Blackjack Split

Blackjack splitting rules

Among the range of betting options in blackjack, you can find the split bet, allowing you to break your hands up and essentially place two bets. Within this guide, you’ll find the answers to what splitting is in blackjack, when the option to split comes about and some of the scenarios where it makes sense.

What does a blackjack split mean

Blackjack allows you to split your hand into two separate hands if you are drawn two cards of the same value. Selecting to break your hands up will also mean that you need to place an extra bet for the second hand you’re playing with, and when you do, the dealer will provide you with two extra cards for each hand. For the split bet to be valid, you will typically need to set the value at the same amount as the original bet.

What cards can you split in blackjack

Split bets will only be available if you draw two cards of the same value. For example, if you were to draw two sevens, you could split the hand to form two hands instead. This can also include aces and picture cards such as Jack and Queen, which are valued at 10 in the game of blackjack. Once you split your hands, you will play each as its own hand.

When to split in blackjack

Depending on the cards you are dealt with, and the situation regarding the dealer’s cards, your decision regarding your blackjack hands can change widely. Whether you’ve got two aces or the dealer has the potential for a weak hand, your decision could vary. The below covers some of the most common hands where making the decision to split seems the most viable and those where sticking could improve your chances of winning.

Splitting 10s

If you’re fortunate enough to be dealt two 10s as your initial two cards, many will suggest against splitting. This is because you already have such a strong hand, with the value totalling 20, and the odds of surpassing that to achieve 21 are relatively low.

The majority of players will tend to avoid the decision to split tens with a good chance of beating the dealer and winning the round.

Example of a hand with two 10s

Splitting 9s

Basic strategy could propose splitting a pair of 9s if the dealer shows a potentially weak hand. For example, if the dealer’s face-up card showed a picture card, there is a good chance they have a strong hand with the potential to beat your 18. However, having a total of 18 and drawing an additional card carries a high probability of going bust, which is why some would suggest splitting.

In terms of weaker face-up cards, if the dealer shows cards valued at 2,3,4,5 and 6, this could indicate that they have a relatively weak hand. In this case, sticking with the hand of 18 could be the safer bet, as the split pair could leave you worse off.

Splitting 8s

If you’ve been dealt two eights, you certainly don’t have the strongest hand. The chances of beating the dealer on this value alone are not great, but choosing to split pairs of eights depends on how strong their hand looks. Starting with 16 does present a risk of going bust if you decide to hit, so choosing to split eights could benefit your hand.

In a scenario where the dealer’s face-up card shows a card valued at 10, there is a good chance that their hand will be stronger than your 16. To avoid going bust through hitting, some might suggest splitting here to provide an improved chance at building a stronger hand.

Splitting aces

Aces can be valued at 1 or 11 in blackjack, making it favourable to split aces into two hands as it improves the potential to build a strong hand and potentially beat the dealer.

If you decided against splitting your hand of two aces, their values would automatically be assigned. One would be valued at 1, while the other would be 11.

Visualtion of a hand with two aces

Pairs to split in blackjack

Aces sit at the top of the pile for the best hands to split in blackjack. They offer a good chance at creating two strong hands, with the cards having the potential to be valued at 1 or 11. Before deciding to split, always look at the value of the dealer’s face-up card, as this can tell you a lot about the potential of their hand. If the hand’s looking strong, should you stick with your current hand or look to form a new one?

Pairs to never split in blackjack

Typically, if you're initial two cards create such a strong hand, you shouldn't look to split. Consider the chances of creating another hand that is better than your current, as well as the dealer's hand beating you. One great example of this includes a pair of picture cards. The likelihood of producing a hand that equals 21 is low, and you also stand a good chance of beating the dealer at 20. With this in mind, most blackjack players will look to stick here and play their hand.

Other pairs, such as 9s, are verging on the category of pairs that should never be split; however, they are more of a grey area due to the belief that a total of 18 might not be enough to win the hand.

Can the dealer split in blackjack?

When playing blackjack, the dealer will never split hands when dealing with pairs. If they do go over 21, they will have gone "bust", and you will be the winner of the round.

Good to know

With such a variation of blackjack games online, blackjack rules can change and betting options can alter. Make sure to check the rules of the game before playing, as well as looking at the side betting options available.

Not every game will offer the option for splitting pairs, so you should always make sure that this option is available if it forms a crucial part of your splitting strategy.

Take Time to Think | | 18+

We're sorry!

Unfortunately, PinkCasino isn't available in your country.