When to Split Hands in Blackjack
Learn when to and when not to split your hands by using blackjack basic strategy.
The game rules will always dictate whether you are permitted to split or re-split a hand, and in this section we shall take a closer look at what exactly this means and the correct occasions when it should be used. It is an important part of the game and should not be overlooked.
Once you have been dealt your first two cards and the dealer has dealt everyone elses cards including his upcard, then upon viewing your hand you are faced with many decisions, if your two cards are a pair then more often than not you will be allowed to split them.
A pair is of course any two cards that share the same value I.E. two Sixes, two Fives, or two Kings, it should also be noted that some Blackjack variations will allow you to Split cards that share the same value but are not identical, for this we mean any of the ten valued cards, this is a King, Queen, Jack or Ten.
Now you should fully understand that by doing so the dealer will separate them into two new hands and you are obliged to place another wager which is equal to your initial bet on this new hand.
Once you have placed this new wager the dealer will then deal a new card to each split card, one at a time. Should you get dealt another pair on either card then you can, (again subject to the Blackjack variation rules) split that hand again, another wager will also be required on the new hand should you do so.
You then play each hand out as you would a standard, single hand. One major rule variation is that Aces can often only be split just the once and will only be dealt just one further card and should an Ace be dealt a ten or ten valued card then this will not be classed as a Blackjack hand but a 21 hand instead.
Most Blackjack games will allow you to split a hand a maximum of three times which means you will be playing a total of four hands in total, but you should always check the Blackjack variants game play rules as dictated on the small sign placed next to the dealer to ensure you comply with any house rules differences.
The most common mistake a novice Blackjack player will make is to split a pair or tens or ten valued correct, in the majority of cases you should never, ever split such a pair no matter what the Dealers upcard is! I’ve made the mistake of splitting 10’s in the past. I tried it enough times to know for sure you’re far better offer staying on your 20 and going for the win.
Splitting a pair of Aces can also be another daunting decision you are faced with, but unlike a pair of tens this is more of an easy decision to make and that is to split them, it will of course cost you another wager but it is the correct Strategy to play.