Blackjack: When To Double Down

The key to making sure the casinos only have that small edge is by knowing when to take advantage of the cards you have.

So many times people have good double-down (DD) situations, and they simply hit instead of getting their money out there when they have the best of it. Sure, most people will double whenever they have an 11 and the dealer shows an 8 or less, or a 10 against a 7 or less, but there are so many other times when they should be doubling and aren’t.

This guide is going to be for people who don’t count cards and just want to know when to DD without having to worry about what’s left in the deck.

Here are the situations where you want to DD. I’ll break this down by the one card the dealer is showing, as that is the trigger to your decision.

Dealer card: 2
You DD with: any 10 (even two fives, which you never split, always double) and 11

Dealer card: 3
You DD with: 9, 10, 11 and also if you have Ace-6 or Ace-7 (doubling with 9 and with the A6/A7 are the situations I’m talking about where people aren’t doubling and should be).

Dealer card: 4
You DD with: 9, 10, 11 and A4, A5, A6, A7.

Dealer card: 5 or 6
(these are the cards we really want the dealer to have)
You DD with: 9, 10, 11 and A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7

Dealer card: 7, 8, or 9
You DD with: 10 or 11 (yes, you double a 10 against a 9 — you still have the advantage!)

Dealer card: 10
You DD with: 11 (yes, even if you have 11 and dealer shows a 10 or a face card, again you have the advantage)

Dealer card: A
You DD with: 11, but only after you know he doesn’t have BJ (now you know you have a small advantage because he doesn’t have a 10 and you still could get one. Also, don’t ever take insurance, it’s a horrible bet)

If you can play perfect basic strategy and know exactly when to double-down and take advantage, you have a shot at actually beating the casino long term, which almost never happens! Good luck!