Doubling down is a risky move, but it can also increase your winnings if done correctly. This strategy is best used when you are dealt two cards that total 11 and the dealer has a lower card than yours. However, you should never double down when your initial hand has a value of 10, as this can lead to a weak total. Instead, you should wait until you have a harder total before doubling down, such as when you have a combination of 2 and 7.

The most common time to double down is when you are dealt an 11, as this gives you a good chance of either hitting blackjack or getting close to it. This is one of the few times when doubling down will not cost you a lot of money and it can be a very profitable strategy in blackjack.

When you double down in blackjack, you will place an additional wager equal to your original bet and then receive one – and only one – extra card. This makes the game much more exciting as you are in a much better position to win than the dealer.

Generally, you cannot double down on a split hand or after hitting, although this may vary depending on the rules of the specific casino. However, if you are playing at a casino that allows you to do so, then it is worth doing as this can increase your payouts considerably.

You can also double down after splitting your hand if you have an Ace and another card of the same value, which will give you a total of 21. However, if you are dealing with a pair of fives, it is better to hit than double down as this will give the dealer an advantage.

There are also a number of other situations where it is beneficial to double down, including when you have a hard nine (that is, two cards that add up to 9 but don’t include an ace), and the dealer has a card from 2 to 6 or more. This is a powerful situation to be in as you can’t go bust and the statistics indicate that you are more likely to have a higher total than the dealer. However, you should always be careful when doubling down in this situation as it can backfire on you if the dealer has a strong hand, which is often determined by card counting.