Blackjack doubling strategy

Doubling Down Strategies
January 23, 2016 – 03:27 am

Book PictureLet’s face it, most of the hands you are dealt in blackjack are losers. In fact, for every 100 hands that you play you are destined to lose 53 of them on average, and only win 47. With that kindHenry Tamburin is the editor and publisher of the Blackjack Insider Newsletter and author of the best-selling Blackjack: Take the Money & Run. He is also the lead Instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack course, a feature writer for Casino Player magazine (and 6 other publications); an owner of a casino gambling publishing company ( and the host of For a free three month subscription to the Henry's Blackjack Insider Newsletter with full membership privileges go to Henry's website is of odds facing a blackjack player, how is it possible to win?

One way to attack the casino's edge in blackjack is to learn when to double down. This playing option was introduced into the game as a way for players to reduce the rather large edge the casino would have without it. But it’s up to the player to know when to exercise the doubling option and just as importantly when not too.

Learning the correct doubling down playing strategy will allow a blackjack player to either turn a losing hand into an overall winner or to minimize losses in a losing situation. This may seem confusing but it’s two important points that blackjack players must understand in order to know when it becomes advantageous to double down.

Book PictureIn general it’s not how often you win a hand that determines whether or not you should double down but rather what is your monetary gain per hand. The reason is that in some instances you actually will decrease your chances of winning. How can this be? Let’s take the example of the following hand.

6, 3 5
Player Hand Dealer Upcard

By analyzing this hand using a blackjack simulation software program, you can determine the percent of the times you will win when you hit compared to doubling down.

Play % Hands Won % Hands Lost
Hitting 59 41
Doubling 57 43

You actually win fewer hands when you double down compared to hitting. The reason is that when you double down you get only one draw card. If it was a deuce for example you are stuck with a 12 and could only win if the dealer breaks. On the other hand, if you hit and drew a 2, you could draw again to improve your total. Get the point? Because you get only one draw card when you double down you give up the option of drawing again when you are dealt a not-so-good card. This leads to an important point- doubling down will never increase your chances of winning a hand!

Interesting facts

Billy Baxter (February 8, 1926 – January 20, 2012) was born and lived in the West side of Manhattan. He was an American film producer who began his career in the early 1960s. He enlisted in the Navy on his 17th birthday and served aboard the battleship USS New Jersey in the South Pacific during World War II.
At the 1978 Cannes Film Festival...

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Popular Q&A
What does double down mean in blackjack?

Double down - Double your initial bet following the initial 2-card deal, but you can hit 1 card only. A good bet if the player is in a strong situation. Remember, when you double down, you must take 1 additional card and you will not receive more than 1.

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