The basics of “doubling”

Double, verb:

  1. to add an equal amount to
  2. to become or to have twice as much or as many
  3. to make double or twice as great

If you’re a frequent gambler, you’ll know this concept well. And even if you’re not, you’ve seen and heard it in movies – that dramatically uttered phrase, “It’s double or nothing!” You’ll find it in a variety of real-life situations and a variety of in-person and online games. Here you’ll find the games where doubling a bet is most popular and what techniques you can test out to ensure that you get the most out of your gambling experience – both in terms of monetary value and personal enjoyment. So let’s have a look at when to double down or split.

When to Double Down in Blackjack

What is double down in blackjack

when to double down blackjackThe rules of blackjack (also referred to as twenty-one) are relatively easy to pick up. It’s a game between a player or group of players and the dealer. The players don’t play against each other; instead, they try to win against the dealer by reaching 21 points with their first two cards without a dealer blackjack. If the player is less lucky, he can win by reaching a final score that’s higher than the dealer but not more than 21. Otherwise, he can wait for the dealer to bust – draw until his hand accumulates to over 21 points. In blackjack, a player has several options during his turn: to stand (end his turn), hit (take another card), split (turn two cards of the same value into two hands), double down (increase the bet), or surrender (forfeit the game). Of course, the most exciting option is to double down: after viewing his initial two cards, the player may increase the initial bet by twice the amount in exchange for exactly one more card, no more.

How it works

For the experts: If you’re a card-counter, read on for the sake of staying as informed as possible, but ultimately you should allow the count to dictate whether you double down or not – it’s simply your best shot and most reliable tactic.

For the novices: As we’ve already covered, the objective is to beat the dealer, and the highest score is 21. Combine that with the fact that there are 16 different cards with a value of ten (10, Jack, Queen, and King, in the four suits), and statistically speaking, it almost always makes sense to double down when you have an initial hand totaling 11 points. The other factor you need to consider in doubling down is the dealer’s hand. If the dealer has a 4, 5, or 6 against your hard total of 10, doubling down is the way to go. If the dealer has a 5 or 6, double down when you have a total of 9. In general, chances are good when the dealer is showing a bust card – this is a card of 5 or 6, and you have one ace as well as a 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6.

When to avoid it

To identify moments to hold back from doubling down, you have to think about positive and negative count. With a positive count, the cards that are out are lower in value, which means that there’s a higher chance the player will be dealt a 10 from the remaining cards in the deck. On the other hand, a negative count is when higher value cards are already out on the table – this means that the remaining cards in the deck are likely to be lower in value and less likely to be useful for you. If the dealer has a 10 already, it’s a warning sign to wait for the next hand to double down. Sure, you might not be some prodigy who can track all of the cards exactly, but continue practicing and you’ll get more comfortable over time. Use your common sense – you know what card values are in a 52-card deck, so just pay attention to what’s already out and your gut instinct will do the rest.

How to signal double down in blackjack?

After your first two cards have been dealt, place additional chips next to but not on top of your original bet and hold up one finger. When playing online blackjack, simply click the “double” button.

How to double down in blackjack

Choose wisely. Keep on playing – it’s the only way to really develop your sense of how the game works and build your comfort level. The more you play, the more familiar it becomes, and you learn to trust your intuition. That said, before you’ve mastered it, stick to the techniques rather than just making wild guesses in the moment. You may lose some, but don’t let it shake you. If your goal is to learn how to count cards, practice makes perfect. Solidifying this technique will make it even easier for you to trust yourself. Take your losses as opportunities to learn and improve, and you’ll be a professional in no time.

To get up to speed play online blackjack for real money right here at Planet 7!

When to Double Down in Roulette

What is double down in roulette

when to double down rouletteThose with or without gambling experience usually have a basic understanding of roulette and how it works after all, it’s a pretty uncomplicated game in comparison to many other casino games. The French term for “little wheel,” roulette originated in 18th century France and is a simple concept to grasp. Although there are some differences in how it’s played in the U.S. compared to in Europe, the basics are the same. In this casino game, players place bets, choosing from a variety of options in terms of what exactly they’re betting on, which is split into inside and outside bets. It could be on a single number, a group of numbers, a color (red or black), odd vs. even, 18 or less vs. 19 or more (low or high). The croupier spins the wheel in one direction and spins the ball in the other along the outside of the wheel until it slowly stops and falls onto the wheel at one number. The payout for each type of bet is calculated using a formula that factors in the probability of the bet (the number of squares that the player is betting on). So how does one go about increasing the chances of a win?

How it works

The Martingale roulette strategy is one of the oldest and most popular approaches to winning at roulette. It got its start in 18th century France, like the game itself. There are many variations, but the basic concept is that the player doubles his bet after each loss until he wins. That first win makes up for all of your previous losses, with a win equal to your original bet. This was the argument of its advocates: just play until you win, and you’re guaranteed to not only recover but also to profit. After the first win, the player restarts the betting sequence from the original bet. Mathematically speaking, it’s a bulletproof theory. But (of course there’s a “but”), though at its root, it depends on a significant bankroll. With an unlimited bankroll, it goes without saying that there’s no way to lose.

That said, we recognize that an unlimited bankroll is pretty unlikely for most of our readers. You will need more than a little cash and a specific mindset to make this work. You need to be prepared to accept the outcome, whatever it is. You’re reading this because of how you feel about gambling: it interests you, it entertains you and brings some excitement into your life. You need to be able to treasure that moment of holding your breath before the outcome, or you might as well not play at all.

