How to double down, hit or stay in blackjack

November 19, 2010

The concept of Blackjack is very easy. You beat the dealer, you win. You hit to get closer to 21 and then stand if you believe you have the best hand.

When to hit in blackjack/Standing strategy (click link for details):

Hit on any card with a total less than 12 and stand on any hand above 16.

If you have between 12-16 you would only hit if the dealer card is between 7-Ace.  If the dealer up card is less than a 7 you should stand.

Soft totals are hands that include an Ace together with another value card.  If you have an Ace in your hand and do not have a value card then hit if your total is 17 or less.  You should stay if your soft total is 19 or twenty.

It is worth noting that you would double down if the soft total was 17 or less if the dealer is showing a 4 or 5.

When to double down in blackjack:

When you receive your cards you are able to double down. Essentially, this means that you are able to double your initial bet in exchange for getting only one card. A number of casinos will allow you to bet less than your initial wager, but most if not all will not permit you to increase the wager. Always check the house rules as some will only allow you to double down when you hold 10 or 11.

So when should you double down? If the dealer isn’t showing and Ace and you have 10 or 11 its always advisable to double down.  A hard 9 (5-4 or 6-3 is another good hand to double on if the dealer is showing a 2-6.

Worth mentioning here is doubling when splitting.  If you split a pair, some casinos do allow you to DD on either or both sets of cards.  Essentially, called a double after split and as a player you gain an advantage.

Always remember to check with the casino rules before sitting at the table.  If you want to become better so that you can do this automatically, then you should check out this blackjack software here at

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