Blackjack strategy 101: What is the Double Down?
Ever wondered how the Double Down bet can improve your chances in blackjack? We explore how to use this classic wager to beat the house.
The Double Down is one of the strongest tools in the online blackjack player's armory.
It allows you an additional bet in return for one more card - and one more card only.
When played well, the Double Down can give you a good edge over the house. But there is always risk attached.
How the Double Down bet works
When you play online blackjack at Betway you start a hand by placing an initial bet. Depending on what the cards are, you may have the option to split your cards or pay an Insurance against the dealer having blackjack.
The Double Down is an additional bet that can be played once you know your hand and the dealer's up card. The Double Down bet is worth the same as your original stake. You will receive one further card, and one card only. You won't be allowed to "hit" and receive further cards.
If you are confident of beating the dealer, your Double Down bet can be used wisely. There is risk involved in that you only get one more card.
However, if your hand total is 9, 10, or 11, an extra card gives you a good chance of beating the dealer, whatever they show.
Knowing when to Double Down
Some online blackjack variants let you Double Down on any total. Some variants, like European Blackjack, will only let you double down if you have a total of 9, 10 or 11.
There is a skill in knowing when to Double Down. For example, if both you and the dealer show a 10, doubling down might not be a smart move. There is every chance the dealer will also hit a 10-value card, resulting in a tie ("push").
Having a blackjack cheat sheet is a good move. This will show you the optimum moves to make based on your and the dealer's cards.
Using the Double Down in practice
Let's compare a few optimal moves with the Double Down based on several blackjack versions.
You can play European Blackjack at Betway Casino. A dealer having blackjack beats the player's 21. That's why doubling down on 10 or 11 can be risky.
So if the dealer shows a 10 or picture card and you have 11, don't double down. Instead, just hit and try to beat the dealer without paying an extra bet.
Similarly, if the dealer shows a low card, like a 3, 4, 5 or 6, they will likely have to hit twice. The risk of going bust is higher and your Double Down has a better chance of getting through.
Atlantic City Blackjack
Atlantic City Blackjack can be played at Betway Casino for free play or real money.
The difference between Atlantic City Blackjack and European Blackjack is that the dealer peeks for a blackjack when the cards are dealt and he shows an ace or a 10-value card. If the dealer has blackjack, the game ends.
Because of the extra information, players have more options to Double Down. If the player has a 9, 10 or 11 total, they should Double Down as per the European Blackjack cheat sheet above.
However, you can also add in some Double Down moves to your range. For example, Double Down on A-6 if the dealer shows a 3, 4, 5, or 6, or Double Down on A-2 if the dealer shows a 5 or 6.
Try the Double Down bet in Betway's free blackjack games
Blackjack is all about taking calculated risks. Whenever possible, you want to have an advantage over the house. Choosing your Double Down spots can mean the difference between making a profit or a loss.
Use the cheat sheets well, and find the optimum times to double your bet. Try the Double Down today on Betway Casino's free blackjack tables.