When to Split in Blackjack?

Splitting the right pairs in blackjack is one of the biggest strategies of any blackjack player. It gives you the chance to beat the croupier or double your winnings. Most variants of blackjack allow players to split pairs. If you get the same cards in the same hand, you can separate them and form two new hands. You should know when to split in blackjack to have better chances of winning.

When you choose to split the cards, you can place a separate wager on each hand, equal with your initial bet. Splitting is an excellent way to get an advantage when playing blackjack, but it is essential to know what pairs are the best to split. 

Here are the different situations when you should always separate pairs when playing blackjack in either land-based or online casinos

When You Have a Pair of Aces

Getting this pair in blackjack is rare because of the numerous 10-value cards in the shoe, hitting 21 points is more likely to happen than an ace showing. However, when you find yourself having a pair of aces, you should always split them because when you have these two, you will start with a hand value of 12. 

When you play two aces in one hand, it can become risky because having 12 points gives you a higher chance of getting a bust than a win. However, when you split the pair, you get four ways to get closer to 21 points in either hand, which is getting a 10, Joker, Queen, or King.

When You Have a Pair of Eights

Experts recommend splitting eights because it can be challenging to get a favorable hand when you play a pair of eights as one. That is because two eights bring your total hand value to 16, which is very risky. If you stick with a couple of eights, any card above five will lead to a bust, giving you a 60% chance of losing.

However, if you split the pair, it is impossible to bust on your first hit, allowing you to have a higher chance of getting a favorable hand. Always aim for 18 points on each hand to maximize your winnings. 

When Not to Split in Blackjack

Now that you know the different situations where you should always split pairs, below are varying scenarios where you should never separate cards to increase your chances of winning big.

  • When You Have a Pair of Nines – If you play a pair of 9s, that brings your total to 18, which is a favorable hand against the croupier as the average value that dealers get is 18 or 19. 
  • When You Have a Pair of Tens – If you play a pair of 10s, it brings your hand value to 20 points, which is a favorable hand. That is why you should never split tens because if you do, you will have to rely on getting an ace to improve the separate 10s.

It is ideal to remember when to split pairs and when not to if you want to increase your bankroll and improve your chances of winning on each blackjack game you participate in.

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