When to avoid it

This one is less of an exact science than blackjack can sometimes be, so you want to be mindful when employing it. It’s not an advisable move if you’re just going into this recklessly. You need to be aware of the risks. If you have a less than impressive bankroll, you might want to hold off, as your losses can multiply quickly – or at least get some online practice first with a Free Play option. You also need to look out for casino betting limits, as your success depends on what the maximum is in that particular situation.

Roulette is a game of luck – whatever the name of your strategy, it really does come down to this. Risk and luck will always be the fundamentals of the game. Don’t interrupt your pattern, use it in small doses and don’t rely on it blindly.

How to double down in roulette

You’ll need to keep in mind a little thing called “house edge.” Also referred to as the house advantage or vigorish, it’s a term that refers to the casino profit, set as a percentage of a player’s original bet. There’s just no surefire way to compensate for the house advantage, every time, all the time.

Set some limits for yourself when you’re having an unlucky day, but more importantly, when you’re winning too. And also bear in mind that betting limits will prevent you from doing this endlessly – it will be vital to know when to take a break from roulette after you’ve made some gains and move on to slots. In the end, as with any other gambling strategy, using a martingale technique or other roulette betting system must be utilized with care. As long as you remember that, you’re sure to win.

When to Double Down in Video poker

What is double down in video poker

when to double down video pokerIn the mid-1970s, it finally became financially feasible to begin producing personal computers. Due to the same technological advances, it also became profitable to create a console out of a monitor and a solid CPU – perfect for a machine-version of five-card draw, the most basic variant of poker and gateway for beginners. Though five-card draw itself is rarely played at casinos, the electronic counterpart became rapidly sought after. The machines’ popularity grew: they were fun, flashy alternatives to table games, approachable for even the most inexperienced of casino-goers. Today, video poker machines rank with slot machines as must-haves in casinos all over the world. Not only that, but luckily for video poker fans everywhere, it’s also available online, accessible from the comfort of your own home. Check out these 7 tips to improve your video poker strategy today!

The rules are simple, and it’s a perfect way to get familiar with different hands. There are several variations you can check out here (link). At the top you’ll find the set of winning hands, which includes typical hands like a Royal Flush, but also hands that are specific to that game. (For example, in Jacks or Better that would be a pair of Jacks.) You select how much to bet, you’re dealt five cards, and you choose however many to hold (or none at all). You are then dealt new cards to replace the ones you discard, and that’s your final hand. One of the most exciting features? The option to double up after a winning hand.

How it works

The pop-up asks: “Double or nothing?” Your payout when you win depends on your initial bet, but this feature allows you to take it a step further. If you accept, the dealer draws a card, and you select one from the four facedown cards. If you’ve drawn a higher card, you win double. You then have the double-or-nothing option again, and, you can continue winning from there. Depending on where you’re playing, there can be limitations on how many times you can double up in a row.

We’ve discussed house advantage once already, but surprisingly, we’re mentioning it here as a plus. There’s never anything you can do to eliminate house advantage entirely, but you’ll be pleased to hear that video poker has a very minor percentage to begin with. On top of that, the double-or-nothing feature actually introduces a bet that has no house edge at all, reducing the overall house edge when playing video poker.

When to avoid it

In short, doubling up is genuinely a fair shot. So, what does all of this have to do with when to avoid it? All people have their own individual reasons or wants when it comes to their gambling, and it’s critical to give your personal motivation some serious thought. What’s your gambling style? Are you going into it with a play-it-safe mentality? Are you planning your bets around the satisfaction that comes with getting those small wins? Or are you all about the thrills and unknowns?

Whether or not you take the doubling up option depends entirely on what you want out of your experience. If it’s solely for entertainment purposes and you have a high tolerance for risk, then go for it. It’s better to play a game with zero house edge than a positive one. Of course, that doesn’t mean you’ll win every time – it just means that if you enjoy the ups and downs of gambling, the chances of it paying off are good.

How to double down in video poker

Managing to double up “well” in video poker is probably the least complicated on this list. If your ambition is to double your bankroll, keep going until you reach it. If you simply want to maximize the amount of time you can continue playing, then be more conservative when choosing to double up, and be aware that doing so repeatedly can be risky. Have a clear understanding of what will be most gratifying for you, and make your decisions based on that.

As with other strategies and gambling in general, you need to know your limits. These tips are designed to enhance your understanding of how bets work as well as to boost your confidence. Even the commitment it takes to multiple your bet by two is a psychological shift – there’s some truth to the idea that you need to believe to achieve.


We’ve tried to cover all the bases – the game itself, the basics of the strategy, why it can be beneficial, what sticky situations to look out for, when to double down, and how to optimize your winnings. Maybe the most important aspect is our focus on how to employ these tips in a way that maximizes the fun you get out of it. You win some, you lose some. It wouldn’t be satisfying otherwise. We hope that this article has equipped you with the knowledge and confidence necessary to understand when to double down: don’t lose your cool and you’ll be well on your way to hitting yet another winning streak.

Frank West is a bit of an itinerant gambler. An avid traveler and freelance writer with a penchant for games of chance, Frank has hit the tables in casinos the world over and picked up a copious volume of knowledge along the way. Frank enjoys passing on what he’s learned in blog and magazine articles about gambling and teaching people how to beat the house. He also covets his privacy, authoring his articles only under the pen name Frank West.