In most Blackjack versions, when you have a pair to deal with (two of same card), you can split them into two another hands. Your bet is doubled as you are dealt two another cards (one for each hand). Each hand is played normally and you can have two chances to lose or beat the dealer. It is important to know when to split pairs.
What’s the Right time to Split?
Split aces always – In blackjack, there are few situations when it is always important to split, no matter what card is shown by the dealer. For example, if you have a pair of aces, you should always split. It gives you better odds to have strong hand. If you play two aces as one hand, you will start with 12 (one can be played as 11 and other as one). You have 21 with just a nine.
Split when you have eights – Along with aces, you should also split eights in Blackjack. When you play your eights, it is not easy to get a good hand. You don’t have good chances when you play them individually, but chances are better mathematically. By playing two eights as one hand, you stand at 16 (which is a very weak hand). At this point, hitting is risky. You could bust if you go anything above 5. So, there is 60% chance of losing hand from get-go. If you split, there are low chances to bust out on first hit. You can have an odd to get more favorable hand.
If you are dealt second pair, re-split eights or aces – When you get to split, there are two cards with the dealer – one for each new hand. If you have second pair of eights or aces, consider it as its own hand and split once more. Keep in mind that you have to triple your original bet. House rules may vary in this game. In most blackjack games, you can split up to 3 times to play four hands in total.
Avoid splitting tens – It is a common mistake rookies make in blackjack. If you split 10, you will lose a great hand for every small chance at better one. If you get to play pair of 10s, you have the value of 20, which is literally good. If you split 10s, you have to get ace to improve your chance or you will get a hand which has lesser or equal value. Splitting tens have high chances to get worst hand.
According to some of the card-counting experts, it is suggested to split 10s in a specific situation. If you are going to count cards and know there are lots of 10s in the show, it can be better to split 10s against dealer showing 5 to 6 (which recommends weak hand). So, you are at good chance to get one 20, when the dealer needs to match or beat you.