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Splitting in Blackjack


Splitting in blackjack is applicable when the cards you have match each other or have the same value. Depending on the casino, you might even be able to split any two face cards even if they don’t match. Splitting cards in blackjack is a great weapon that players can use to have an advantage. However, it is important to know which cards to split.

Splitting Pairs in Blackjack

You can split in most blackjack variations. You have the option to split and create two new hands if you are dealt two cards that are the same (this is referred to as a pair).  Once that is done, you can go ahead and bet on both hands.

Once the cards have been split, you place the following stake on every hand which is the same as the initial bet. If you decide that you want to split, it is imperative that you inform the dealer. Once informed, the dealer will request you to place an identical bet alongside the original bet.

In this guide, we aim to shed some light on splitting in blackjack. We will share some tips on how to split, when to split and why you should split.

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Splitting in Blackjack Rules

The rules of splitting in blackjack are pretty easy and straightforward. There are a few things you need to do in order to get this right. As we have already mentioned, you can split any pair in blackjack. However, you will not be allowed to split at any time when you play blackjack. The time depends on what the dealer’s up card is.

When it comes to aces, you should always re-split them. This is because aces are rare in blackjack. Hitting 21 is easier with an ace when there are so many 10-value cards in the shoe. It is a poor strategy to play two aces as one hand. The value of an ace will either be a 1 or 11.

Additionally, you should split when you get eights. The logic behind this is that two eights will give you 16, and if the dealer is able to stand on 16 you are most likely to end up with a ‘push’ also known as a tie the hand. We recommend that you play the two eights separately. Much like aces, you should re-split your eights because the aim of the game is for two hands worth 18 each.

Split in Blackjack

What Does Split Mean in Blackjack

When ‘splitting’ in blackjack, you have basically given an opportunity to divide your two hole cards if they are a pair. You need to take this decision shortly after your cards have been dealt. You cannot wait until later to split.

Your cards will be split into two typical hands when you match the initial bet with a second wager if you decide to split your pair. If things don’t work out you will double your losses or if lady luck is on your side you can double your winnings. Although splitting increases the stakes and offers a lot of excitement, it is important that you learn when it is conducive to split or not to.

How to Split When Playing Blackjack

In live blackjack and online blackjack, split when you have a pair of aces or a pair of eights. Below we list the different instances at which you can split:

1 in a deck of 16 cards, there are more 10-value cards compared to any other card. Therefore, there is a better chance you could hit at least one 21 when you split aces.  Moreover, it is much easier to play two separate hands of eight compared to one hand of 16. This combination rarely wins.

2 Make sure you stick if you are dealt a pair of 10s. There is no other way you can improve on your hand. It is also important that you pay attention to what the dealer has in front of you.  This is due to the fact that for any given pair, there is a ‘wrong’ and a ‘right’ way to split when you have certain cards.

3 You can split a pair of nines, if the dealer has a nine, eight, six, five four, three, or two. However, it makes more sense to stand if the dealer has an ace, 10 or seven.

4 Similarly, you should split if the dealer has a card between two and six and you have a pair of sixes. Alternatively, you should take another card. Another option is to split if you have a card between seven and two or you can twist on the initial pair.

5 Another instance to split is when the dealer has a card between six and two and you have a pair of sixes. Alternatively, you should take another card. Split if the dealer has six or five cards and you have fours. Or you can take another card. Split if the dealer has any card between two or seven and you either have a pair of threes and twos. If not then you can hit.

Best Hands to Split In Blackjack

An essential rule when it comes to splitting is that you should avoid splitting 10s at all costs. This is mainly because having two 10s, is a prime in blackjack for real money. And in most instances, you are almost guaranteed a win.

You are likely to win almost 83% of the time when you have two 10s and those are very good odds.  If we are being exact, it is 5/6. It is foolish to try and split 10s at a land-based or online casino. The majority of casinos in the UK will allow you to split the initial 10s. However, this depends on the casino and it is important that you find out the rules of the casino you choose.