Several players would convince you that blackjack is just a game that’s purely based on luck, but established strategies say otherwise. You have to understand that there is a way to increase your odds of winning, no matter how small your chances are. This includes the art of splitting your cards, which means that when the dealer shows the signs of having a weak hand, then you should play aggressively and double your wagers.
However, not everyone is well-versed with splitting cards. Some players tend to split their cards every time they play, which is not exactly the point of the strategy. You need to think twice about the situation and assess if it calls for a split then decide on your next move.
To become an expert on this blackjack strategy, continue reading below!
What does splitting cards mean in blackjack?
In blackjack, you have the option to split when you are dealt two cards with the same value. With this, you can now play the round with two hands, with the second hand matching the same wager for the initial one.
What makes splitting cards the ideal blackjack strategy is it gives you the chance to win money twice as much every round. This is especially true when the dealer’s hand seems lousy. If the dealer busts, your bets will multiply more than your expected profit.
Just make sure that you read the rules before playing the round. Some online casinos do not allow players to split their cards, so you must stand regardless of your hand value.
When to split cards in blackjack
What you need to remember is that splitting cards can be an effective tactic, but this isn’t to say that you should do it all the time. Bear in mind that this strategy would require you to place another bet, so think carefully before doing so. You should only split when it’s going to improve your odds, or else you risk losing all your bets.
Check out the blackjack situations that call for splitting cards:
You get aces
There are some cases in blackjack where it makes perfect sense to split your cards, no matter the dealer’s hand. For instance, you should always split when you are dealt a pair of aces since they have a value of ten.
However, playing your two aces as one hand will give you a starting value of 12—one ace as an 11 and the other as a one. This means that you need to be dealt a nine to reach 21. But when you receive a 10 or a face card, you have to play both aces as one, which brings you back to 12.
Meanwhile, splitting your aces means you get four chances of getting 21 in either hand if you are dealt a 10, J, Q or K.
You get eights
Always split a pair of eights to increase your odds of winning. Keep in mind that your chances of beating the dealer would be weak if you play them as one hand since it gives you a starting value of 16. If you hit and get dealt a card above 5, you will go bust and lose your bets. This gives you about a 60% chance of falling short from the very start.
On the other hand, you’re less likely to go bust on your initial hit. This will also give you a better chance of having a competitive hand that may beat the dealer.
When to not split in blackjack
Don’t get too enthusiastic about splitting your cards. Even if you see that the dealer may have a weaker hand than you, there are times when you need to play your cards as one hand. Check out some examples below:
You get tens
Splitting a pair of tens is a rookie mistake that you should avoid at all costs. It might be tempting to split them in the hopes of gaining a better hand, but things might work against your favour and lead you to bigger losses.
Let’s say you get dealt two tens. If you play them as one hand, you already have a value of 20 which puts you in a great position. Meanwhile, splitting them requires you to get an ace to increase your odds. Any other card will either give you an equal or lesser total.
You get fours
Forget about splitting your fours since it will give you two weak hands. If you decide to hit, it’s impossible to bust your cards because the highest value you can gain is 19. It’s already close to 21, so it might just make you win the round.
However, if you split your fours, you’re more likely to end up with a weaker hand especially when you get dealt a 2 or 3. Getting an eight or higher will also cause you to bust, so tread extra carefully.
You get fives
When you are dealt a pair of 5s, don’t even think about splitting them and play them like a single 10 unless the dealer shows an ace, nine or ten. With this pair of cards, you have a better chance of reaching 21 on your first hit and you won’t bust out.
On the flip side, splitting your fives in the hopes of getting something better will leave you with a weaker hand if you get a 2, 3 or 4. You’ll also bust your cards if you get a 6 or above on the first hit.
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