There are hundreds of theories and strategies for successful Blackjack play. Some players “count cards”, some have betting theories or policies that they devotedly follow and some have strategies using “insurance” or “side bets” to prevent them from suffering a total loss if the dealer wins.
One of the most popular tactics in Blackjack is the “double down” in which the player doubles their original bet and takes only one more card on the hand. This sort of “Double Blackjack” also has many varieties across a number of games.
Some casinos or games allow a player to double after a split. What this means is the player has decided to split their initial hand into two new hands. They must double their initial wager, indicate their choice to the dealer who splits the hand and issues one new card to each of the original cards. A player can then review each new hand for its winning potential and may be able to double down after splitting.
Some casinos allow this sort of activity in “Double Blackjack” while others insist that a player can only double down on their first hand. There are also casinos that allow a player to double down after taking a hit, or hits, on their hand.
There also some games that place a limit on the hand totals that can be doubled. For example, some games allow a “Double Blackjack” on only fours, fives and tens, while others let a player double down freely.
There are two ways that most traditional games of Blackjack are played, and these depend upon the number of cards in the dealer’s deck and the method of deliver. There are “shoe” games and “pitch” games.
Traditionally a “shoe” game uses a device called a “shoe” that holds up to six decks of playing cards. These are generally used to save time on shuffling and to eliminate concerns about a dealer being able to cheat. For “shoe” games the cards are dealt in the face up position.
For a “pitch” game there are two decks of cards that are held in the hands of the dealer and the players receive both of their cards in the face down position. It is the “pitch” games that allow for a unique opportunity in “Double Blackjack”.
A player can toss their two initial cards face up on the table in front of their bet and lay their additional bet alongside the original. Double down betting can be for any amount, but only up to the original amount of the bet. The dealer will then tuck the additional card face down under the new bet to be revealed later.
Most players decide to play “Double Blackjack” when the dealer’s hand is suggestive of a “bust”. This means they are showing a high value on their upward facing card. In this case it is quite likely that a player will know if they are going to be able to beat the dealer, and so they take the opportunity to double down and significantly increase their winnings.