When Is The Right Time To Double Down In Blackjack?

Updated Updated: February 16, 2022
blackjack table

Like any casino game, blackjack requires a bit of luck, but also a good strategy and perfect timing. If you want to win money and have fun while playing blackjack online, then knowing the correct moment to double down is very important.

Doubling down is one of the most common bets in blackjack, and when you do it right, you have the chance to increase your winnings on a massive scale. But, what exactly is doubling down? 

Essentially, this means that you will double your bet when you’re in the middle of a hand before receiving one more card. It’s perceived as a risky move, but if you think you have an advantage over the dealer, then doubling down can really pay off.

If you think you’re ready to play, then start by checking out the best NZ online casinos and following these blackjack tips.

Doubling down: When you should make the move

Blackjack is of course the goal of reaching or getting as close to 21 as possible, but it’s also about beating the dealer. There are particular hands that will give you a statistical edge over the casino, and we’ll discuss these below: 

When your cards have a value of 11

This is certainly the most common and best time to double down when playing blackjack, because if your cards already total 11, then there’s a decent opportunity that one extra card will hit a blackjack. Furthermore, even if you don’t receive a 10, jack, queen, or king, then you’re still going to be safe by not breaking 21. 

When you have a hard 9 or 10

When you have what’s called a ‘hard’ hand, this means that you’re not holding an ace (which is worth either 1 or 11). In this position, it’s often worth doubling down if you can see that the dealer has a lower card.

If you have a soft 16, 17, or 18

With a ‘soft’ hand, this means you’re holding an ace and one more card. Aces are a big deal in blackjack, as these let you either hit a blackjack or get very close to one. If you’ve got a soft hand, then doubling down is a good idea if you can see that the dealer is again presenting a lower card. 

betpal dog mascot at blackjack table

When it’s best to avoid doubling down

Blackjack is a game of chance, after all, and even if you think doubling down is the fastest way to win cash, there are several instances where it’s better to back out and save the double down for another time.

If the dealer is holding an ace

Any blackjack player wants to have an ace in your hand, but when the dealer has one, that’s a different story! The odds are certainly in the casino’s favour if the dealer has an ace, so best not double down in this case.

When you’re holding a hard hand greater than 11

With a hard hand of more than 11, it’s never a good idea to double down, as the chance of going bust is likely. You can win, of course, but most blackjack pros would avoid doubling down in this position.

Further blackjack tips and strategies for doubling down

You can increase your chances of winning but also avoid losses with these extra strategies regarding doubling down in blackjack.

  • If you want to make the double down bet, then you can signal this by throwing in your stack of chips (must be the same amount as your original bet) beside your current bet. Don’t place the new chips on top of the first chips, as casinos can sometimes think you’re interfering with your bet and trying to cheat.
  • If you don’t want to follow strategies about hard hands and soft hands, especially for beginners, then simply double down when you’ve got an 11 if you want to be safe.
  • It’s not possible to double down after you’ve just hit, which means taking another card. Doubling down in blackjack is only permitted after the first two cards have been dealt out to the players.

Always remember that doubling down in blackjack is a solid chance to win more money, but it should only be done if you think you’ve got the odds in your favour. The casino wants you to take bigger and bigger bets, of course, but only make them if you believe you can win.

Subscribe to our newsletter Get the latest news, updates and great deals from your favourite casinos!