Regular readers of this poker blog might be surprised to see an article about blackjack. Then again, as our website name itself says – it’s Cardplayer Lifestyle, meaning ALL card games. A lot of poker players also try their hand at blackjack from time to time. So without further ado, here are a few tips about blackjack for you:
When should you double down in online blackjack? If you are a basic strategy player and you play according to the various published basic strategy rules, then you will double down when your strategy card tells you that you ought to, but it is always worth understanding why you should double down on some occasions and not on others.
Obviously you should only double down when your chances of winning are higher than you expected them to be when you made your initial bet. This means more than just you having a particularly strong hand. In fact you do not necessarily need to have a particularly strong hand to double down, you simply need to have a better hand than the dealer’s hand, and in most cases this means that you should have a lower chance of busting than does the dealer.
If the dealer’s visible card (up card) is an ace or has a face value higher than six, then the chances of the dealer busting are 26% or lower. If the dealer shows a 4, a 5 or a 6 then the chances of their busting are around 40%. In cases where the dealer shows a 2 or a 3 then the chances of their busting are around 36%.
These probabilities of busting vary significantly, so if the dealer is showing a card that indicates a high chance of busting doubling down should be considered if in addition the chances of busting yourself are relatively low. The very best hands to double down on are if it is impossible for you to bust with one card, for instance if your count is between 9 and 11 and when you have an ace along with a 2 to a 7.
You will find that this advice corresponds to the actions that are recommended on basic strategy cards, but as mentioned it as always useful to understand why we are making moves rather than just following rules blindly.