In addition to single deck games, you blackjack players also want to keep an eye out for blackjack games that allow you to double down after splitting a pair.
You have a pair when the first two cards you are dealt are worth the same amount. This would be being dealt two 6s. It is also a pair when you are dealt a 10 and, say, a Queen. These cards make a pair because they’re both worth ten, but no real blackjack player would split a pair of 10s when it could be played as a hard 20—nice strong hand there.
Doubling down is when you double your original bet and receive only one more card before standing.
Not all casinos will allow you to double down after you split a pair. But when you can it lowers the house edge by about 0.14%. And it also the payout potential is pretty outstanding.
Let’s say that you are playing at a $10 minimum table. You place a $10 bet and are dealt a pair of nines against a dealer up card of three. Basic strategy for this situation is to split. So you put out another $10 and split your cards.
But let’s say that you want to double down on one of your newly split pairs. You put forth another $10—your total bet that’s on the line is now$30—and receive a 10. One of your hands is now worth 19, which is pretty strong. Let’s keep going and say that the dealer busts and you win. You just won $60!
You can see how some casinos might frown on doubling down after splitting pairs—it might cost them too much when they add up the lowered house edge and the payouts they would have to make.
But if you can find a blackjack game that will allow to double down after splitting play there. If you play there and use perfect basic strategy, you can look at a house edge that is a little lower than the 0.5% you would have at a regular blackjack game.
Keep an eye open for Player Favorable Blackjack Rules—Part III