Blackjack Strategy for Doubling Down – Plus Resource Links



When I started writing Blackjack Strategy for Doubling Down – Plus Resource LinksI, I remembered a session sitting playing $5 Blackjack table at Arizona Charlie’s in Las Vegas years ago. .  It was the annual trek to VIMFP (the Vegas Internet Mafia Family Picnic) sponsored by the Vegas Gang at VegasTripping. It was late, my bankroll was dwindling. I had to decide to double a $25 bet, with only $100 left. Basic strategy said yes, I did, and I won.  I went to bed with money in my pocket – it was a good thing!

Doubling Down?

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 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 side of the dealer 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.”

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”

Hard Hands

  • 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

Soft Hands

  • 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

Basic Strategy Card from

As I continued to look at strategy cards & Blackjack websites, I realized that beyond basic strategy of doubling down, I was not the one to give the many viewpoints and advanced strategies needed to know.

So, to complete today’s post, here are websites for those of you beyond the “6 deck shoe basic strategy” play. Enjoy.

The Ultimate Guide to Blackjack by Henry Tamburin at 888CasinoBlog

The Wizard of Odds

Blackjack Institute

Blackjack: The Forum

I hope this has been helpful, or at least, encourages you to check out other Blackjack resources.




Advice From the OBLIVIOUS Gambler – The Snarky, Sarcastic Version.

VERY IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER – Advice From the OBLIVIOUS Gambler is a snarky, sarcastic parody concerning the rationalizing of habits by ignorant recreational gamblers. It’s BASICALLY MEANT FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT AND MY THERAPEUTIC RANTING.

Gamblers around me at the casino drive me crazy. This post includes snarky, sarcastic Advice From the OBLIVIOUS Gambler. At these times, I become a “cup-half-empty” kind of guy.The Dark Side rises and I just want choke them like Darth Vadar so they will stop talking.

The things  I hear at the casino really “crushes my quads!”  (Taking deep breath………) . Ok, i’m better now.

Recreational gamblers are often uninformed. Subsequently, better gambling strategies and advantage gambling tactics are not part of their gambling repertoire. As my mother-in-law used to say, “Whatever floats your boat.”

However, I can’t tell a lie. When I hear players spout off their lack of understanding, mired in their myths, it really “agitates my aces.”  (Taking another deep breath, uttering the mantra “embrace the math, not the myth; embrace the math……)

BACK TO Advice From the OBLIVIOUS Gambler

This post was inspired by Ryan Craggs who wrote an article for Yahoo Travel called “The 30 Worst Decisions You Can Make in a Casino.”

So, if  you care about playing longer, and  losing less you already understand the sarcasm.  For the most part, if  you want to give yourself the best chance at winning, then this article is for entertainment means only.  For me, it is more therapeutic.


What if you make those decisions because it doesn’t matter to you.  Not in a negative way, the reading and practice involved takes the fun out of it for you. Consequently, tier status or if you have a host isn’t enough of a concern. And Freebies? – they’re nice, but maybe you’re content with $10 free slot play. Maybe it’s all about socializing with your friends – going clubbing and paying $10 for a Bud Light.

So, here is my variation on Ryan Craggs article.  By the way, I mean no disrespect to his post.  Please read Ryan’s article and all those other articles about what not to do when you’re at the casino.

Advice From the OBLIVIOUS Gambler – The Snarky, Sarcastic Version.


Yes, remember anyone can just walk into a casino and win! Never mind that casino “house edge” that so many people talk about.  Some one’s got to win, and you have as good a chance as the next guy to have blind luck hit in your favor. Besides, I have a friend who’s cousin’s aunt’s nephew never loses in this casino.  NEVAH!  And he doesn’t even know how to (24)

THERE IS NO NEED TO TIP MY WAITRESS or DEALER. I work just as hard as they do!

I’m entitled to free drinks when I gamble.  That’s $1 more for my quarter Video Keno game. Hey, they get paid by the casino. I need to keep all my winnings.

KNOWING WHEN TO PLAY MAX BET at slots Isn’t  IMPORTANT.  Slots are all programmed anyway

I never play MAX BET. Getting that progressive jackpots is basically your time or not your time.  MAX BET is just their way of getting your money quicker. Besides, I just like the symbols on this slot. It’s entertainment, and it’s in a section that I can get free drinks easier. (See previous suggestion)th (25)

I don’t care if it’s 6:5, 5:6 or 867-5309 BACKJACK3:2, 6:5, what does it matter?  

Supposedly, I lose $3 on each blackjack, and increases the casino’s edge. Who cares, it’s about the camaraderie, the fun, the drinks, and the social atmosphere of beating the house……right? I play 6:5 BJ because it “really doesn’t matter.”

(NETG aside – WHILE ON THE TOPIC OF BLACKJACK…. NOT HITTING ON 16 (two 8’s) vs. DEALER’S 10, SPLITTING 10’s, and TAKING INSURANCE – you don’t really care about losing? How about giving the house even more edge. If the table is “hot,” bet on your gut-wrenched hunch. Remember it’s all about the camaraderie, the fun, the drinks, and the social atmosphere of beating the house……right?)

