Blackjack: When to Split

While playing blackjack, players are often given two of the same card values. Two Aces, for example, they are then at a point where they are able to split those cards into two separate hands, which each will be played individually. Advanced players know exactly when they should split, and when they shouldn’t, however; newer players may not know the ins and outs of using this feature. This blackjack review will help those players by giving them tips to use at the table.

First thing’s first. Just because the option to split the hand is there, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is advisable. There are times when a player should never utilize the split option, and there are times when the split all depends on the dealers showing card. A scenario when the player should never split is when they are dealt a pair of cards that hold a 10 value each. A hand value of 20 is the closest to 21 a player could get, so why ruin the chances of most likely winning a hand, and players should stand and let the hand play out as is. The player’s chances of splitting the two 10 cards and getting one, let alone two, blackjacks aren’t worth the risk.

Never split a hand that consists of two five cards. The two fives equal ten and statistics show that the players’ next card will most likely be a value of 10, which will lead them to a value of 20; so the same logic applies here as before. If the player chooses to split the fives, it’s most likely to be a low value hand, as the highest possible value of the hand would only be 16. This rule also applies to lower value pairs, as it would not be likely to have a favorable outcome for the player if they split low value cards.

A player will come across hands where it is always beneficial or worth the risk to split. This happens when the player is dealt two aces. Players that hold a pair of aces is sitting on either a 2 or 12 value, and if hit there are more chances of busting than not. So it’s wise to split the pair and take the chances at two hands. There is a likely chance of a blackjack happening with this pair more than any other pair in the deck. It is also advisable to split a pair of eight or nine for the same reason.

Pairs of 2, 3, 6 and 7 cards are split according to the dealer’s showing card. If the dealer holds an eight, nine, ace or 10; the player should not split. This is because the dealer has the upper hand in this situation and the player should not risk an additional wager at this point. If the dealer’s card is 7 or less, a split may be beneficial because the likelihood of the dealer’s cards being of low value is high.