House of Jack

Maximise Blackjack Gains By Splitting Correctly

Added: October 19, 2017

Split is one of the special moves allowed in online blackjack games. It becomes available when the first two cards dealt to the player are of equal rank. If you split, then each of the cards will become the first card of two hands. You will have to place another equal bet for the second hand and will be dealt the second cards to each hand. For new players the temptation to split every time the occasion arises is irresistible. But it is important to note that the split move is optional and must be utilised only when it is advantageous to do so.

The optimum blackjack strategy for split can be discussed in three parts. The exact strategy would vary slightly depending on the online blackjack variant being played. This article uses Vegas Strip Blackjack as an example. The first part of blackjack split strategy discusses pairs that should never be split. You do not split a pair of like ranked cards of value 10. This gives you a hand value of 20 and can take on any dealer hand except for blackjack or 21. Do not fall in the temptation of trying for blackjack by splitting 10s. You also never split a pair of 5s. This gives a starting hand value of 10, which is likely to give a final hand value of over 17. Hands that start at 5 are likely to get you in trouble.

The second part of optimum split strategy deals with pairs that should always be split. The first is a pair of aces. Together they will be valued a 2 or 12, both of which are weak, especially compared to the chance of getting a blackjack. There are more 10 value cards in the decks than aces, so the chance of getting a blackjack is much higher with an ace than a 10 value card. A pair of eights should also always be split. The hand value without splitting is 16. You are likely to bust if you hit and are unlikely to beat the dealer if you stand.

For all other pairs the decision to split depends on the strength of the dealer’s face up card. You split when the dealer is weak and stand or hit when the dealer is strong. The strategy in this regard for Vedas Strip Blackjack is given below.

• 2 pair, 3 pair and 7 pair: Split when dealer card is 7 or less

• 4 pair: Split when dealer card is 5 or 6

• 6 pair: Split when dealer card is 6 or less

• 9 pair: Split except when dealer has 10 or ace


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