A split in Blackjack occurs when you are dealt two cards with the same value at the start of a hand. The dealer will give you an option to ‘split’, meaning that you can separate the two cards into two different hands to be played simultaneously. You will then be able to decide the appropriate decisions for each split hand going forward, for example, you could choose to stand on one hand but hit on the other.
Depending upon the hand that you are dealt and choose to split, and your luck at the table, you could end up winning two hands at once!
When to Split in Blackjack?
When you are considering when to split in blackjack, there are some hands that are always a must-split and others that should never be considered. Read below for the Gambling Zone blackjack split rules, including the best and worst hands to split on, and why.
Aces are one of the most powerful cards within blackjack, simply due to their utility. Aces can either be counted as low (1), or high (11) in blackjack, depending upon the rest of the cards in your hand.
However, when you choose to split two Aces, it is always worth considering them as being worth 11. This is because cards with a value of 10 (Kings, Queens, Jacks, and Tens) appear the most out of any other card in the deck. If you have split Aces, this gives you a high probability of scoring a blackjack when the dealer hits both hands with the next card.
If you do not get a card with a value of 10, split Aces still give you the option to continue playing one or both hands, as cards with a value of 7 or above will still get you to 18.
While splitting Aces gives you a good chance at one or both being winning hands, wise blackjack players will tell you to always split on Eights, too. This is not because they are good cards, but to help mitigate what would otherwise be a weak hand if you did not split them.
A hand with two Eights gives you 16, one of the weakest hands in the game. You are below the default standing point of the dealer at 17, and hitting another card has a 60% chance of making you go bust.
Instead, splitting your two Eights gives you a better chance of a win. You cannot go bust by hitting straight away, so you have a good chance of getting a more favourable hand.
You may look at the pair of Tens in your hand and think to yourself you have a great chance of winning if you split them. However, doing so is incredibly risky, especially when you have a great hand in the first place!After all, the only way to improve on a hand of two Tens is to draw an Ace, and the chances of pulling this off are slim. Instead, you risk turning one hand into two much worse ones.
Blackjack Teen Card
Splitting Fours is never a good idea, as they make for an incredibly weak hand that is not worth doubling your wager on. You run the risk that the following card that you are dealt is too low to become a strong hand, and the highest possible number you could get with your second hand on split Fours is 15 with the help of two Aces. You stand much more of a chance of making yourself bust trying to make the split Fours into strong hands than if you kept them together in the first place!
If you are dealt two Fives, it is important to remember that although you have the option to split them, it is well worth thinking about how they work as a pair. Two Fives give you a total of 10, meaning that with your next hit, you could get a blackjack or a stronger hand with a Ten. Splitting two Fives means you will most likely end up with two bad hands rather than one solid one.
Splitting Depending on the Dealer’s Card
If the dealer shows a seven or lower: split twos, threes, or sevens
In situations where the dealer shows a Seven or lower, and you have a hand of either Twos, Threes, or Sevens, it may be advisable to split your hand. If the dealer then draws a card with a value less than 10, their hand is poor and they are likely to bust on their next draw. Even in their best-case scenario of drawing a Ten, they reach their automatic standing point of 17, and the chances of them pulling an Ace is minimal at best. As a result, you stand a good chance to win with one or both hands.
Blackjack Dealt Card
If the dealer shows a two through six: split sixes
If the dealer’s card has a value of anywhere from 2 to 6, and you have been dealt 2 Sixes, split them. Although both your and the dealer’s hands are comparatively weak in blackjack, numbers-wise you have the edge. Of course, if they have drawn a Seven or above, just hit as normal on the singular hand without splitting.
Against two through six, eight, and nine: split nines
If you have two Nines, and the dealer shows a card with a value between 2 and 6 or has an Eight or a Nine, you should split for the best results. If they have an Ace, Ten, or Seven, then cut your losses and stand. After all, choosing to hit on an 18 is not the smartest move!
Disadvantage of Splitting Cards in Blackjack
It is always worth remembering that although splitting in blackjack can lead to big wins if done right, there is always the chance that you might still be bested by the dealer. Having two hands in play can be powerful, but at the same time, it means that you have two wagers put down and could potentially lose twice as much compared to just playing one hand. Always think carefully whether given your current funds and situation it is worth it to split blackjack hands, and always play blackjack responsibly.