When I started writing Blackjack Strategy for Doubling Down, I remembered a session sitting playing a $5 Blackjack table at Arizona Charlie’s in Las Vegas years ago. It was late, and my bankroll was dwindling. I had to decide to double a $25 bet, with only $100 left. The basic strategy said yes, I did, and I won. I went to bed with money in my pocket – life was good!
One of the toughest decisions beginning Blackjack players face is “Doubling Down.” This is simply placing another wager on your hand, which is equal to your initial bet, and for this wager, you will receive another card. However, like all Blackjack strategies, you should only use this option when the perfect strategy calls for it.
There are many variations in blackjack rules. Some are even distinct to locale. Atlantic City is known for “surrender,” where I first saw it. The house rules are displayed on a small sign at the dealer’s side and will let you know when you can double down your hand.
888CasinoBlog – A Great Resource
According to 888CasinoBlog, a great blackjack strategy website, “most casinos allow you to double down on any two-card hand (hard or soft), whereas some restrict doubling to specific starting hands, e.g., doubling is allowed only on hard 10 and 11. The best player-friendly doubling rules are when you can double down on any two cards.”
The basic strategy for doubling down is as follows for beginning players at a 6 deck shoe. Taken from Al Moe’s article “Six Keys to Winning At Blackjack.”
- 9 – double against a dealer 2 through 6 and hit 7 through ace
- 10 – double against a dealer 2 through 9
- 11 – double against a dealer 2 through 10
- 16 and 17 – double against a dealer 2 through 6, otherwise hit
- 18 – double against a dealer 2 through 6, stand against a 7 or eight, hit against 9, 10, or ace
Other considerations include:
- # of decks used
- dealer’s up card
- hard hands vs. soft hands ( for example – a soft 18 = A, 7; a hard 18 would be 10, 8)
- doubling on low pairs (4,4, or 5,5) considering a single deck vs. 4-8 deck shoe.
Blackjack Strategy for Doubling Down – Plus Resource Links
As I continued to look at strategy cards & Blackjack websites, I realized that I could not give the many viewpoints and advanced strategies needed to know beyond a basic strategy of doubling down.
So, to complete today’s post, here are websites for those of you beyond the “6 decks shoe basic strategy” play. Enjoy.