When to Double Down at Blackjack and When Not - All You Need to Know About the Double Down Move

When to Double Down at Blackjack and When Not - All You Need to Know About the Double Down Move


If you ask the average gambler which game was the first to be brought online, they are likely to say slot machine. However, surprisingly, blackjack is the first casino game to hit the World Wide Web. With dynamic gameplay, rather high payout odds, and multiple game moves, blackjack provides a truly thrilling gambling experience. Today, Arabic players can enjoy live blackjack from the comfort of their own homes or even on the go at VipArabClub, a popular online casino designed specifically for Arabian gamblers. There is a wide selection of versions of blackjack, from classic blackjack and European versions to multi-hand blackjack. While many blackjack beginners use some simple moves like hit and stand, there are also a few more sophisticated options including the double down one. This article will tell you all you need to know about the double-down move and when it is appropriate.  

Basics of Online Blackjack

Online Blackjack is known to be a card game where luck and strategy have an impact on the outcome of the gaming rounds. Choose the right online casino and you'll have access to both RNG-based computerized blackjack, and a live dealer version that provides you with an authentic gambling experience. No matter which option you pick, you'll be playing right on the screen of your device. This means that you have a control panel with buttons to select your stake size as well as gameplay moves, including a double-down option. 

Contrary to misconceptions, to win at blackjack, you need to build up a hand higher in value than the dealer's one. The maximum blackjack hand value is 21, and you must stay within this number. And if - while in the middle of a hand - you feel an extra card might make you a winner, you can make that thrilling move called double down. However, blackjack offers many other options, including split and insurance, which are also used from time to time by skilled players. Ultimately, the double down adds an extra dimension to the game and is one of the most popular blackjack moves, so we will focus on it here. 

What is Double Down in Blackjack

Although double down is one of the most exciting and popular moves in blackjack, unfortunately not all players understand what it is and how it works. With this option, provided it's done correctly, you can significantly increase your winnings, and that's the main advantage. However, what exactly is doubling? In simple terms, double down is about doubling your original bet in the middle of the hand. Undoubtedly, this can be a very risky move, but the probability of gaining more money is also increased. Keep in mind, for this risk to be worthwhile, you should only use the double-down option when you have a slight edge over the dealer. So, below we'll look at the key points when you should use this gambling move. 

Your Hand Is Worth 11 Points

So, you've bet and received two of your cards. If your hand is valued at 11, that's a great reason to take advantage of the double-down option. The thing is, with such a hand, there's a good chance of getting blackjack - or getting close to it - after taking an extra card. In blackjack, there are no cards of value higher than 10 points except the Ace. However, depending on the game situation, an Ace can be valued at either 11 or 1. This means that with 11 points, you don't risk going over 21, so taking another card and doubling up can be a very smart decision. 

You Have a Hard 9 or 10

You've probably heard of hard or soft hands. A hard hand in blackjack is a hand without an Ace. If you find yourself in a situation where your hand is valued at 9 or 10 (without an Ace), pay attention to the dealer's open card. If it's a lower value, you may want to double your bet and draw an extra card. Doing so gives you a good chance of beating the dealer for a bigger win than if you hadn't doubled your bet. 

You have a Soft 16-18

While a hand without an Ace is considered hard, with an Ace present it becomes soft. Let's say you have a hand of value 17 with an Ace involved. Generally speaking, when you have an Ace, you gain some advantage, as this card can be valued at either 11 or 1, depending on how it favours you. However, look wider by paying attention to the dealer's open card. If it has a fairly low value, then a double down might be a justifiable risk. Otherwise, you could lose big. 

Situations When Not to Double Down

So, we've looked at a few basic cases where you can risk doubling your bet and getting an extra card. Once you appreciate the benefits of this move, you run the risk of getting carried away and using it too often, even when it doesn't make sense. There are a few cases where doubling down is a very bad idea, and we'll look at them below. 

The Dealer Got an Ace

An Ace is a versatile card that gives certain advantages to whoever holds it. And if the dealer gets an Ace, luck may be on his side. This means that his chances of getting blackjack or getting close to 21 points are quite high. Although having an Ace in the hand is no guarantee of a positive result, we don't recommend using a double down if the dealer shows this card. 

You Have a Hard Hand of Value 11+

This hand is pretty ambiguous, and most likely indicates that your chances of losing are pretty high. Let's say you have a hand of value 13 and no Ace. There's a pretty good chance that you'll draw a card of value 9 or 10 and lose because you're going over 21 points. 

Extra Tips for Using Double Down

For experienced gamblers, online blackjack is a strategic game in which knowing how to choose the right moves plays an important role. As for double down, it's a risky option that should be avoided by beginners. Below we would like to give a few guidelines for those interested in including double downs in their blackjack arsenal:

  • Learn a basic blackjack strategy. As you know, blackjack is a game with a house advantage of less than 1%. However, this is only true if you use a basic strategy. A basic strategy is considered to be a list of guidelines for your play moves, depending on what's happening at the blackjack table. Luckily, you don't need to memorize this list, as there are plenty of online cheat sheets you can keep on hand while playing blackjack. With a basic strategy in mind, you'll always know when it makes sense to double down and when it can be devastating to your bankroll.
  • Card counting technique. Once you have mastered this technique, you will have some idea of what cards are left in the deck. To use this technique, you need to divide all the cards into three groups and assign separate values to each group (-1, 0 and +1). Then simply keep track of the cards drawn from the deck and keep a total count so you know whether high or low cards predominate in the deck. The card counting technique can be a great asset to you if you prefer to use double down. Experts say that if you use the card counting technique perfectly, you can gain an advantage over the house. However, keep in mind that using the card counting technique is a pointless activity if you prefer RNG-based blackjack, which is essentially played out of an infinite number of card decks.
  • Sensible bankroll management. To prevent risky moves like double-downs from quickly depleting your gambling budget, you need to learn how to manage it properly. First, never gamble with borrowed funds, as you risk losing and not paying your debts on time. Secondly, set limits on the maximum length of your playing session and stick to them. Thirdly, bet below average to prolong your gambling enjoyment and not to lose too much in case your luck runs out. 

Finally, choose a reliable online casino with certified gaming content from leading providers. VipArabClub is a reputable online casino operated under license by Curacao eGaming and collaborating with the best vendors such as Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech, Evolution Gaming, Pragmatic Play and many more. With a well-diversified gaming portfolio, plenty of bonuses and promotions, excellent customer support and convenient payment options on board, VipArabClub has appealed to many Arabic gambling enthusiasts who prefer to play blackjack games

Practising Double Down

So, double down in blackjack is a technique you'll have to master before using it. However, learning the theory won't be enough since you can get lost in the action while playing for real money. To practice your double-down skills without any risk, you can play RNG-based blackjack in the risk-free 'Play For Free' mode right on the VipArabClub website with no registration or deposit required. Please note, however, that all winnings generated in 'Play For Free' mode are in fake cash, so you won't be able to withdraw them to your card or e-wallet. As soon as you feel ready to play blackjack for real money, you can register with VipArabClub. After making a small deposit, you'll get access to a welcome package which includes extra money available to be spent on online blackjack bets.

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