Defeating the odds: When to split cards in blackjack

Given that blackjack has straightforward rules that novice players can take advantage of, the card game seems like it doesn’t need strategies. Your objective is to beat the dealer by having a hand value closest to 21, so why bother using tactics in the first place? However, this is not entirely true. 

What makes blackjack interesting is that despite its easy gameplay, there are lots of strategies you can use to have the upper hand and this includes splitting cards in blackjack. Although the strategy looks simple at first glance, you have to know when to do it and when to avoid it. It can change your game once you master the act of splitting your cards, especially when you want to win every round. Continue reading below for more information!

Getting started with split cards in blackjack: What it means

In several versions of blackjack, you have the option to split your cards into two hands when you are dealt with a pair. This means that you have a total of two hands to play with. But you have to place another wager matching your initial bet to make this possible. 

The benefit of splitting your cards is you can significantly boost your chances of doubling your bets, especially if the dealer’s hand looks weak. If ever the dealer busts, your payout will be twice bigger than what you would have expected. 

However, what you need to remember is that some online gaming do not allow players to split their cards. Whatever your hand is, you should either stand or double down.

When to split in blackjack

Splitting your cards is proven to be an effective strategy to win in blackjack. However, this does not mean that you should do it all the time. Doing so might reduce your winning chances and lose your wagers altogether.

To keep you guided, here are the only instances where you can have two hands:

You get aces

No matter what the dealer’s card is, there are situations in blackjack that always call for split cards. This includes getting a pair of aces since they have a total value of ten. But how can they exactly give you a strong hand? 

First, if you decide to use your two aces as one hand, you will have a value of 12 (one holds a value of 11 and the other has a value of one). This means that you need to be dealt a nine to reach 21. On the other hand, drawing a 10-valued card will force you to count both aces as one. This will bring you right back to having a hand value of 12. 

However, if you split, you have better chances to get exactly 21 in either hand if you are dealt a 10, J, Q or K.

You get eights

Another situation that encourages you to split your cards is when you get dealt a pair of eights. If you choose to play your eights as one hand, you’d have a total value of 16 which is considered to be an extremely weak hand. Once you hit and get dealt a card above 5, you will bust and lose your bets. 

This is why splitting your eights is a more favourable blackjack move. You’re less likely to bust if you hit, giving you a higher chance of significantly improving your hand.

When to not split in blackjack

Don’t get too excited with the strategy of splitting your cards! Even if the dealer’s hand is below par, split cards in blackjack can easily work against your favour. Check out the instances below:

You get tens

Novice players make the common mistake of splitting tens. They think that sacrificing a good hand will give them a chance of having a better one, which does not typically happen in this case. 

Let’s say you get dealt a pair of tens. You already have a total value of 20, the closest hand to reach 21. However, splitting them means you have to get an ace to acquire a better hand. If you don’t, any other card will boost your odds of having a weak hand!

You get fives

Skip the move of splitting when you have a pair of 5s since you already have a hand total of 10. The best move is to double down unless the dealer shows a nine, ten or ace. If you make the mistake of splitting your 5s, it will leave you with a weak hand or one that would make you bust if you decide to hit. 

You get fours

Always treat your pair of 4s like a single eight! If you don’t split them, you will never bust when you hit. Keep in mind that if you ever get an ace, you get a decent hand total of 19. 

Meanwhile, if you split them into two hands, you will have a less-valuable hand if the cards drawn are two or three. You may also lose the round if you get an eight or higher. The only way to improve your stance is to get five, six or seven, so think about your next move carefully.

Practice splitting blackjack cards in Bitcasino

Improve your strategy of splitting cards in blackjack here at Bitcasino! Since our platform has blackjack tables where wagers are not required, you can try improving your hand risk-free by checking various games. Split your cards once the cards are drawn and try how this strategy can make the odds work in your favour.

If you’re confident that you’re doing it the right way, you can place real bets and start winning big with live dealer titles. Create an account and master blackjack today!

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