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In Blackjack When Should You Split?

In Blackjack When Should You Split?

In the fascinating world of casino games, Blackjack holds an eminent position. Requiring a strategic approach, it offers an exhilarating blend of skill, chance, and decision-making. One strategy frequently employed by players is 'splitting'. However, it's crucial to comprehend when and how to split effectively. Read on to learn more about this aspect of Blackjack. 

What Does It Mean To Split In Blackjack?

Before we delve into when to split, let's first understand the concept of 'splitting' in Blackjack. Essentially, splitting is a strategic manoeuvre that a player can employ when dealt two cards of equal value, from a pair of modest 2s to a pair of Aces. Splitting these cards results in the creation of two individual hands, each starting with one card from the split pair. 

When a player chooses to split their hand, they essentially double their initial wager by placing an extra bet of equal value on the newly created hand. Following the split, the dealer deals an additional card to each of the hands. 

The player then has the option to hit, stand or even split again (based on the game's rules and the cards dealt). This implies that instead of one hand in play, the player now has two, and they are played like two separate players at the table, with each having a separate turn and the outcome of one not affecting the other. 

When Should You Split In Blackjack?

Understanding when to split in Blackjack is a fundamental part of the game's strategy. Certain pairs are typically worth splitting, regardless of the dealer's upcard. For instance, if you're dealt a pair of Aces or 8s, the general consensus is to split them. 

Splitting Aces gives you two hands, each commencing with one card worth 11 before the hand is even fully dealt. This provides a solid starting point in an effort to get close to 21 with no risk of going bust. 

Meanwhile, splitting 8s is more of a defensive strategy. Retaining a pair of 8s gifts you a total of 16, a precarious position in Blackjack. By splitting these 8s, you may be able to convert a tricky hand into two potentially stronger ones. 

Consult basic Blackjack strategy cards to see which other instances are statistically advantageous to split pairs in based on your hand total and the value of the dealer's up-card. 

Rules Of Splitting In Blackjack

The rules of splitting in Blackjack can vary depending on the specific game or casino rules. However, some common rules can be followed: 

  • In a brick-and-mortar casino, form your fingers into a 'V' on the table, pointing towards the chips, to signal your intention to split. Verbally stating your intention at the same time can help prevent any confusion.
  • Splitting pairs must be done at the start of a turn; it cannot be done after hitting.
  • Some games or casinos allow players to split up to three times, potentially creating four separate hands if they keep getting pairs.
  • You usually cannot re-split Aces, although this can vary based on the specific game rules.

Disadvantage Of Splitting Cards In Blackjack

While splitting cards in Blackjack can be an effective strategy to potentially increase winning chances in certain situations, it does come with its share of risks. One of the primary disadvantages is the potential for increased losses. For instance, if both hands lose after splitting, you lose more than if you only played a single hand due to the increased wager. 

Furthermore, in certain situations, it may be more beneficial to keep your pair intact. Generally, splitting should be avoided when you have 5s or 10s. A pair of 5s is better played as a total of 10, providing a strong foundation for a hand. Similarly, a pair of 10s gives you a total of 20, a strong hand that is beaten only by the dealer hitting 21. Splitting 10s could lead to two weaker hands, reducing the chances of winning against the dealer. 


Blackjack is a game of both strategy and chance. While understanding the game's rules and strategies can potentially improve the probability of winning, the final outcome is ultimately determined by the cards you're dealt, and no matter how you play, you cannot fully eliminate the house edge. 

Therefore, it's essential to play responsibly and focus on enjoying the game rather than focusing solely on making money. Read through the rules of the specific Blackjack game you choose to play before placing a bet so you know what to expect and aren't caught unaware. 

Please note: the information given in this article is not to be taken as gambling advice. Please do your own research into Blackjack strategies and rules before playing.