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Beating the dealer: When do you split cards in blackjack?

Ever since blackjack became popular in French casinos around 1700, plenty of strategies that could help gamblers win the upper hand and double their payouts have been introduced. This includes splitting pairs, an important playing decision that can either make or break your game. 

But when you’re a novice player, understanding these strategies might seem a bit foreign. And in the case of split cards in blackjack, it can be confusing to know when to use it especially when you don’t know it’s supposed to beat the dealer. To clear all these confusions, take a look at the details below!

What does splitting cards mean in a game of blackjack?

When you are playing blackjack, you have the chance to split your hand if you are dealt two cards with the same value. That way, you can form two hands, with the second hand matching the same bet amount for the initial one. 

One of the advantages of split cards in blackjack is that you have better chances of winning the round, which is even more ideal if the dealer’s hand is weak. And if you defeat the dealer, then your payout will become bigger than you’d expect it to be.

However, in some online casino platforms, you are not allowed to split your cards and should only stand no matter your cards. If this isn’t to your liking, make sure to read the rules first before placing a bet so you’re sure you’re playing your desired game.

When to split in blackjack

Splitting your cards can help you win, but this isn’t to say that you should do it all the time. Keep in mind that if you want to split, you have to place another wager. You must only do it when you think the odds are in your favour, or else you run the risk of losing the game.

So, to help you get started, this is when you should split your cards:

You get aces

One of the few moments in blackjack that calls for split cards is when you’re dealt aces since they have a value of ten. If you don’t split, you will have a hand of 12—one ace has a value of 11 and the other has a value of one. This means you have to be dealt a 9 to reach a hand total of 21. But when you get a 10-valued card, you would be forced to count both aces as one which only gives you a hand total of 12. 

However, if you decide to split, you can get exactly 21 in either hand if you are dealt K, Q, J or a 10.

You get eights

Always split eights to boost your chances of winning. If you play them as one hand, you’ll start with a value of 16, which is an extremely weak hand. Once you are dealt a card above 5 when you hit, it will cause you to bust and lose the round altogether.

Meanwhile, if you split your eights, you’re less likely to lose when you choose to hit. This will give you a better advantage of having a competitive hand.

When to never split in blackjack

Just as there are times when you should split, there are also instances where doing so is unwise. Here are some examples of when you should never split your cards:

You get tens

One of the most common rookie mistakes that you should avoid is to split tens. Some blackjack players often split them on the off chance that they will gain a better hand, often leading to big losses.

If you have a pair of tens, you start with a hand total of 20, which is the closest number to 21. However, if you split them, you need to be dealt with an ace to improve your hand. Any other card might increase your chances of having a lesser hand value, so tread carefully.

You get fours

Splitting fours is never recommended since it’s going to give you two weak hands. If you decide to hit on a pair of 4s, you don’t risk busting out. The highest card that may be dealt to you is an ace, which gives you a decent hand total of 19.

However, splitting your pair of fours and deciding to hit will leave you with a low hand if the cards drawn are 2 or 3. You might even bust out if you get an 8 or a higher card value.

You get fives

If you are dealt a pair of 5s, forget about splitting your hand. Always treat them like a single 10 and double down unless the dealer has an ace, ten or nine. 

Keep in mind that splitting your 5s is almost the same as splitting your pair of 4s. You risk losing a competitive hand on the very little chance that it’s going to give you a winning total. If you get dealt 2, 3 or 4, you will have a lower hand and if you get a 6 or above, you will bust out and lose your bet. 

But when you only count them as one hand, you’re less likely to lose and have a great chance of getting 21 on your first hit. 

Split your blackjack cards in Bitcasino

Just like when deciding what to do in blackjack, you always have to think twice before splitting. You also have to remember that even when you split at the right moment, the odds can still work against you and the dealer can still win. Because even though blackjack strategies are effective in most cases, odds are always on the house and game results are still random.

However, you can still master the art of splitting cards when you play blackjack titles here at Bitcasino! Once you get dealt pairs such as aces and eights, don’t hesitate to try it out and see if it doubles your bet. Sign up now and play a round of blackjack!

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