Blackjack is a fun and simple game with many options to give players more choices while playing a hand. One of these options is doubling the bet (Double Down).

There is even a variant named after it, namely Double Down Blackjack. That says it all about how important this option is. When basic strategy tells you to double your bet, it’s because you have an advantage at that point. It gives you the chance to make your winning hand even more profitable.

## Is doubling always wise with blackjack?

But not every potential advantage that arises is equal. In some hands, you’ll make almost twice as much profit if you didn’t double. With other hands, it’s only a few tenths of a wagered euro. To double your bet you place a second bet equal to your first bet. After you double, you receive one more card. There is no second card after doubling the bet.

If you are playing blackjack with six decks where a dealer has to hit on soft 17, then basic strategy will tell you to double your bet with hard 11 (no ace) against any dealer’s face-up card. On a hard 10 when the dealer has a card from 2 to 9 face up. On a hard 9 when the dealer shows a 3, 4, 5 or 6.

Doubling with 11 is often right

When you have a soft hand (including ace), where you can’t go over 21 because an ace counts as 11 and can count as 1 when you get a bad card, there are several options for doubling the bet at blackjack. If you have Ace-2 or Ace-3, double the bet if the dealer has a 5 or 6. With an Ace-4 or Ace-4, double against any 4, 5 or 6. With any Ace-6, double against any 3, 4, 5 or 6. And with the Ace-7 you can double the bet against 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6.

In good circumstances, you can double on any hand. To do this you can look for the right blackjack variant. At an online casino you’ll find many variants. Some casinos will limit doubling hands to 10 and 11 or 9, 10 and 11, where you are not allowed to double with a soft hand. If you encounter such restrictions, the best thing to do is to double all hands above it except Ace-7, where passing will be the next best option.

### Doubling hands

Doubling on hard 11 is more profitable than on hard 10, and they are both more profitable than either hard 9 or soft hands where you can double. You’ll make the most profit when the dealer has a 5 or 6 face up. Below we have given an example of how doubling on one hand can be more profitable than another.

If you have a hard 11 and the dealer has a 2 open, your average profit if you take a card is about 24% that your bet. If you instead double down and take a card, your average win doubles to as much as 48% of your original bet. To get more exact figures it will depend on the specific cards you are dealt.

If your hand is an 11 and contains the cards 5 and 6, then the average win from the original bet is 24.3 cents and when you double the bet it is 48.2 cents. If you have a 9 and 2 that make up the point total of 11, the profit averages 24 cents in the case of taking a card and 47.6 cents when you double the bet.

Doubling in Online Blackjack

### Doubling is twofold

The winnings from doubling at blackjack are not quite double your original bet. This is because there is a chance that you will draw an Ace when taking an extra card after doubling and this will almost always give you a bad hand. In basic strategy, if you have a hard 12 against an exposed 2 you will take additional cards, but every possible subsequent card when you start with hard 11 will make you pass against a 2 from the dealer.

Now compare it to doubling down on a soft hand, namely Ace-2 against a 5 from the dealer. If you take a card, your average profit is 13.66 cents per euro you bet. If you double the bet, then you increase this profit to 13.75 cents per euro of your original bet.

You win only less than one-tenth of one percent per euro wagered by doubling the bet rather than simply taking a card. One big difference is that with Ace-2 against a 5, you will encounter many situations where you would have liked even more extra cards, whereas you played that option away at the time you doubled your hand.

You want to receive an extra card when you draw an Ace that gives you a soft 14. But also in cases when you get a 2 for soft 15, 3 for soft 16 and 4 for soft 17 you would prefer to have the option to be able to draw more cards. When doubling the bet at blackjack you limit these options while there are plenty of chances to improve your point total.

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## The percentages at a glance

The average profit will be higher if you double instead of not doing it. This is why basic strategy will say that you should double. It is important to note that the results are not fully doubled because in the meantime you can also lose hands by taking an extra card and therefore the total profit by doubling is smaller.

Keeping that in mind, let’s divide doubling into several layers, starting with the most profitable “Double Down” hands:

### Profits averaging 50% or more

- Hard 11 against a 6:
- Hard 11 against a 5:
- Hard 11 against a 4:
- Hard 10 against a 6:
- Hard 11 against a 3:
- Hard 10 against a 5:

34% if you take a card, 68% if you double down.

32% if you take a card, 63% if you doubled.

29% if you take a card, 58% if you doubled.

29% if you take a card, 57% if you double down.

27% if you take a card, 53% if you doubled.

27% if you take a card, 53% if you doubled.

