Double down

This is a discussion thread · 9 replies
1 2
Kevin:
Hi
Could anyone please tell me what does "double down" mean, say, President Obama doubles down on stimulus. I checked dictionaries and only found "double up". With thanks.
Kevin in Hong Kong
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Luca:
Kevin schrieb:
[nq:1]Hi Could anyone please tell me what does "double down" mean, say, President Obama doubles down on stimulus. I checked dictionaries and only found "double up". With thanks.[/nq]
as a last resort, wikipedia did yield something that corresponds with my understanding of the expression:
origin seems to be:
"Double down is a betting technique in blackjack."

and by extension:
"Double down is also a colloquial phrase for increasing a stake in an opportunity or investment so as to take a bigger chance with the hope that the gamble will work out well and pay off."
in another sense, the term may be used to say "fold" or "fold in half", as suggested here (number 72):
http://www.wordnik.com/words/double/definitions
Luca

"Paying taxes is like going to the zoo. Admission is 20 bucks. You can't walk in and say 'Here's 18.50. I don't like zebras.'" - Jon Stewart
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
tony cooper:
[nq:1]Hi Could anyone please tell me what does "double down" mean, say, President Obama doubles down on stimulus. I checked dictionaries and only found "double up". With thanks. Kevin in Hong Kong[/nq]
As explained in responses to your question, it is a phrase used in gambling that means to double the original bet.
Obama used it to mean that he is confident enough about his original plan that he is willing to increase his investment in it. He said it metaphorically, though, so no actual doubling of an amount is meant.

Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
mm:
[nq:1]Hi Could anyone please tell me what does "double down" mean, say, President Obama doubles down on stimulus. I checked dictionaries and only found "double up". With thanks. Kevin in Hong Kong[/nq]
In the card game Blackjack, at least as played in casinos, if a player gets two cards of the same value 1 to 9, or two Jacks**, two Queens, or two Kings, he can split the two cards and get two more down cards (cards dealt face down), and bet the same on each set that he had been betting on one set. To do this is to double down.

**No one would split two picture cards, which total 20, which is a very good number when playing Blackjack, also called 21, where the goal is to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. 20 is very likely to win, because the dealer has to get 20 or 21 to beat it, so people won't break up a 20 to likely get two other hands less likly to win.
The metaphoric meanings are described in other replies.
Posters should say where they live, and for which area they are asking questions. I was born and then lived in Western Pa. 10 years
Indianapolis 7 years
Chicago 6 years
Brooklyn, NY 12 years
Baltimore 26 years
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
John Dean:
[nq:2]Hi Could anyone please tell me what does "double down" ... only found "double up". With thanks. Kevin in Hong Kong[/nq]
[nq:1]In the card game Blackjack, at least as played in casinos, if a player gets two cards of the same ... the same on each set that he had been betting on one set. To do this is to double down.[/nq]
No. Splitting is one thing where, as you say, you can convert a pair of matching cards into two separate hands, each with the original stake (though I've never heard of a casino dealing blackjack cards face down to the player). Doubling down is to double your stake on your initial two cards and in return take one (and only one more card). You can't simply double your stake - you have to gamble that a fresh card will improve your holding. This is a key feature of what Obama said - not only is he confident enough to 'double' his bet but he doesn't want to 'play' the hand - he'll take one more shot and that's it.
NB - most casinos allow a player to double down after splitting though many restrict the hands on which double down is permitted.
[nq:1]**No one would split two picture cards, which total 20, which is a very good number when playing Blackjack, also called 21, where the goal is to get as close to 21 as possible without going over.[/nq]
The goal is not to get close to 21, the goal is to beat the dealer. If, eg, your initial hand was a face card and a 2 counting 12 and the dealer's hole card was 2 to 6 inclusive you'd stick because it's more likely the dealer will bust (having to draw below 17) than that you will get closer to 21.
[nq:1]20 is very likely to win, because the dealer has to get 20 or 21 to beat it, so people won't break up a 20 to likely get two other hands less likly to win.[/nq]
For similar reasons, you wouldn't split a pair of 4s or a pair of 5s. You always split As or 8s.

John Dean
Oxford
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
mm:
[nq:2]In the card game Blackjack, at least as played in ... on one set. To do this is to double down.[/nq]
[nq:1]No. Splitting is one thing where, as you say, you can convert a pair of matching cards into two separate ... You can't simply double your stake - you have to gamble that a fresh card will improve your holding. This[/nq]
I knew I should have spent more time in casinos. I had a wasted youth.
[nq:1]For similar reasons, you wouldn't split a pair of 4s or a pair of 5s. You always split As or 8s.[/nq]
Posters should say where they live, and for which area they are asking questions. I was born and then lived in Western Pa. 10 years
Indianapolis 7 years
Chicago 6 years
Brooklyn, NY 12 years
Baltimore 26 years
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Pete:
[nq:1]I knew I should have spent more time in casinos. I had a wasted youth.[/nq]
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
John Dean:
[nq:2]No. Splitting is one thing where, as you say, you ... gamble that a fresh card will improve your holding. This[/nq]
[nq:1]I knew I should have spent more time in casinos. I had a wasted youth.[/nq]
You'll be telling us next you never played billiards
John Dean
Oxford
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
mm:
[nq:2]I knew I should have spent more time in casinos. I had a wasted youth.[/nq]
[nq:1]You'll be telling us next you never played billiards[/nq]
Alas, in college I was the scratch king. It seemed to happen 2 or 3 times as often as physics, trigonomotry, and probability could account for.

Posters should say where they live, and for which area they are asking questions. I was born and then lived in Western Pa. 10 years
Indianapolis 7 years
Chicago 6 years
Brooklyn, NY 12 years
Baltimore 26 years
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Show more
Live chat
Registered users can join here