Lowering the house edge and achieving a win are the two goals of every blackjack player. Mastering the rules and learning about the advantages, disadvantages, and when to find the ideal moment to split are the keys to success.

In blackjack, a player can split a hand when he or she has been dealt two cards of the exact same value, like two aces or two kings. There are certain blackjack variants that allow you to split two different face cards (any jack, queen, and king) due to the fact that they are all valued at 10 points.

Once you have made the decision to split, you have to make an extra bet amounting the same as your original one in order to play your second hand. For each new hand that came out of separating your equally valued cards, the croupier will give you an additional card. The game will continue and you will play each of your hands separately, having the option to hit, stand, double down, or split if you are dealt two matching cards once again. There are some games that will not let a player split twice, and this is one of the main differences between poker variants.

When Is the Best Time to Split in Blackjack

Choosing whether and when to split in blackjack should be thoughtfully determined. There are, however, two scenarios in which most people agree that splitting is the best chance to increase your odds of winning: when you have been dealt a pair of aces or eights.

It is always suggested that you should split a pair of aces. If you don’t, then one of the aces will be given a value of 1 and the other one of 11. The likelihood of getting blackjack doubles. The odds of reaching blackjack when a hand starts on an ace are around 30.4%. When splitting, this likelihood increases up to 51.6%.

Having an opening hand consisting of a pair of eights that amounts to 16 is considered to put you in the weakest position, since you are most certainly likely to lose and have a big risk of going bust if you hit. This is why splitting a pair of eights is invariably a good idea.

When you are dealt a pair of nines, you are also recommended to always split unless the croupier’s face-up card is a seven, equals 10, or is an ace, in which case you are advised to stand. It is very probable that the dealer’s following card will have a value of 10 making that hand’s value 17, less than your hand of 18. However, if the face-up card is an ace or worth 10, standing on 18 gives you great potential to win.

When Is Not Recommended to Split in Blackjack

It is common knowledge that you should never split when you have been dealt a pair of tens. If your opening hand’s value is 20, then it can only be surpassed by a three-card hand worth 21 or a Blackjack. During a round, the probabilities of the dealer reaching this are approximately 12.2%, so it is not wise to waste a strong opportunity by splitting and duplicating your losses.

If you have an opening hand of fives, you should also never consider splitting, unless the dealer’s face-up card’s value is 10 or an ace. Instead, choose to double down, since this will give you around a 53.8% chance of having a final hand worth 18 or higher.

Never split when you have a pair of twos, threes, or sevens and the dealer’s face-up card is at least an eight. When your opening hand is a pair of fours or sixes and the croupier’s face-up card is at least a seven, it is also not suggested to split. Moreover, when the dealer’s face-up card is under a five and you have a pair of fours, you should keep your cards and hit.

Sometimes Splitting Depends on the Hand of the Dealer

Since the point of blackjack is to beat the dealer, your game strategy often depends on the dealer’s card. Below are some instances in which splitting a pair is always a good move:

  • When the dealer shows two to seven and you have a pair of twos, threes, or sevens.
  • When the dealer shows two to six and you have a pair of sixes.
  • When the dealer shows two to nine and you have a pair of nines.

Blackjack Splitting Rules

Different variants of blackjack include different rules for splitting and, sometimes, casinos also set their own regulations. This is something important to keep in mind and learn when starting a game.

As previously mentioned, some versions will only let you split the same 10-value face cards, while others will allow you to split a jack and a queen. In some games, you will be able to split or double down only once, and others will permit continual splitting, for example. There is also not a consensus on whether or not to allow hitting after splitting two aces.

Summary

Practicing is the best way to intuitively learn when to split. The theory we have provided above is essential and you can apply it when playing blackjack and trying new strategies, always remembering to check the particular rules of your preferred game.

FAQ

Can you split a Jack and Queen in blackjack?

Yes, since you can split any 10-valued cards, although keeping one hand of 20 is a better idea and might get you further than splitting and trying to earn two good hands. Note that some variants might not let you split a jack and a queen.

What are the rules for splitting in blackjack?

When you have been dealt an initial hand with two matching cards, you have the possibility of splitting them in two hands, getting a new card afterwards for each of them, and placing another wager that equals your original one.

Can you split more than once blackjack?

Resplitting is usually allowed up to three times, which will give you the chance to end up with four hands out of your initial one. There are casinos that only allow to split once, and others that permit up to six splits or that don’t even set a splitting limit.

Do you split 3's in blackjack?

If you have a pair of threes and doubling down is allowed after a split, then it is a good choice to split your hand against the dealer’s face-up card of two to seven. In this instance, the dealer risks getting a stiff hand, so the odds are in your favor.

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