Blackjack is a super popular Live Casino game that many online gamblers enjoy. This game is simple, but every move is of strategic importance. While knowing how to play is an essential step towards victory, it is not the only thing to keep in mind. It is also important to know when to split in blackjack.
What does this mean? Players may have the option to split when they obtain a hand that includes two cards of the same value, and so can ‘split’ their hand into two separate hands. When this happens, an additional card is dealt for each hand, and players can now place an additional bet on the newly created hand.
Splitting pairs can potentially be very advantageous to the player if done correctly. Don’t worry if you’re not sure when to split in blackjack, we’re here to help you get a better understanding and make better moves to improve your blackjack strategy!
The aim of the game is to get as close to a total card value of 21 as possible while you try to beat the dealer’s total without going bust. The cards are taken at their face value with the exception of jacks, queens and kings which are worth 10 points each. The ace card is given a value of either one or 11 — depending on your hand value.
These are the typical blackjack rules, but some variants may include additional side bets and all-new rules. Try out some of these variants at EnergyCasino by signing up and making your first deposit.
What Is Splitting In Blackjack?
Splitting in blackjack is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. If you are dealt a pair, you may have the option to ‘split’ it to form to two hands. Once you split, you will be dealt two new cards and carry on betting on both hands. So, a second wager will be placed, equal to your original bet. Let’s take the following example:
Suppose you placed a bet of €1 and you receive a six of hearts and a six of diamonds — a pair. If you decide to split, then an additional €1 must be bet to continue playing. Each hand is played separately, so you will play one hand and then the other in one round.
You could say it’s pretty simple, but there is a strategy to keep in mind here. Not every blackjack pair should be split, playing the single hand to the end might be to your advantage. That said, some pairs should almost always be split as, statistically speaking, doing so will result in losing less money over time or offers a reasonable chance of turning a losing hand into a winning one. How do you know when to split or opt for other playing decisions? Let’s find out.
When You Should Always Split
Splitting pairs in blackjack generally depends on the house rules, your first two cards and the dealer’s upcard. So, you may face instances where a split is much more favourable than others. Here are a couple instances where you might want to consider splitting:
- Split Aces: Splitting a pair of aces is always an advantageous strategy due to its potentially high value. If you play with one hand, this pair will give either a two or soft 12, since an ace can take the value of either one or 11. Playing with split hands is much more beneficial with two aces, a sthe number of 10-point value cards is quite significant. However, keep in mind that many blackjack tables only allow one hit after splitting aces.
- Split Eights: Basic strategy dictates that splitting eights is almost always better than playing the hand through. Having a hand of 16 is pretty weak and is quite risky to hit — anything above a five is a bust. Splitting a pair of eights gives you much better chances of winning as it is impossible to bust on your first hit. Keep in mind that playing with an eight is still quite problematic, especially if the dealer’s upcard is an ace, but splitting this pair helps mitigate some of the damage to your bankroll in the long run.
When You Should Never Split
Knowing when you should keep your hand is just as important as knowing when to split it.
- Two tens: Splitting 10s is quite a common rookie mistake. If you get a pair of 10s, the best strategy would be to keep the hand, simply because the total is 20, which is a great start. If you decide to split and hit, it’ll be much harder to improve your hand.
- Two fives: A pair of fives yields a value of 10. With this pair it is much easier to double down than if you had to split and hit instead (if doubling down after splitting is allowed). You can’t bust with this pair, and you have a solid chance of getting 20 or 21 on the first hit. Splitting will leave you with a weaker hand and so it is never really a good idea to split a pair of fives.
- Two fours: The same logic of splitting fives can be applied here. If you are dealt a pair of fours and split, you run a greater risk of building two weak hands. Playing with an eight-point hand is much more advantageous and harder to go bust.
Doubling After A Split or No Doubling After A Split?
When deciding when to split, it is important to consider the type of table you play at. Blackjack tables that allow players to double down after splitting are much more beneficial to the player. Playing at a table where doubling after a split is not allowed does alter your blackjack strategy. Let’s take a look at a few tactics you may want to consider, depending on the table you play at. Remember that splitting also depends on the dealer’s upcard, which plays a huge factor regardless of the type of table you play at.
Double After Split Tables:
- With a pair of twos/threes/sevens — When the dealer’s upcard ranges between two and seven.
- With a pair of fours — When the dealer’s upcard has a value of five or six.
- With a pair of fives/tens — Splitting is not favourable in this case.
- With a pair of sixes — Only when the dealer’s upcard ranges between two and six.
- Two eights — Always, except when the dealer holds an ace upcard on an H17.
- Two nines — When the dealer holds cards two through six, eight or nine.
- Two aces — Split pairs.
No Double After Split Tables (H17 — dealer hits on a soft 17):
- Pair of twos/threes — When the dealer’s cards include anything between a four and seven.
- Pair of fours/fives/tens — Never.
- Pair of sixes — When the dealer holds cards three to six.
- Pair of sevens — When the dealer holds cards two to seven.
- Pair of eights — Always, unless the dealer’s upcard is an ace and you can surrender.
- Pair of nines — When the dealer holds cards two through six, eight or nine.
- Pair of aces — Always.
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⭐What is splitting in blackjack?
A split in blackjack is the act of splitting a hand into two for a chance of forming better hands.
⭐When should I split?
Deciding when to split a pair depends on the value of your hand as well as the rules of the game, the number of decks used and the upcard of the dealer. Whether the blackjack table allows players to double down after splitting or not is also a factor to consider.
⭐Are there instances where splitting is not favourable?
Yes. When obtaining two cards, like two fours, splitting might not be a good idea as all you run the risk of ending up with two weak hands that won’t beat the dealer. There are other instances where this could happen, so it will be helpful to do a little research before you play!
⭐Where can I play blackjack?
At EnergyCasino, of course! While we have loads of blackjack variants available, we also host tons of other Live Casino games. If these aren’t really up your ally, you could always try some of the thousands of amazing slot games in our selection. Enjoy fantastic gameplay while gaining bonuses, participating in tournaments and benefiting from our fantastic loyalty program!