Blackjack

When to Double Down and Split

In certain situations, moves that are more advanced than just hitting or staying may be used. Doubling down and splitting will both force you to double your bet, so they should only be used in special situations when you have a distinct advantage.

Double Down

When you double down, you will double your bet on the hand after receiving your first two cards and will receive only one more card from the dealer. Because cards with a value of 10 are the most common in the deck, you should only double down when receiving a 10 point card will give you a great chance of winning. Always double down if you have 11, double down on 10 if the dealer shows a 2-9, and double down on 9 and soft 16-18 if the dealer shows a 2-6. Doubling down will increase the amount risked on the hand, but can lead to great payoffs.

Splitting

You may split if you have two of the exact same cards to double your overall bet and create two new hands from your previous one. Always split 8s and Aces, however when you split aces you will only receive one more card on each ace. If the dealer is showing 2-6, you can also split 2s, 3s, 6s, 7s and 9s, but never split tens-kings as 20 is usually a guaranteed win. Make sure you know which cards to split in different situations as splitting adds risk to the hand and can lead to tough hit/stay decisions.

To go back to beginning moves, return to the Hit/Stay page.