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When Can You Split In Blackjack? What Splitting Means & How To Do It

Ashley Grasse
Blackjack Split

In Blackjack, splitting just might be your ticket to redeeming a lousy hand. When applied in the right circumstance with the proper knowledge, it can be a total game-changer.

Splitting allows you to break a pair into two separate, new hands. However, you must double your original bet, so knowing when to split is crucial. It has the potential to make or break your game. 

It’s an action that requires a sharp mind and situational awareness, but don’t let that intimidate you. We aim to give you a better understanding of when to split in Blackjack so you can add this dynamic move to your arsenal. 

What Is Splitting In Blackjack? 

You can split after your initial deal if you have two cards of the same value. The rules dictate you must place a second bet equal to your original wager. Once the dealer gives you a new card for both hands, you can play them each as you typically would.

Splitting in Blackjack gives you the chance to rescue your game by turning a single losing hand into two possible winners. Plus, you can incorporate different strategies for each hand on the table. 

If everything goes well, you double your profits. However, if the cards don’t fall in your favor, you lose twice your bet. That’s why it’s critical to recognize the right time to split.

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When Should You Split In Blackjack? 

So, you have your first two cards, and they’re a pair. How do you know if you should split or not? 

Luckily, we have statistics. While there are no guarantees in gambling, there are ways to improve your chances. The following card combinations are mathematically advantageous or adverse, so you can learn what to look for and avoid. 

✅ Best Hands To Split In Blackjack

Out of all the pairs in Blackjack, two are determined to be the best to split. Let’s examine what they are and why.

Splitting aces in blackjack

1. Pair Of Aces

Aces are versatile as they can be one or eleven. However, they are automatically counted as one and eleven when you have a pair. If you don’t split, you would need a 9 on your next card to win. 

Let’s say your next card is worth 10 points. You would have to count each ace as one, leaving you stuck at 12.

However, if you split them, your potential to reach 21 increases significantly. Now you have two cards that are somewhat adaptable to the next hit. In the instance of two aces, not splitting is foolish.

2. Pair Of Eights

A pair of 8s is an undesirable hand all around. They equal 16, and the probability of going bust is relatively high. 

Splitting eights give you the opportunity to turn a bad hand into two better ones. Each has a good chance of becoming 18 in a game where the dealer typically stands on 17.

❌ Never Split

Statistically speaking, you should never split the following cards unless you wish to punish your wallet.

No judgment here if that’s your sort of thing.

Splitting 10s in blackjack

1. Pair Of Tens

Two 10s is valued at 20 and is a powerful hand. Splitting the pair only puts you at risk of creating two weaker hands.

However, some experts think that there may be some exceptions to this golden rule of blackjack. Read more about when it could make sense to split 10s.

2. Pair Of Fives

Two 5s equal 10, and that’s an ideal position for your next card. In fact, it’s a good time to double down. Splitting, in this instance, is only dividing your hand into two smaller, awkward ones.

3. Pair Of Fours

A hand that equals eight is still pretty good, and it’s impossible to go bust on your next card. If you split this pair, the only way to improve your situation is to get a 5, 6, or 7. Overall, it’s wisest to keep fours together and hit.

🃏 Split Depending On The Dealer’s Up Card

We can’t forget one of the most critical variables in Blackjack: the dealer’s up card. Here are a few scenarios dependent on this vital factor.

1. Dealer’s Up Card is Between 2-6, and You Have 6s

There’s a good possibility the dealer could go bust in this situation. Splitting your sixes allows you the chance to get a 10 card which is the most common value in Blackjack. 

2. Dealer’s Up Card is 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, or 9, and You Have 9s

Split your 9s if the dealer shows a card from 2-9, excluding 7. The outcome is likely to be in your favor if you get a 10.

When you have 9s, don’t split if the dealer has a 7. They stand a good chance of getting a 10, which puts them at a tricky 17 and gives you the advantage with an 18.

3. Dealer’s Up Card is Between 2-7, and You Have 2s, 3s, or 7s

Playing a pair of 2s, 3s, or 7s will likely cause you to go bust in one or two hits. It’s best to split these and hope you get superior cards and the dealer’s hand remains weak.

Blackjack Split Strategy Cards&nbsp

Memorizing all of this information is a daunting task, but fortunately, you don’t have to. You can reference strategy cards, like cheat sheets, while playing Blackjack.

If Dealer Stands On 17

Blackjack Split Strategy Card - If Dealer Stands On 17

If Dealer Hits On 17

Blackjack Split Strategy Card - If Dealer Hits On 17

Rules For Splitting In Blackjack

Always make sure you understand the rules before starting a game. There are many different variations of Blackjack in online and land-based casinos, and some of them can significantly affect the way you strategize. Below are just a few examples.

  1. Unlimited re-splitting is permitted at some tables, but others have a cap; a limit on how many times your can split..
  2. Some games will allow players to double down after splitting a hand that allows multiple hits; split Aces would be excluded.
  3. You will only receive ONE card to complete your new hands after splitting a pair of Aces.
  4. Certain variations don’t allow you to split face cards that aren’t of the same rank. For example, they must be two kinds rather than a king and a queen. This rule is not very common.
  5. Tables only pay 1:1 for split hands valued at 21 since they don’t consider them to be true blackjacks.

How To Signal Splitting in Blackjack 

How to signal a blackjack split

Using the hand signals in Blackjack makes you feel like a pro at the table. To signal a split to the dealer, place an equal amount of chips next to your starting bet, not on top. Then, put your pointer, and middle finger on the felt in a v-shape

If you’re playing Blackjack online, you don’t have to worry about what to do with your hands. The split button is available if your first two cards can be separated. Clicking it doubles your wager for you.

FAQs About Blackjack Split

Should you always split 10s in Blackjack?

A pair of 10’s is a desirable hand, and it’s not recommended you split. The risk far outweighs the benefit.

Should you always split Aces in Blackjack?

Yes, absolutely, you should always split Aces. Keeping aces together devalues at least one of them in most cases.

Should you split all pairs in Blackjack? 

No, there are many situations when splitting puts you at a statistical disadvantage. Using a strategy card will help you decide when to split and when not to split.

Can you double down after splitting? 

The rules can vary, but doubling down after splitting is commonly permitted.

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