One of the most exciting and profitable moves in the game of 21 is to make an additional wager that is equal to your original bet and receive one more card. This is called making a double-down bet. It allows you to increase your potential winnings when you have a favorable hand against the dealer.
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Moreover, we will provide additional details about using this model of betting in Blackjack, and how to get the most from it.
How to Use it Properly?
The way you make a double-down bet may vary depending on the type of blackjack game you are playing and the casino you are visiting. You can only double down after you receive your first two cards and before you draw any additional cards.
Signal to the dealer that you want to double down by placing one finger on the table or holding up one finger in the air. Some casinos may also allow you to verbally announce your intention to double down.
After that, the dealer will give you one more card face up and place it sideways across your first two cards. You are not allowed to touch the cards or the chips after making this move.
Keep in mind that there must be enough money in the bankroll to cover the double-down bets. You don’t want to miss out on a profitable opportunity because you ran out of money.
Always check the table limits and the house rules before you start playing. It is common for online gambling platforms to have different minimum and maximum bets for double down compared to regular bets.
Be consistent and disciplined with your betting strategy. Don’t double down randomly or impulsively. Follow the basic strategy charts and card counting systems to guide your decisions.
When to Use it?
Knowing when to use this option is one of the most important skills. It can make a big difference in your long-term results and profitability. However, it is not always easy to decide, as it depends on many factors, such as your hand value, the dealer’s upcard, the number of decks, and the house rules.
The basic principle is to increase your bet when you have a high probability of beating the dealer with one more card. You should double down when you have a total of 9, 10, or 11, and the dealer has a low card (2 to 6).
This gives you a good chance of getting a high total (19 to 21) with one more card, while the dealer is likely to bust or end up with a low total. You should also choose it when you have a soft 16, 17, or 18, and the dealer has a low or medium card (2 to 8).
This gives you a good chance of improving your soft hand to a hard hand, while the dealer is likely to have a weak hand or draw a high card and bust.
When to Avoid?
Always avoid this move when the dealer has a high card (9, 10, or face card) or an ace, as they have a high chance of getting a strong hand (19 to 21) or a blackjack. You should also not double down when you have a hard total of 12 or higher, as you have a high chance of busting or ending up with a low total.
To illustrate the worst practices and pitfalls of doubling down, let’s look at some examples and scenarios. Suppose you are playing a standard six-deck blackjack game with the following rules: the dealer stands on soft 17, you can double down on any two cards, and you can double down after splitting. Here are some situations where you should not double down:
- You have a 12 and the dealer has a 10. You should not double down, as you have a high chance of busting with one more card, and the dealer has a high chance of getting a 20 or 21. You should hit instead and hope for a low card.
- You have a soft 19 and the dealer has an ace. You should not double down, as you have a high chance of getting a worse hand with one more card, and the dealer has a high chance of getting a blackjack or a 20. You should stand instead and hope for a push or a dealer bust.
Other Useful Strategies
Another model that you can use to increase the win is to split your pairs. Splitting means that you can separate two cards of the same rank into two separate hands, and place an additional bet equal to the original bet on the second hand. This allows you to play two hands instead of one, and potentially double your winnings.
However, splitting is not always the best solution, and you should never choose it on any pair of cards. For example, a pair of 8s or 9s can be good since there is a great chance to get a 10 in the next turn. On the other hand, avoid this model on pairs of 7s and lower cards as you will face more risk.
Furthermore, we also have to mention that even though there are options to double the win, proper money management is still the best one. Always start with a plan, and determine the risks before you select the coin value for the next turn. One of the best approaches you should implement is progressive betting where you will increase the value when you lose a hand, and get to the initial one after winning one.
Double down is a simple option where you can significantly increase the total profit. However, the key is to use it only when you have a clear chance of winning, such as with two 10s, 18, or 19, while the dealer doesn’t have an ace or a ten as the upcard.