Note that with a hard 11, your average profit is more than half of your original bet with a face-up card from 3 to 6, but with a hard 10, you only reach that level with a face-up 5 or 6 from the dealer. The average final profit is much better if you start with an 11 instead of a 10.

With an 11, you get the opportunity to convert to a value of 21 with each of the four cards with a value of 10, which is the highest possible value in blackjack. With a value of 10, it is only possible to get an Ace to achieve the value of 21.

### Profits average 40% to 50%

- Hard 11 against a 2:
- Hard 10 against a 4:
- Hard 11 against a 7:
- Hard 11 against a 6:
- Hard 10 against a 3:
- Hard 10 to a 7:

24% if you take a card, 48% if you doubled.

24% if you take a card, 47% if you double down.

29% if you take a card, 47% if you doubled.

34% if you take a card, 68% if you doubled.

21% if you take a card, 42% if you doubled.

26% if you take a card, 40% if you doubled.

At this level, you still double on hard 11 and hard 10. The most profitable hands are against a dealer’s open 7. This is because the dealer can already have a hand of 17 or better without having to take a card.

### Profits average 30% to 40%

- Hard 10 against a 2:
- Soft 18 against a 6:
- Hard 11 against an 8:
- Hard 9 against a 6:
- Soft 18 against a 5:

29% if you take a card, 38% if you double down.

22% if you passed, 36% if you doubled.

23% if you take a card, 35% if you doubled.

19% if you take a card, 31% if you doubled.

20% if you passed, 30% if you doubled.

At a profit of between 30 to 40 cents, you’ll see the first soft hands reflected in the table, with the most profitable hand being doubling down on a hard 9 against a 6.

### Profits average 20% to 30%

- Hard 10 against an 8:
- Hard 9 against a 5:
- Soft 17 against a 6:
- Soft 18 against a 4:
- Hard 11 against a 9:
- Soft 13 against a 6:
- Soft 14 against a 6:
- Soft 15 against a 6:
- Soft 16 against a 6:

20% if you take a card, 29% if you doubled.

17% if you take a card, 26% if you doubled.

13% if you take a card, 25% if you doubled.

17% if you passed, 25% if you doubled.

16% if you take a card, 23% if you doubled.

17% if you take a card, 20% if you doubled.

15% if you take a card, 20% if you doubled.

15% if you take a card, 20% if you double down.

11% if you take a card, 20% if you double down.

From here, the soft hands in blackjack dominate the list. The most profitable hands are the hard totals mentioned early in the list. Doubling down on soft hands brings less profit.

### Winnings average less than 20%

- Hard 9 against a 4:
- Soft 17 against a 5:
- Hard 11 against a 10:
- Soft 18 against a 3:
- Hard 10 against a 9:
- Soft 14 against a 5:
- Soft 13 against a 5:
- Hard 9 against a 3:
- Soft 16 against a 5:
- Hard 11 against an Ace:
- Soft 15 against a 5:
- Soft 18 against a 2:
- Soft 17 against a 4:
- Soft 17 against a 3:
- Soft 16 against a 4:
- Soft 15 against a 4:

13% if you take a card, 19% if you doubled.

10% if you take a card, 19% if you doubled.

12% if you take a card, 18% if you doubled.

14% if you passed, 18% if you doubled.

12% if you take a card, 15% if you doubled.

12% if you take a card, 14% if you doubled.

13.66% if you take a card, 13.75% if you doubled.

10% if you take a card, 13% if you doubled.

8% if you take a card, 13% if you double.

11% if you take a card, 12% if you doubled.

9% if you take a card, 13% if you doubled.

11% if you passed, 12% if you doubled.

6% if you take a card, 12% if you doubled.

3% if you take a card, 6% if you doubled.

4% if you take a card, 6% if you doubled.

6.1% if you take a card, 6.4% if you doubled.

As you can see, the above hands bring the least profit, with, for example, only a third of a penny when doubling on a soft 15 against a 4. Any doubling you encounter in the basic strategy table will be an opportunity to increase your winnings, but the opportunities with a hard 11 and hard 10 against a dealer’s weak card will give you the most profit.

### Conclusion

We recommend that you learn the online blackjack rules first before venturing into complex strategy tables. Doubling in blackjack is one of the most important options and it’s important to know when to double and when not to. By knowing exactly how to act, you can raise your odds of winning. Blackjack is known for the fact that your choices affect the house edge. You can reduce the online casino’s advantage by applying basic strategy and making the right choices in every situation. It’s very smart to play free Blackjack first so you can get a little experience.