What Cards To Split In Blackjack

roy court
July 20, 2023
What Cards To Split In Blackjack


What Cards To Split In Blackjack: Blackjack, also known as twenty-one, is one of the most popular and widely played casino card games around the world. It combines luck, strategy, and quick decision-making, making it an enticing option for both seasoned gamblers and novices alike.

One critical strategic move in Blackjack is the concept of “splitting” pairs. When a player is dealt two cards of the same rank, they have the option to split them into two separate hands.  

We will delve into the art of splitting pairs in Blackjack. Understanding when to split and when to refrain from doing so can be the difference between a successful session and a disappointing one. We will explore the fundamental principles that guide this decision-making process, taking into account the dealer’s upcard and the player’s hand total.

Moreover, we will also highlight the exceptions and nuances involved in the splitting strategy. Some casinos may have specific rules governing splitting, making it crucial to adapt one’s approach accordingly.

Whether you’re an avid Blackjack enthusiast or a curious beginner eager to learn the ropes, mastering the art of splitting cards will undoubtedly elevate your Blackjack experience and potentially increase your chances of walking away from the table victorious. So, let’s dive in and discover the optimal strategies for splitting pairs in Blackjack.

When should you split cards in blackjack?

Should you split all pairs in blackjack?

  • Split 7s if the dealer shows 7 or less.
  • Split 6s if the dealer shows 6 or less.
  • Do not split 5s, but double down if the dealer shows 9 or less.
  • Do not split 4s.
  • Split 3s only if the dealer shows 4-7.
  • Split 2s if the dealer shows 3-7.

Knowing when to split cards in Blackjack is a critical skill that can significantly impact your chances of winning. The primary rule for splitting is when you are dealt a pair of cards with the same rank. When this occurs, you have the option to split those cards into two separate hands, each starting with one of the paired cards.

Aces should always be split as they are powerful cards. When split, each Ace starts with a value of 11, providing you with excellent potential for landing strong hands.

However, there are certain situations where splitting is not advisable. Never split 10s, as they form a total of 20, which is an excellent hand in Blackjack. Splitting 10s risks losing a strong position and decreases your odds of beating the dealer.

Consider the dealer’s upcard when deciding to split. If the dealer has a weak upcard, like a 4, 5, or 6, it may be favorable to split weaker pairs like 2s, 3s, and 7s, to potentially double your profits.

Splitting cards in Blackjack should be based on strategic decisions. Follow the general rule of splitting 8s and Aces, avoid splitting 10s, and consider the dealer’s upcard to make informed choices. By understanding the optimal times to split, you can enhance your gameplay and increase your chances of winning at the Blackjack table.

What Cards To Split In Blackjack

What is the best split in blackjack?

However, regardless of the various situations, the common strategic wisdom in the blackjack community is to “Always split aces and eights” when dealt either pair as initial cards. This is generally the first rule of any splitting strategy.

The best split in Blackjack is unquestionably a pair of Aces. When you are dealt two Aces, splitting them is a no-brainer and widely considered the optimal move. Splitting Aces allows you to create two separate hands, each starting with an 11, which is a powerful position in Blackjack.

By splitting Aces, you significantly increase your chances of landing at least one Blackjack (a 21-hand), as drawing a card with a value of 10 on either of the split Aces results in an instant Blackjack. This outcome typically pays out at a higher rate than regular wins, giving you a substantial advantage over the house.

It is crucial to note that different casinos may have specific rules regarding split Aces. Some establishments may only allow you to draw one additional card per split Ace, while others might permit additional hits. Understanding these rules is essential to making the most of your split Aces.

When it comes to splitting in Blackjack, there is no doubt that splitting Aces is the best and most advantageous move. Embrace the opportunity to double your chances of success and aim for that coveted Blackjack when you find yourself with a pair of Aces at the Blackjack table.

What pairs do you never split in blackjack?

Never split Nines or Tens

Therefore, you should decide against splitting nines, as that’s the best move you can make, statistically speaking. The same thing goes for tens. If you have a pair of tens, that’s 20 points, which is one point less than blackjack.

In Blackjack, there are certain pairs that you should never split due to the high probability of creating weaker hands and reducing your overall chances of winning. These pairs typically have a strong starting value, making it more favorable to keep them together as a single hand.

1. 10s: A pair of 10s gives you a total value of 20, which is an incredibly strong hand in Blackjack. Splitting 10s risks breaking up this powerful hand and may lead to two weaker hands with less chance of beating the dealer.

2. 5s: When you split a pair of 5s, you turn two weak hands (with a value of 5 each) into an opportunity to improve them individually. However, the potential to create two strong hands from splitting 5s is outweighed by the risk of receiving low-value cards on both hands, leaving you in a difficult position.

3. Face Cards (Kings, Queens, Jacks): Face cards all have a value of 10, and when paired, they form a strong hand. Splitting them would not make sense, as it won’t improve your position. It’s better to keep the 20-value hand and aim for a victory.

The decision of whether to split pairs in Blackjack should be based on strategic thinking and understanding the odds. While splitting some pairs can be advantageous, avoiding the splitting of strong hands like 10s and face cards will help maintain your advantageous position at the table.

Should you always split 10s in blackjack?

When it comes to splitting 10s in the game of blackjack, the bottom line should be: Average players should never split and should always stand on 20. Card counters will sometimes split in ten-rich decks. Smart tournament players will sometimes split when they need to bet more chips, especially if it’s the last hand.

You should not always split 10s in Blackjack. Splitting 10s is generally considered a controversial move because it breaks up a powerful hand with a total value of 20. A total of 20 is a strong position to be in, and splitting the 10s risks creating two weaker hands, which could lead to a less favourable outcome.

