What Does “Double Or Nothing” Mean?

The phrase “double or nothing” is one you may hear frequently in conversation or see used a lot in writing. In the article below, the definition of this phrase and the details of its origin can be found. You will also see samples of sentences and conversations that show the proper usage of this phrase in everyday communication and you will find some different ways to this phrase that still allow you to convey the same meaning.

Double or Nothing

Double or Nothing Meaning

The idiomatic phrase “double or nothing” means to make a subsequent gamble or a bet where the terms of an initial bet are multiplied by two. If the bet is won, the person agreeing to the bet wins twice the amount of the initial bet and, if lost, the person agrees to receive nothing.

Origin of this idiom

The phrase originated from the English phrase “double or quit.” The phrase “double or quit” has been used in the betting sense since the 1570s. The American English version of “double or nothing” used in the same sense has been used popularly since 1899.

“Double or Nothing” Examples

Example Sentences

  • After initially agreeing to bet $10 on the first game of billiards, the players agreed to go double or nothing on a second game.
  • Agreeing to go double or nothing in any type of situation means taking a gamble with inherent risks, sometimes a rather large amount of risk depending on the size of the initial bet.

Example Conversations

A conversation between a mother and her daughter.

  • Daughter: I bet you $5 bucks you can’t do it!
  • Mother: (does it) Tada!
  • Daughter: Oh my God! Beginner’s luck! I bet you double or nothing you can’t do it again.
  • Mother: (does it again with ease) Tada!! Now, where’s my $10?

A conversation between two co-workers.

  • Co-worker 1: You might be pretty good at video games, but you will never beat me in Tetris!
  • Co-workers 2: I bet you $20 I can!
  • Co-worker 1: You’re on! We will play after work.

(Later after work at co-worker 2’s house)

  • Co-worker 1: See, told you! Give me my $20!
  • Co-worker 2: You just got lucky! Double or nothing?
  • Co-worker 1: Sure!

Alternatives to “Double Or Nothing”

Some alternatives you can use in place of “double or nothing” that mean the same or something very similar include:

  • Double or quit
  • Double up on the bet
  • Double the stakes or lose it all

What does “Double Or Nothing” Mean? | Picture

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