Blackjack Tips: When Should I Split Pairs?
Blackjack players online are participating at an all-time high, with thousands of eager card sharks hitting up the virtual felt at any given moment.
With every fan chasing hefty paydays in Blackjack at Bodog, does that mean each player knows the best Blackjack strategy to make the most money?
Most will have the basics under control, like when to hit and stand. Sure, that’s a great start, but if you want to know how to really level up your Blackjack game, you’ll need more Blackjack tips going beyond the fundamentals they teach you at the door.
Case in point: knowing when to split pairs. Splitting pairs can be a lucrative weapon in your game if you know when to do it – and more importantly, when not to split.
Bodog has seen it all before, and we’ve compiled our best Blackjack betting tips for when to split pairs in one handy guide. By the time you’re done, you’ll be more confident going into any Blackjack game with a few more trusty strategies under your belt. Hopefully this means you’ll be cashing out a lot more often, too.
Let’s get started.
What is pair splitting in Blackjack?
“Splitting” in Blackjack occurs when you receive two of the same card. When you opt to “split” via the prompts in the game, each card is divided into another separate hand, meaning you now have two hands working for you.
In Blackjack games at Bodog, you can split up to three hands. If you happen to split Aces, you will receive only one more card instead of two and cannot resplit your Aces again.
Note that if you opt to split your Aces and then receive a ten-value card, thus giving you 21, that will only be considered a regular win with a payout of 1:1, not a “natural” Blackjack paying 3:2.
Okay, then. Let’s talk about when to split in Blackjack and when to avoid it.
Always Split with Two Aces
Anyone who’s played Blackjack before knows Aces are the bomb. They’re versatile, playable as either a 1 or 11, and they mean only a single 10-value card (of which there are many) needs to appear to get a Blackjack.
That said, a hand of two Aces won’t do you much good at all. You could only reach 22 (and bust) or 2, which won’t do much against the dealer. Your only option is to split and take your chances with another card, which is practically guaranteed to be better than a 22 or 2 (remember, split Aces only receive one more card).
Always Split with Two Eights
Eight plus eight is 16, and any good Blackjack tips tell you 16 is notoriously one of the hardest hands to win on. When you crunch the numbers, you’ll see that if you hit on 16, you’ll lose 69.31% of the time, and if you stand, you’ll lose 70.99%, which are both no bueno.
It’s a wonderful gift to be dealt a pair of eights, because then you can split off and have two greater chances of beating the dealer with a high card or a couple more low draws.
Never Split with Two Nines or Tens
As the best Blackjack betting tips will advise you, if you have anything that’s a 17 or higher, regardless of the dealer’s upcard, you should always stand. The reason is clear: you are already so close to 21, practically every remaining card in the deck will make you bust. So if you get a pair of nines or tens, just roll with it and don’t bother to split.
Never Split with Fives
It’s not exactly that splitting on fives is a bad idea when it comes to getting a better hand, although it must be said you risk ending up with 15 which is not a great hand at all. The reason you shouldn’t split fives is more because doubling down on fives is a much better move than taking your chances with a split. That’s particularly true when the dealer’s upcard is a 2 through 9.
Never Split with Fours
There are more 10-value cards than any other card in the deck (the 10s, Jacks, Queens and Kings of each suit). If you have a total of eight (two fours) that means you have a decent chance of getting a strong hand of 18. That’s a good spot to be in.
On the flip side, if you were to split your two fours, you would then be left with two very weak hands of four. The best you can do with those is get a ten-value card which brings you to 14, and that’s not a great hand to work with at all. Best to stay with eight in the first place and skip on the split.
Split with 2s, 3s, and 7s when the Dealer Shows 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7
Some Blackjack tips on when to split are a bit more nuanced, and they’re gauged against the cards laid before the dealer.
When you have either a pair of twos, threes, or sevens, and the dealer shows anything from 2 to 7, you should split your pair. The reason is that your hand totals of 4, 6, and 14 are not easy to work with, and your best option is to split into two potentially decent hands rather than stick it out with one terrible hand.
Here are two more instances when you should split based on what the dealer shows.
- Dealer has 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
- You have a 6-6
- Dealer has 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9
- You have 9-9
Any good Blackjack strategy starts with knowing when to hit and stand (check out our guide here). The next step is knowing when to split. As long as you have these basic tactics down, you’re ready to level up your Blackjack game at Bodog. The paydays are waiting and this guide is done – it’s time to pack up your bags and split.