Splitting 10s is often seen as an unnecessary gamble, and the potential reward does not outweigh the potential loss. Instead of splitting 10s, it is usually more beneficial to stand and play the hand as a solid 20. By adhering to this basic Blackjack strategy, players can increase their chances of winning and maintain a stronger position against the dealer.  

Can you split any 2 cards in blackjack?

Fun fact, in blackjack, all 10-value cards are splittable. This means you don’t need to wait to be dealt a Jack and another Jack. You could, in theory, split your King and Queen, or your 10 and Jack. You shouldn’t, but you could.

In standard Blackjack rules, you can split any two cards of the same rank, known as a pair, if you wish to do so. When you are dealt a pair, you have the option to split them into two separate hands, each starting with one of the paired cards. This creates two new individual hands, and you can continue playing them as separate entities for the rest of the round.

However, it’s important to note that not all Blackjack variations allow for the same splitting rules. Some casinos may have specific rules regarding which pairs can be split and how many times splitting is allowed. For instance, in some variants, splitting may only be permitted once, while others may allow up to three or even an unlimited number of splits.

What Cards To Split In Blackjack

Despite having the option to split any pair, it’s essential to exercise caution and strategic thinking when deciding to split. As always, understanding the game rules and employing sound Blackjack strategy will help you make the best decisions at the table and maximize your chances of success.

Is splitting pairs the same in all Blackjack variations?

Different Blackjack variations may have unique rules on splitting pairs. Always check the specific rules of the game you’re playing.

Splitting pairs is a fundamental strategy in Blackjack that allows players to divide a starting pair of cards into two separate hands and play each hand individually. While the concept of splitting pairs is consistent across most Blackjack variations, there are slight differences in its application and rules depending on the specific game being played.

In the vast majority of Blackjack variations, players can split any pair they are dealt, except for pairs of 10-value cards, like 10s, Jacks, Queens, and Kings. Splitting aces is almost always allowed, but typically, players are only allowed to draw one more card after splitting them.  

However, some unique Blackjack variations may impose restrictions on splitting pairs. For instance, in certain versions, splitting may be limited to a certain number of hands per round or may not be allowed at all. Additionally, the number of times a player can split a particular pair could vary, and in some cases, splitting may not be possible after a double down.

While splitting pairs is a prevalent feature in most Blackjack variations, players must familiarize themselves with the specific rules of the game they are playing to make the most strategic decisions and capitalize on this advantageous play.

What if the dealer has a strong upcard?

If the dealer has a strong upcard (7 or higher), you might want to avoid splitting weaker pairs as you may end up with two hands likely to bust.

When the dealer has a strong upcard in Blackjack, it creates a challenging situation for players because the dealer’s upcard can significantly impact the outcome of the hand. A strong upcard typically refers to a card with a value of 7 or higher, as these cards have a higher probability of leading to a strong hand for the dealer.

When facing a strong dealer upcard, such as 7, 8, 9, 10, or an Ace, players must be cautious and consider their options carefully. The likelihood of the dealer having a total close to 17 or higher is higher with these cards, making it more likely that the dealer will have a competitive hand.

In this scenario, basic Blackjack strategy suggests that players should be more conservative with their decisions. It is generally advisable to avoid taking unnecessary risks, such as hitting with a hand that is already at a reasonable value, as the chance of busting becomes higher.

Players should focus on minimizing losses rather than aiming for high-risk rewards. This often means standing with solid hands like 17 or higher and avoiding splits or double downs that could expose the player to unnecessary risks.

Ultimately, when the dealer has a strong upcard, cautious and strategic play becomes essential to give players the best chance of staying in the game and competing effectively against the dealer’s potentially formidable hand.

How many times can I split in a game?

Casino rules vary, but most allow you to split up to three times, forming four hands in total. However, some may have restrictions on specific pairs.

The number of times you can split in a Blackjack game depends on the specific rules of the variant being played. In standard Blackjack games, you can usually split your initial pair once, creating two separate hands. This means you will have two individual hands to play after splitting. For example, if you are dealt two 8s, you can split them, and then each 8 becomes the starting card of its own hand.

However, some Blackjack variations allow for additional splitting opportunities under certain conditions. For instance, if you receive another card of the same rank after splitting, some games permit you to split that pair again, effectively giving you a total of three hands. This is known as re-splitting.

What Cards To Split In Blackjack

It’s crucial to be aware of the specific splitting rules at the table you are playing, as they can significantly impact your strategy. Splitting can be a powerful move when used judiciously, but it’s essential to exercise caution and make informed decisions to optimize your chances of success in the game.


Mastering the art of splitting pairs in Blackjack is a crucial skill for any player looking to improve their chances at the table. Making the right decision when facing a pair can turn the tide of a game and potentially lead to more favorable outcomes.

By understanding the basic principles of when to split and when to refrain from doing so, players can optimize their gameplay and capitalize on advantageous situations. Splitting pairs of 8s and Aces is almost always a wise move, as it can lead to stronger hands and increase the likelihood of beating the dealer.

On the other hand, certain pairs, such as 10s and 5s, should generally be avoided when splitting. Splitting 10s breaks up a strong hand, while splitting 5s may result in two weak hands that could easily bust.

It’s essential to remain aware of specific casino rules that may affect the splitting strategy. Some establishments may restrict the number of times you can split, or they might allow you to split certain cards that are typically not advised. Staying informed about these variations is vital for making informed decisions.

By honing their skills in splitting pairs, players can increase their chances of leaving the Blackjack table with smiles on their faces and pockets filled with winnings. So, next time you’re dealt a pair in Blackjack, take a moment to consider the optimal strategy, and may the cards be ever in your favor.  

Author roy court