Double or nothing

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Double or nothing[1] (UK often Double or quits) is a gamble to decide whether a loss or debt should be doubled. The result of a "double or nothing" bet is either the cancellation of a debt or the doubling of a debt.[2]

It refers to the potential outcome in a betting situation where the winner risks what has been won for a chance to double their winnings. The loser of the first game decides on a double or nothing. If the loser of the second bet loses, then they owe double. For example, if one owes somebody a bottle of Coke from a bet and then places a "double or nothing" bet with the same opponent, they will owe two bottles of Coke. If the loser of the initial round loses, then they get double. The winner of the initial round owes the loser double. In the case of more than two people, should the initial winner lose they owe the original losers nothing, whilst the rest of losers owe double the original stake to the new winner. "Double or Nothing" may refer to an initial bet being totally cancelled out by a larger wager on a second bet with a chance to win first amount agreed on by both betters. Ex. Player A: Bets 20 dollars and loses first bet to Player B. Player A: Calls "Double or Nothing" (IF Player B Accepts) The new bet is in the amount of 40 dollars (20x2). If Player A wins the initial bet will be canceled. Either Player B wins double or both players win nothing.


  • Why would the loser get double in the above noted description if he/she loses...? In poker, a double or nothing tournament is a sit'n'go tournament where half of the surviving players get double the buy-in and the eliminated half does not receive any prizes. Double or nothing tournaments are mostly played by ten players (five players win) or six players (three win), although multi-table versions, such as for 20 players, exist. The rake in these tournaments is usually smaller than in standard sit'n'go tournaments. Some poker rooms also offer triple or nothing tournaments, where one third of the playing field gets paid.


The term that is used in blackjack is "doubling down". This blackjack move allows you to double your bet in the middle of a hand in exchange for one extra card. It’s a risky gamble, as it usually ends your betting: if you receive a particularly low second card you can’t hit again. Timid players avoiding the double bet, and more adventurous players often use it. [3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  2. ^ Webster's third new international dictionary of the English language, unabridged. Gove, Philip Babcock, 1902-1972., Merriam-Webster, Inc. Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster. 1993. ISBN 9780877792017. OCLC 27936328.CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ "Basic Blackjack Rules".