Splitting in Blackjack – What is it and When to do it?

Splitting in Blackjack - What is it and When to do it?

Online Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games. The point of Blackjack is to beat the dealer to 21 or the highest value hand that does not surpass 21. Blackjack is a game with some special nuances. Every Blackjack player has their way of playing the game and they could all give you their unique strategy to play Blackjack online. While everyone has their personal preference, there are some key strategy tips to keep in mind while playing Blackjack online. You can tighten up your Blackjack strategy by understanding the game’s most risky, yet rewarding moves like the Blackjack double down and Blackjack split. With the right strategy, you can reduce the house edge and keep up. Although entirely different from one another, each has the potential to boost the total payout for a particular hand. Here is a useful guide to the Blackjack split. We go over the truth about card counting and when to split in Blackjack.

Why choose splitting over card counting?

Despite common misconceptions, there are no laws against card counting at either the federal, state or local level in the US. It is the casino that does not want you to try getting an edge on the house. You might think it is easier online since there is no one over your shoulder, but every online casino does its best to create inconvenience for card counting Blackjack players. There is frequent shuffling to fewer hands per hour and harsh penalties for anyone suspected of card counting. Hence, you cannot count on getting away with it. Overall, online casinos will kill your card counting Blackjack strategy. You should stick to using effective strategies that are legit, such as splitting.


Blackjack rules make this move available whenever you are dealt a pair of cards with the same value. When you have two cards of the same value in hand, you have the option to split them into two separate hands. Then the hands are separated into two and additional cards are added to each hand. A bet equal to your original Blackjack hand is also added. Knowing when to split your cards in the game is a vital element of your strategy. For the additional bet, you can get two hands to beat the dealer. Splitting will raise the stakes and make the game a little more interesting. Before choosing to split, it is important to understand whether or not it is even a good idea for the hand you have. Just because you can split, does not always mean you should. It is not obvious when to split in Blackjack.

Splitting Aces in Blackjack

You should always split a pair of Aces. If you are choosing not to split, the best you can get is a soft 12. You are highly unlikely going to win with a soft 12. When you split Aces, you need to remember that there are plenty of 10- value cards than any other card in the deck. The chances of you getting a Blackjack are pretty good. It is for this very reason that many people will recommend splitting Aces as the chances are opportune. If you split an ace and receive a 10, it will count as a normal 21, getting paid at 1:1. If you get a Blackjack, you would otherwise get paid 3:2. Some players do not think it is worth the hassle, so they choose not to split aces. Additionally, a rule that is applied to many Blackjack variants states that when you split aces, you are only allowed to receive one additional card. This also puts off some players since there is a chance of receiving lower value cards.

Splitting Eights in Blackjack

Basic common-sense states that you should always split a pair of 8s, and there is a good reason why. If you do not split the cards, you get a total hand value of 16, and that has very little chance of winning. Splitting the cards gives you a good opportunity of getting two hands worth 18, and that has a bigger potential of getting lucky. Many players are a little reluctant splitting 8’s when the dealer’s face-up card is a 9 or a 10. Even if they get two hands of 18, there is a good chance of losing, and thinking of splitting the cards will result in losing twice. Although the reasoning might make some sense, the odds and probabilities do not. In the long run, if you split 8’s and place twice as many bets on the table, you are less likely to lose less.

When should I split cards in Blackjack?

We should point out that it is not always wise to split cards of various values. Like most table games, careful consideration needs to be applied based on the dealer’s upcard as well as the value of the cards in hand. Aces and 8s should always be split as they will give you a considerable advantage and not doing so, can easily lead to a loss. It is always wise to split Aces and 8s. However, when it comes to other card values, you should never split pairs of 4s, 5s or 10s as no good can come out of doing so. The reason is that, if you have a pair of 4s or 5s, you cannot bust if you hit since the best you can achieve is an 18 or a 20. If you have a pair of 10s, you have a solid 20 so there is no reason to split that.

Should I split a pair of 2s or 3s?

You are free to split this pair especially if the dealer has a 4, 5 or 6 as an upcard. You can then proceed to hit until you have a solid hand.

Should I split a pair of 6s?

It is not recommended to split a pair of 6s unless the dealer has a weak up card such as a 4 or a 5. You need to remember that there is a risk of busting if hitting on a 12.

Should I split a pair of 7s?

It is always a bit tricky dealing with 7s since you already have a total card value of 14. Hitting can result in busting and standing can result in the dealer beating you. If you do decide to split the cards, it will be difficult to build a good solid hand. If the dealer has an upcard of 8 or more, then you should split.

Should I split a pair of 9s?

Here you should make your decision based on what the dealer’s up card is. If the upcard is a 7 or higher, then it is best not to split. If, however, he has an upcard lower than 7, you can safely proceed to split.

Double Down

After being dealt the first two cards, you will be given the option to double down. This means you are doubling the size of the initial bet in exchange for just one last hit. It can often turn out to be a risky call. That is why it is critical to understand whether or not doubling is a good idea for your current hand. When you choose to double, all you get is one final shot at Blackjack. Many suggest saving the Blackjack double for hands that have the value of 10 or 11. Given the potentially high number of 10s that are available in the deck, these hands have the highest likelihood of scoring a 10 and reaching Blackjack. You have to be strategic with the Blackjack double down. This move can help you get Blackjack immediately or go bust fast. Here are some hands we think are worth doubling.

Double hard 10s

Any hand with the value of 10 is good to double down. The deck has four 10s and up to twelve face cards that also carry 10, the likelihood of you scoring a 20 is high and worth doubling on.

Double hard 11s

This is Blackjack’s strongest hand. The reason you should double down this hand is there are more cards with a value of 10 than any other in the deck, meaning you’re likely to get Blackjack.

Double Ace + 2-7

When you have an ace and another card valued 2 through 7, the double down is a good play. Although, you have to beware doubling when the dealer’s up-card shows a 2, 7 or greater.

Blackjack split rules

It is always necessary to check the rules of the type of Blackjack you are playing and for any adaptations at the online casino at which you are playing. Split rules are not immune to this uncertainty. Not every variant of the game of Blackjack online gives you the option to split hands. Some online casinos go further to apply rules and restrictions on the option of splitting pairs. Some casinos state that when you split Aces, you can only receive one additional card and will not have the option to request a hit or to split your cards any further. You can only work with the cards you are dealt with. If you want to be sure about how the game works, it is always best to read the rules of the game to avoid any unnecessary surprises. Here are some other things to keep in mind.

  1. Some casinos only allow splitting of ten-value cards if they are the same rank. For example, splitting a 10-10 hand is fine, but not a jack-queen hand.
  2. After the first split, doubling down and further splitting of hands may be limited.
  3. After the first split, an ace and a ten-card may be regarded as a non-Blackjack 21.
  4. After splitting aces you are generally not allowed to hit more than once.

Important things to keep in mind

Players should also keep in mind that there are several variants of Blackjack that can alter your split. For example, the Blackjack variant Super Fun 21 has a bonus for making a 21 with five or more cards. Splitting is a good idea if you get low cards. Elsewhere, multi-hand Blackjack gives you the chance to play five hands at the same time. It is a good opportunity for splitting pairs across multiple hands.

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Name: Splitting in Blackjack – What is it and When to do it?

Posted On: 07/09/2020

Author: Alex Karidis