may differ in what they allow on the Blackjack table. Casinos can change the basic game of Blackjack whenever they want. The bottom line: ask before you play. Some cruise lines only allow double down bets on two card hands of 9, 10 or 11. If that’s the case, just don’t play.
Here is a table summarizing the doubling down strategy. It is recommended to always double down in these cases:
Your Two Card Hand Dealer’s Up Card
11 Any card
10 Versus any card except a 10 or an Ace
9 or A,7 3-6
A,6 Anything less than 7 (2-6)
A,2 to A,5 4-6
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