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The strategy of Split Pairs

One of the possible player's decisions in the game of blackjack is Split Pairs. Whenever the player gets two cards of the same denomination he or she may want to split them in two new hands. The player then receives 2 more cards, one to each of the two hands, and makes a new bet the same size as the original. In case the correct Split Pairs basic blackjack strategy is applied in a game, the player's odds of winning increase significantly.

There are few possible cases in blackjack when a pair can be split, that is why it is quite easy to understand and memorize the basic rules for the Split Pairs basic blackjack strategy.

  1. First of all, always split Aces and 8s, whatever the dealer's face-up card. Two Aces is possibly the most favorable hand combination the player can get while playing blackjack. By splitting the pair of Aces, the player actually gets two hands with potential "Blackjacks".

    The "stiff hand" of 16 made by a pair of eights can be changed into two more favorable hands through splitting.

  2. Never split 10s and 5s. It is useless to split a potentially winning hand of 20 (10+10) into two hands that may prove far less likely to beat the dealer's hand. With a pair of 5s, the strategy should be the same as with a "Hard 10" hand. Otherwise, if you split the pair of fives, you are very likely to get a "stiff hand", assuming that you will receive a 10 after a hit.
  3. When the player gets a pair of 2s and 3s, it is best to split pairs if the dealer's face-up card is 2 to 7. In other cases it is better to hit.
  4. With a pair of 4s, it is better to split when the dealer has 4 or 5. In other cases the player should hit.
  5. With a pair of 6s, the player should split if the dealer's face-up card is 2 to 6 and hit in other cases.
  6. If a player gets a pair of 7s, it is possible to split with the dealer's 2 to 7 and hit in the rest of the cases.
  7. With a pair of 9s, the player may split when the dealer has 2 to 6 or 8 and 9. It is better to stand in all other cases.

Correct Split Pairs strategy can help significantly reduce the house edge. This may be one of the reasons why some casinos introduce certain restrictions to the Split Pairs option. For example, it is quite common to prohibit drawing more than one card to each hand after splitting the pair of Aces. This increases the house edge by approximately 0.13%. That is why it is important to get acquainted with the blackjack variations of rules at a certain casino before starting to play blackjack.