Doubling down in Blackjack
When playing blackjack one of the most favorable situations arises when you have the opportunity to double down. When you double down you are allowed to double your bet after
receiving your first two cards. You then receive one card only on your hand. Most casinos will allow you to double down on any two cards. Some casinos limit your doubling to hands that total ten or eleven.
Doubling on any two cards is a favorable rule to the player. Another favorable rule is doubling after splitting. Take a look at how these rules affect the house edge.
If you are playing a shoe game with eight decks and can double on anything, the basic house edge is -0.55% a little more than half of one percent.
Double after splitting + .13 reduces the house edge to -0.42
Double on 10 and 11 only - .21 increase the house edge to -0.76
By using basic strategy, you know when you should double down. The reason that doubling down is so favorable is that you are doubling your bet when you have the best opportunity
of beating the dealer. Most of the time this is when the dealer is at his weakest. This happens when the dealer shows an up card, which can possibly cause him to bust.
Many computer simulations have been run to determine the frequency a dealer will bust based on his or her up card. Take a look at the table below.Dealer Up-Card Percentage Bust 2 35 3 37 4 40 5 42 6 42 7 26 8 24 9 23 10 23 Ace 17
The worst cards for the dealer are the 2 through 6. They will bust more times with these cards showing. Your double down will be successful more against these cards. There are other situations where you will double down with a ten against the dealer's nine or an eleven against a dealer's ten. These are close calls and some newer players hesitate to do this. Although you will not be as successful with these plays as many times as when the dealer has a smaller card, it is still the correct strategy to do so. In the long run you will win more money by doubling in these situations than you will lose.
Some players are hesitant to double down because they are afraid of losing a double bet. If the size of your bet when you double down makes you sweat, then you are playing at table stakes higher than you should be.
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What is doubling down in blackjack?
When you double down you are allowed to double your bet after receiving your first two cards.