BlackJack for Women

Blackjack's Hitting or Standing and Doubling Down

Hitting or Standing When Cards Are Face Down

In a game where the cards are dealt face down, we lift the cards and hold them in our hand to see their total. If we want to stand, we show the cards face down under the chips we've already bet.

If we want to hit, however, we scrape the cards on the felt surface towards us. If we want another card after the first hit, we scrape them again. We can keep getting cards as long as our total doesn't exceed 21. When we're satisfied with our total, we shove the cards face down under our chips.

What if we've hit and busted the hand? Then we turn over the cards we hold so they're face up. The dealer will verify the count to make certain we've gone over 21, then remove the cards and alas, remove our chips as well.

Hitting or Standing When Card Are Face Up

In games where the cards are dealt out of a shoe, that is, games where four or more decks are used, the cards are generally dealt face up. It's unimportant whether they're face up or down because the dealer can't take advantage of our totals. He is bound by the strict rules of the casino.

When cards are dealt face up, if we stand pat, not drawing additional cards, we simply wave one hand palm down over the cards. This is a universal gesture stating that we are standing pat.

If we want to hit the hand, we point a finger, usually the index finger at the cards. This is a universal gesture signifying that we want a hit. We'll keep getting the hand hit as long as our total doesn't exceed 21, if we so desire. What if we bust? It will be obvious to the dealer who sees all our cards. He'll remove them and our bet. Practice these gestures so that by the time you get to a casino you'll look like a seasoned pro.

Doubling Down

Doubling down is another important option available to us. There are times when we have the option of doubling our bet before playing out the hand. However, if we do double down, we're restricted to getting only one card to improve the hand. We can't hit more than one.

Let's see how this works in practice.

Let's assume we're dealt a 6-5 for an 11 total. The dealer's upcard is a 6. He has the worst possible upcard, for if he holds a 10 in the hole, he has a very strong chance of busting. Our total of 11 is the best possible total of doubling down. Remember, we can get only one additional card, but if that card is a 10, we can't lose and will most probably win. Not only win, but win at double our original bet.

So we double down. The mechanics are as follows:

Doubling when Cards are Dealt Face Down

In a game where the cards are dealt face down, we turn over our cards and add chips to double the original bet. Suppose we've bet four $5 chips. We place four more $5 chips next to the original bet after turning over our cards. The dealer then knows we're doubling down and will deal us one additional card face down. The fact that it's face down means nothing, it's only customary, and we can glance at it immediately if we want to.

If the total of our hand beats the dealer, or if he goes bust, we collect double our original bet. In the example given above, we'd collect $40. What if we lose? Then we lose the full $40.

Doubling when Cards are Dealt Face Up

Now, in casinos where the cards are dealt face up, doubling down is even simpler. We don't ever have to touch our cards when they're dealt face-up. To double down, we simple add chips to our original bet to double their value. Then the dealer will give us a card face up, but he'll place it perpendicular to the two face-up cards. By the way, when we're in a game where the cards are dealt face down and we've turned them over to double down, the face down card will also be perpendicular to our cards.

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