Double Down in Blackjack (Ultimate Guide)

Herbert Hanson By Herbert Hanson

5 min read

For the risk to be worthwhile, you must double down when you have the edge over the dealer. But how do you know this?

This guide will provide comprehensive details of how to execute this blackjack strategy flawlessly.

You will learn the rules, the basics, signals, when to and when not to double down, and more.

Double Down In Blackjack

Icon Double down in Blackjack: The Basics

While it is true that a few people play blackjack for entertainment, the underlying motivation is to win money. It is a straightforward game in which you can never win more than the amount you bet on the hand, except for hitting a blackjack when there’s a high reward. Therefore, the main deal is to place as much as possible on the table when it is wise to do so.

To maximize the odds of winning in blackjack, you should always take advantage of any opportunities to double down. Doubling down is an exciting blackjack strategy and one of the most well-known bets. It’s when you increase your wager amid a hand (equivalent to your ante) in exchange for just one more card. Yes, it’s hazardous, but when executed correctly, you may significantly increase your earnings.

The goal of blackjack is to reach as near to 21 as possible without going bust while also beating the dealer’s total. When doubling down in blackjack, you double your previous wager for one more card. It is a risky technique since you cannot attack again if you get a poor card.

Instead, you will be unable to achieve 21 due to your inadequate total. Nonetheless, doubling down might be one of the most winning blackjack strategies. If you win, your payment is proportional to your doubled wager.

How to Double Down

How you double down in blackjack depends on how you are playing. Live dealer blackjack is different from playing in a land-based casino. If you are playing in a real casino, make sure you know how doubling down works before you start. If the house lets you, you can usually double down by putting your chips next to your original bet. If this doesn’t work, you can tell the dealer that you want to double down.

The process is even easier for online and mobile blackjack apps. All you need to do is press the “Double” button on the screen. Check the rules if you don’t see the button to see if you can double down.

Icon Blackjack Double Down Rules

These are the particular rules regarding doubling down in blackjack:

When to Double Down in Blackjack

When your cards add up to 11

This is because you have an excellent probability of reaching 21; even if you don’t, you’re likely to obtain a score near 21.

When having a soft 16, 17, or 18 

Generally, you should only double down if the dealer’s card is lower. You may be tempted to stand still, particularly with a soft 18, but there’s a reasonable chance that a single card can improve your hand.

When you wield a hard 9 or 10 (“hard” refers to a hand without an ace)

Again, this applies only if the dealer is displaying a low card. If you get a moderately high card, you will be in an excellent position against the dealer.

Most blackjack techniques advise doubling down if your first two cards total 11

This scenario offers you a 53.8% chance of ending your turn with a hand of 18 or higher and a 30.4% chance of finishing with 21.

If your original hand is 10 (including two fives), you should go for blackjack double down, unless the dealer’s face-up card is ten or an ace, and they can get blackjack. Probability says you should double down if the dealer’s face-up card is three to six when they are most likely to bust.

If you hold an ace and a card valued at eight or below, double down when the dealer’s face-down card is between specific values, and they are in danger of reaching 21.

Please note that doubling down will not always result in favorable outcomes. However, the strategy will enhance your earnings over time when utilized correctly.

When not to Double Down

When the dealer wields an ace

Having an ace in your hand during a game of blackjack is a highly advantageous position. Therefore, double down is a poor strategy when the dealer is presenting an ace. The chances are in their favor to either get close to 21 or to achieve blackjack.

If your hand is more significant than 11

This is another situation when it is appropriate not to double down. This is because the odds of going broke are far more prominent than the odds of drawing a nine or an eight. Unfortunately, many players disregard it in the heat of battle.

Instead of doubling down, it is preferable to just hit or stand on a minor total and hope the dealer goes broke. Unless your original hand is 11, never double down if the dealer’s upcard is ten or an ace.

Icon Double Down Signals

The right-hand signal to double down is different in a hand-held blackjack game and a shoe game. In blackjack, you must show it with a fitting hand gesture no matter what decision you want. This way, the dealer will know what you plan to do.

In either single-deck or double-deck blackjack, each player deals the cards face-down. To double down, they have to flip the cards over and put them in front of their chips, then make a new bet up to the amount of the first bet.

The “double down” card is usually given out face-down in several hand-held competitions. When a player doubles, the dealer usually puts it under the player’s chips. The player can look under it right away to see its worth. Many people prefer to wait until the end of the round when all the other hands have been dealt.

In shoe-dealt blackjack, each player’s cards are given to them face up and can’t be touched. When a player wants to double down, they put a new bet equal to their first bet to the left of the chips they have already put down. The dealer would add one more card and put it across from the player’s starting two cards to show that this is a “double down.”

Icon Blackjack Double Down Variations

There are several blackjack variations. Although they all adhere to the core laws of the game, some of the regulations change. There are some variables regarding doubling down, as stated below.

  • 1

    Discard double

    Almost no casinos give the option to discard after doubling down since it enables players to surrender.

  • 2

    Double down on three cards

    This variant enables you to double down on three cards. Few blackjack tables have this feature.

  • 3

    Double down on any number of cards

    This option allows players to double regardless of the number of cards in their hands.

  • 4

    Hit after doubling

    In reality, this rule does not exist; yet, novice dealers may let you hit (request another card) before doubling down.

  • 5


    As its name indicates, this option lets players double their bet on the same card drawn after the first double down.

  • 6

    Double down on the soft count

    The rule permits blackjack players to double down on any starting two cards containing an ace.

  • 7

    Double down on the hard count

    Double down on any total other than an ace.

Before doubling down, consider the following:

  1. Casinos have different double-down regulations. When to double down is regulated. Read your casino’s doubling down regulations carefully. 
  2. How to tell the dealer you want to double down is also essential. Add more chips to your existing bet. Most casinos accept this. If this doesn’t work, explicitly inform the dealer that you want to double down.

The Bottom Line

Doubling down is one of the few additional safe wagers available to blackjack players. It might be an excellent strategy to win more money. However, it would be best if you only used it when your likelihood of winning is great.

Players are advised to familiarize themselves with doubling down and its limits. Afterward, they can make appropriate estimates based on what they have garnered when they have obtained the essential knowledge.

Icon Doubling down in Blackjack FAQs

When to double down in blackjack?

If the dealer’s upcard is between three and six, and your opening two cards are four and five, it is advised that you double your stake since the dealer is in a terrible position.

Can I double down after hitting?

Hitting means taking another card. After hitting, you cannot double down. Doubling down is only allowed after the starting two cards have been dealt. You get one more card when you key into the double down blackjack, but you can’t hit, split, or take insurance anymore. Your bet is worth twice as much.

What does doubling down mean in blackjack?

When playing blackjack, you have the option to “double down,” which allows you to boost the amount of your initial stake by up to one hundred percent of its original value. In exchange, the player must stand after taking a single card.

Herbert Hanson


Herb has spent years working in the gambling industry, helping to provide gambling entertainment. He started from the land-based casino and then moved to the iGaming industry and joined our team as an author with great knowledge of the Las Vegas casino industry. His unique approach is the key to our content creation strategy. Do you need the latest bonuses and promotions; Herbert Hanson is your man with great knowledge.

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