Blackjack is a game that many players adore because it is, generally speaking, very simple to master. The ultimate goal in blackjack is beating the dealer by obtaining a total value of 21 or as close as possible to 21. To achieve that, you can choose to either hit or stand. You select either of the two based on the initial cards you get.
Apart from these two moves that are probably familiar to everyone, there are some additional rules as well, such as the blackjack split. This move sometimes confuses beginner players.
If you are one of them, you are more than welcome to read our guide on splitting rules and the right time to make that move.
Blackjack Split Basics
Splitting in blackjack is a move that allows you to divide your starting hand into two separate hands — hence the name ‘split’. By making this move, you create two independent hands that you play separately. This is not a mandatory move, meaning you can keep the cards and play them as one hand as well.
To be able to split a hand in the first place, you must initially have two cards of the same face value — two Aces, two 5s, two 10s, and so on. Also, you can come across some tables that allow splitting a hand in which you have two different 10-value cards. For example, you can split a King and a Queen.
Splitting a hand requires doubling the bet as well. In other words, both of your hands need to have their own stake. Once this is done, you will get one additional card for each hand and a chance to win both. Of course, it can happen that both of your hands lose or that only one of them wins.
Now when you understand the basic theory behind splitting in blackjack, let’s move on to the splitting strategy.
When Is the Right Time to Split a Hand?
In general, a blackjack split is a simple move that can be easily mastered if you combine theory with a bit of practice. Therefore, we will give you a few hints about the right time for making this move.
While you can split any two cards of the same value, that is not always a good idea since your final goal is for your hand to reach 21. For instance, there’s no need to split a hand of 4s, 5s, or 6s, as they already give you a good base for hitting.
Another situation in which you don’t need to split is when you have a hand of two 10-value cards. The total of that hand is 20, which is, in most cases, all you need to win.
What you should do, though, is follow the most common practice — splitting Aces and 8s. Splitting Aces does not require further explanation, as doing so gives both of your hands a strong chance to win.
When it comes to a pair of 8s, the best choice is to split it for two reasons. If you choose to stand on it, you will probably get nowhere, as a total of 16 is considered weak. On the other hand, if you decide to hit, you will most likely exceed 21 and lose. All in all, splitting is the option to go for in this scenario.
If you happen to get a hand of two 2s, 3s, or 7s, try to base your decision on the dealer’s up card — that can help you calculate the possible risk of splitting.
Hopefully, this guide will serve you well in your future blackjack games. Remember to carefully evaluate the situation when thinking about splitting and there’s no doubt you will end up a winner.