When to Double Down in Single Deck Blackjack
It’s been a little over 60 years since they figured out the optimal strategy for Blackjack. A group of statisticians wrote a paper in 1956, and that paper’s findings were verified in Edward O. Thorp’s 1962 book Beat the Dealer. Now, millions of Blackjack players around the world are learning these strategies, including the option to double down. This is when you double your wager and receive one single card; if you haven’t gone bust after receiving this card, you stand with whatever you’ve got.
If you’re not familiar with doubling down, or you’re still learning the basic strategy, Single Deck Blackjack is the right game to start with. Bovada just introduced a modern version of this game to go alongside the Classic version; try out the following strategies, and you’ll be one step closer to playing perfect Blackjack. At Bovada, you can double any two cards when you play Single Deck Blackjack, and the Dealer must hit on Soft 17.
Hard Hands (No Pair)
If you have 11 in your hand (say, Seven-Four), you should always double, hoping to spike that 10-value card to make 21. Otherwise, follow this guide:
10: Double when Dealer shows a Nine or lower
9: Double when Dealer shows a Six or lower
8: Double when Dealer shows a Five or a Six
With hands containing an Ace, you’ll occasionally double when the Dealer shows a low card (Six or lower). If you’re holding Ace-Six, always double against a low card. Here are the other times to double:
19: Double when Dealer shows a Six
18: Double when Dealer shows a Three, Four, Five or Six
13, 14, 15, 16: Double when Dealer shows a Four, Five or Six
In Single Deck Blackjack games where you’re allowed to double after splitting, like the ones at Bovada, there’s only one pair you should double first: a pair of Fives. This should only be done when the Dealer’s up-card is a Nine or lower, just like you would with any other hand worth 10. If you have a pair of Fours, split instead when the Dealer shows a Four as well as a Five or Six, and hit otherwise.