It’s easy to decide whether to double down when you are playing with a hard hand. We all know that you double down with a hard 9, 10 or 11 and only when against certain dealer up cards. And never against a dealer’s Ace.
But what about when you have a soft hand?
Yes, there are soft hands that you can double down on.
It seems that a fair amount of blackjack players are somewhat uncertain of what to do with a soft hand: play it as a hard hand? Hit it? Stand?
While basic strategy is a very good guide to follow, there is another bit of blackjack strategy that you can use when debating on whether to double down or not: the Rule of 9.
But first what soft hands should consider and which ones should you not?
Never think of doubling down on an Ace-7, Ace-8 or Ace-9. Those you usually stand on.
But an Ace-2 up to an Ace-6 you can think about it. You can use the Rule of 9 as your guide as to when to double down on a soft hand in blackjack and when not to.
The Rule of 9 works like this in blackjack: add your number card (not the Ace) to the dealer’s up card. If the total is 9 or more, double down on that hand. For example, if you have an Ace-6 against a dealer’s 3, add that 3 to your 6 and you have 9—double down.
But if you had an Ace-4 against that 3, the 4 and the 3 only add up to 7—hit that hand instead.
The Rule of 9 is an easy to remember rule to keep in the back of your mind. You don’t even need a chart on hand to know how to use it. But it will help you know when to double down on soft hands in blackjack and when to just hit.