Playing with house money? I thought it was the Players?


When I hit once, or twice on whatever game i’m playing, I’m in a ZONE – I need to keep playing.  (NETG – Just a word of caution from Mr. Craggs, “There are roughly over 1,500 casinos in the U.S. alone. They’re proven moneymakers. Sure, you can win money, but if you play long enough, you won’t.”)  Hey, if I in the ZONE, and I’m ahead, I’m playing with the casino’s money.  It’s like I’m playing for free – play on!

Casino Redemtion / ATM machineI g0 TO THE ATM FOR MORE MONEY, after my bankroll is gone.  I can get those losses back, no problem.

Sure, I know about that house advantage, but this losing streak can’t possibly continue. I’m due. Need more money.  I’ll get it back.


The other day I heard that “some slots pay better if you play two credits, not three” and “that some video poker machines don’t pay out for anyone.  If it’s cold, don’t play it.” By the way,”don’t double down here, this casino has the cards rigged. That’s how they make their money.  You, too, can be helpful (NETG – and intensely disliked) by giving information like this.


That slot machine is about to hit. You know they go in cycles. Those cycles are programmed to pay out. I saw the same thing happen to that same machine yesterday.the guy playing it left and the next lady hit the jackpot after three pulls. So, you stay so that NOBODY gets YOUR JACKPOT!th (26)


It’s just Big Brother watching me.  You know darn well the casino connects you to all sorts of inter-web stuff.  Better to be anonymous, (NETG – so they can’t give you comps, points for dining, tickets for concerts and special gambling offers – you know, things you’ll feel guilty about later.) Besides, if they know I’m winning, they will change the payout on the machine while I’m playing.



That’s all for now.


Blackjack Not a Team Game

Blackjack Not a Team Game, but Craps Is. This post is in response to all those whining blackjack players who play at low limit tables and complain about players strategy.  Where else are beginning or recreational gamblers supposed to play? Help when asked for is fine, but shaming one’s strategy and blame for your lack of success is just wrong.  If you want better strategy played, I hear you can reserve a table in High Limit…..

Blackjack Not a Team Game vs the Casino

Tension at the blackjack table

This is a tale of two table games, Craps and Blackjack.  Some consider both games “us against the casino.”  Team games.  But only one comes with that kind of fun and camaraderie……and it’s not blackjack.

Craps players tend to band together.  They have the most fun.  The shooter is the warrior, the attacker for the group.  His throw of the dice will determine his followers success – at least those betting pass line. Craps is the only “one for all and all for one” table game…..and that doesn’t include any of the carnival games that can be found.

Now, Ever hear this?

“You know what really drives me crazy about blackjack? …You sit down and get a good game going, and then some idiot sits down at third base and starts messing up the cards. What do you do about that?”imageI am so tired of superstitions and myths believed by even the best players.  Remember what we say at NETG, “Embrace the math, not the Myth.”The whole idea that blackjack players band together under the same strategy to beat the dealer is preposterous. The table isn’t a team, it’s one on one against the dealer’s hand.

Blackjack – NOT A Team Sport

Ken Smith is a well-known blackjack player. If you want to know more about him, try going to  In Blackjack Forum, 2013, he wrote the following:  “Other players have no appreciable affect on your results. That’s right… Johnny Clueless from Buffalo who sat down at your table had nothing to do with your losing streak.  Now, if you already knew this to be true, you probably know what happens next in the conversation. Trying to explain that other players can’t screw up your results invariably leads to that blank stare. You know the one. It’s where you can almost see them thinking: “This Kenny guy doesn’t know squat about blackjack! How did he ever make any money?!”

Generally, I don’t even bother trying to dispute their notion. Instead I’ll just nod my head as if these kinds of players bother me too, and change the subject as soon as I can,……. let me make a concerted effort to explain why this is a myth. “

Win or Lose, Play Your Own Blackjack Hand

Bottom line is you can win as much as lose from players and their poor strategy – short or long term.imageOnce, I was playing video poker. I was dealt two tens, but only kept one….three hours of playing will cause that sometimes.  On the draw, I was dealt the rest of the Royal Flush. It was my mistake in strategy, but I didn’t give back the $1000.

Moral of the Story

I’d like to complain about high table minimums at blackjack.  I’d like to blame the sightings of 6:5 blackjack pay tables.  But, to be honest, it’s the lack of fun and height of intensity at the blackjack table that keeps me away.  I don’t find it at craps, or Pai Gow poker, and especially with my own personal video poker terminal. The last time I played blackjack was at Ellis Island, Las Vegas, with a great dealer, great atmosphere, kind players and a $5 minimum. Ah, those were the days….

Related Post – 12 Tips For Blackjack Beginners

So, don’t bitch about something that doesn’t exist, don’t play $5 tables and expect highly skilled players. Take the good with the bad, and embrace the math, not the myth.