Blackjack: When is it best to split?

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If you are dealt a pair in most variations of Blackjack, you have an option to split into two hands.

For professional players, knowing when to split is very critical to the outcome of their games. It can determine the success or otherwise of their games. In this post, we’ll look at the different scenarios when you can split. CasinoRange have written a great full how-to on the best time to split in the game of Blackjack here

Split Aces

When you have a pair of aces, it is recommended that you split. Splitting offers you a better chance for a stronger hand. For instance, if you play the two aces in a single hand, you will have to start with 12, with one card being played as 11 and the other as 1. Just one card will give you 21 and a face card or 10 will compel you to play your second ace, which has a value of 1. This brings you back to the value of 12. However, if you split your aces, you will have four different ways to get 21 in either of the hands.

Split Eights

You are unlikely to get a good hand if you play eights as a single hand. Although your chances are also not so great when you split them but you stand a better chance at the game. When you play your two eights in a single hand, you start with 16, which is a weak hand. You also can’t afford to hit at this point as it is very risky. Having anything more than 5 will definitely make you bust, which means you have a high chance of losing the hand from the start. However, if you split, it is unlikely that you will bust in your first hit. This gives you a better chance to get better hand.

Re-split when you are dealt Aces or Eights as Second Pair

When you split, you receive two cards from the dealer, with one for new hand. In the case that you get aces or eights again in this second pair, you should treat it just as its original hand, and split it again. The implication of this is that you will need to triple your initial bet since you would have doubled your bet when you split the first time. You also have to be mindful of the house rules as they vary from casino to casino. Some blackjack games allow a maximum of three splits, which means you will be allowed to play up to a total of four hands.

Splitting is also a good idea if you find yourself in the following situation:

  • When the dealer reveals a 7 or lower – you should split your 2s, 3s, or 7s.
  • If dealer shows a 2-6, you should split 6s
  • You should also split 9s against 2-6, 8, and 9

You should never split in the following situation:

  • When you have 10s
  • When you have 4s and
  • When you have 5s