Splitting Pairs in Blackjack – When to Always Do it and When to Never Do It

There are many side bets in blackjack and one of the most common is splitting pairs. The side bet is available at blackjack games and land-based and online casinos as well as sweepstakes sites like luckyland slots

Splitting pairs is an option when you are dealt two of the same cards, such as two aces. When this happens, you have the option to split the pair where you now have two hands. You will have to match your original bet and then the dealer will give you one more card for each of the hands. 

So, now you know about splitting pairs and while it’s pretty simple it can be a little difficult to know when and when not to do it. There are times when splitting will depend on what the dealer is showing. However, that is a little more complex and let’s simply look at when you should always split pairs and when you should never do so. 

When to Always Split Pairs

It is always advantageous to split pairs when you have aces and eights.

If you split two aces you already have 11 for each hand and you want a card with a value of 10, which there is the most of in a deck of cards. If you do not split you are starting out with 12 (11 for one Ace and 1 for the other). If you are then dealt a 10 you are still at 12, as both aces are forced to be a value of 1. Either way, you have to get a 9 to hit 21, but if you split the pairs, you can get 21 with a 10, jack, queen, and king. On top of that, if you’re playing for money you’ll get the increased payout hitting 21. 

Always split eights. Since 16 is seen as a poor hand, splitting them increases your chance for better hands. To go further hitting on 16 means you have around a 60% to bust but if you split you cannot bust getting one more card. 

When to Never Split Pairs

It should go without saying that you should never split two hands with a 10 value, as you already have a very strong starting hand with 20. 

Never split fives as by doing so you now have two hands with the value of 5. If you split fives, you start off with a hand of low value which makes it more likely you will bust later on. On a side note, many experts believe it’s a good idea to double down if you have a 10 and the dealer has a lower card showing. 

You also shouldn’t split fours since when you hit you cannot bust. The best you can get without splitting is 19 with an ace, which is pretty good. Conversely, if you do split the cards of five, six, or seven are the only ones that would improve your hand value over the original one of 8. 

Nakoa Davis