Basic Blackjack Strategy – Splitting Pairs
If you’re new to blackjack, you probably are a bit confused as to when you should split a pair. This is common for new players, but it is important that you quickly master this simple skill as you will come across split situations frequently in blackjack.
Today, we will give you a quick guide on when to split in blackjack. This will help you make the best decisions possible at the table.
Splitting Pairs – Tens Through Kings
When you are dealt two tens or two face cards, it is almost never a good idea to split. You already have 20 and the only way you can lose is for a dealer to hit blackjack or get 21. While it can happen, it’s not a regular occurrence.
Some advanced players will argue that there are certain situations to split a pair of tens or face cards, but this is always in a live casino setting. Online blackjack operates differently and you cannot count cards like some players are able to in a live game.
You may be tempted to split tens through kings in hopes of making multiple strong hands, but the reality is that often you will end up putting up twice as much money and more often than not you will break even at best.
Splitting Pairs – Aces or Eights
Two hands you should always be looking to split are a pair of aces or a pair of eights. In the case of aces, you want to split to give you a chance to hit multiple blackjacks. Also, holding two aces means you start with a total of 12 and this makes it very difficult to win unless you’re very lucky.
For eights, you should also always split. Starting with 16 is not a good idea and splitting gives you tow shots of making a strong hand. Eighteen is going to win it’s fair share of pots.
Never Split Fours or Fives
Splitting fours and fives are guaranteed long term losers as you will have to almost always hit twice after splitting or stand with a very weak hand. When you hold a pair of fours, you cannot bust on your first hit no matter what happens.
For fives, you will start with a total of ten, which is a good spot to double down on provided that your dealer is not showing nine or higher.
Up until now, we have talked about hands that you will either always split, or you will never split. Now we will talk about some hands where you only split in special situations.
Splitting Twos, Threes, and Sevens – If your dealer is showing a seven or lower, you can split these cards. Dealers will likely have to hit multiple times, increasing the chance they will bust. If they show an eight or higher, don’t split.
Sixes – If your dealer is showing a deuce through six, then you can split as they will have to take multiple hits. If they are showing seven or greater, just hit. Yes, you may bust if you hit a 10 or face cards, but you’ll have a better chance of beating the dealer when you don’t bust.
Nines – If your dealer is showing a deuce through six, an eight, or a nine, then split. Otherwise, you should stand and play 18. Don’t hit on 18 unless you like giving away money.
Split Wisely For Increase Profits
Splitting pairs in blackjack may look a bit complicated on the surface, but as you can see from the above tips, it is quite simple. To make things easier on yourself while mastering this concept, keep a copy of this article handy or download a cheat sheet that you can use while playing.
Cheat sheets are perfectly acceptable as nobody will see what you’re doing from home. In fact, live casinos even allow these simple blackjack cheat sheets and some dealers will even give advice on making splits.
However, once you run across these situations a few times, you will quickly memorize the rules for splitting pairs and soon you will be splitting pairs like a blackjack pro.
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