• July 24, 2021

How to Play Split Pairs

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One thing a lot of new Blackjack players get drilled into their head is that they should split any pair they get. There are times when splitting your Blackjack hand is an incredibly smart move or a way to help minimize the chances of busting. There are also times when splitting a hand in Blackjack can weaken you greatly. We’re going to review some of the basics behind Blackjack hand splitting and help you understand why they work.
First thing you should get in your head is: Aces and 8s should always be split. Always, always, always. When you split a pair of Aces, there’s a stronger chance that you’ll get something with a hand value of 10 (any face card and a 10) as your next card and that greatly increases the odds of you getting at least a 20. Eights should be split because 16 is a very weak hand when you stand on it, but the odds of busting if you opt to hit are over 60%.
What should you never split? Pairs of 4s, 5s or 10s. You’ll never bust out if you hit on the first two and having a pair of 10s means you’re already very close to winning. How you should react when you’ve got other pairs? It depends on what dealer has as a face-up card. Let’s start with the highest-valued pair from the remainder and work our way down to the lowest.
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Here are some tips on if you should split or not depending on the pair you have:
– The basic rule for splitting pairs is that you should always split Aces and 8’s but never split 5’s and 10’s.
– Pair of Aces – You should always split a Pair of Aces, as there is a good chance that you will get a card with a value of 10, either a 10 or a face card. You have a decent chance of getting two Blackjacks if you split a pair of Aces. You should know that most casinos will not pay the 3:2 Blackjack payout on Blackjacks that were made when splitting a pair of Aces.
– Pair of Face Cards or 10’s- If you are dealt a pair of face cards or 10’s you should not split. You already have a 20 so your chances are already good in beating the dealer.
– Pair of 9’s – If you have a pair of 9’s you should split but it will depend on what the dealer is showing. If the dealer is showing a 7,10, face card, or Ace you should not split. If the dealer is showing these cards your chances are still good that the dealer does not have more than 18.
– Pair of 8’s – If you have a pair of 8’s always split. 16 is not a good hand to start with and you have over a 60% of busting if you take a hit. No matter what the dealer is showing you should split a pair of 8’s.
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– Pair of 7’s – When you have a starting hand of 14 there is over a 50% chance that you will bust if you take another card. You should split a pair of 7’s unless the dealer is showing an 8 or higher. If they are showing an 8 or higher they can bust or they can win by getting a 10, face card, or Ace no matter what you get on your split 7’s.
– Pair of 6’s – There is just over a 30% chance of busting with a 12. A pair of 6’s is a tricky proposition and you should not split, but if you decide to split only do so if the dealer is showing a 4,5, or 6.
– Pair of 5’s – A pair of 5’s gives you a 10, which gives you a good chance of getting another card with a value of 10. No matter what the dealer is showing never split a pair of 5’s.
– Pair of 4’s – You have no chance of busting if you hit on a pair of 4’s, but your chances are over 30% to get a 10 value card and have an 18, which is a decent hand. The only time you should even think of splitting a pair of 4’s if the dealer is showing a 5 or 6, which gives them a good chance to bust.
– Pair of 2’s or 3’s – Only split on a pair of 2’s and 3’s if the dealer is showing either a 4,5,or 6. The dealer has a good chance of busting and you can double your bet. But splitting on a pair of 2’s and 3’s is a tricky proposition, as many experts do not like to split on these two pairs.
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Steve Carr

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