Blackjack: A Few Tips for Splitting your Cards

21 April in Articles

It is all too common for the beginner to let themselves down in a game of Blackjack by failing to split their paired starting cards at the right times. Those who know all too little about the game may fail to split their cards; whereas others consistently split their pairs.A wise Blackjack player will find a happy medium. The aim of splitting your cards is, of course, to make the most possible profit. But – for this reason – it is essential that you learn not to let greed get you carried away.

Five simple, but essential rules for splitting cards are given below:
1 – Splitting a pair of 10s or face cards is always a bad idea. These hands (made 20s) are as close to perfect as you can get; so keep your hand and collect your chips. Always. (Splitting your cards against a weak dealer card may be tempting; but, in the long run, this is a losing strategy.)
2 – Play pairs of 5s like a 10. Unless the dealer has an ace or a 10, doubling down with your pair of 5s is the best idea.
3 – A 16 is a bad hand. Perhaps the worst hand. So always split a pair of 8s – turn it into a pair of 18s and enjoy the dealer’s getting a 17 or push!
4 – The best possible split that you can make is to a pair of aces. This split is so good, in fact, that many casinos’ rules state that, after splitting, you must take your winnings and go. Even then: always split your aces!
5 – If the dealer has a 5 or 6, split any other pair. At this point, he is incredibly weak, so this is a perfect opportunity to get as much money as possible on the table. Even the very weakest of hands that you might have have potential to beat these.

When you have any other hands, it’s a good idea to split against the weaker cards. (Weaker cards being those from 2 through to 6.) Stronger hands should just be hit against. (Stronger hands including those from 8s right up to aces.)

The only situations where these rules do not necessarily apply are those where you have a pair of 9s, a pair of 4s or the dealer has a 7.

Aim for an 18. So, unless the dealer has a 5, 6 or up, you’re going to want to hit a pair of 4s. However – unless the dealer is showing a 7, a 10 or an ace – you should split a pair of 9s. This might seem to be at odds with common sense, but there’s an important blackjack strategy behind this move.

A 7 you can almost certainly beat. And when you have an 18, you should really be careful of the premium dealer cards. In the average game, we can calculate that the rest of the splits are the best moves that you can make.

The most difficult hand to play against? A dealer 7.

The best way to play against a dealer 7 is to hit with 4s or 6s and split any other pairs. This is obviously a knife-edge play; but in the long-haul, you’ll find that splitting pairs of 2s, 3s, 7s and 8s will pay off best against a dealer 7.

These rules are tried-and-tested, and you should start to see the benefits more-or-less immediately. Try and memorise them, if you can; but don’t be afraid to make flash cards to refer to while playing in the beginning.

Good luck with your game; but, as with most card games, the main rule of Blackjack is simple: have fun!

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21 April Articles

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