Best 3 Right Time When to Split in Blackjack

Are you wondering the right time when to split in blackjack? One of the most interesting aspects of blackjack is that we are sometimes presented with an opportunity to add our first bet. 

When we get the chance to double down or split, it is important that we make the right decision. We will have the multiples of our common bet riding on the result.

Deciding what to do is important since splits and double after splits can often result in us having four or five times our typical stake depending on a single round of cards.

Split in Blackjack Meaning

 What is Split in Blackjack?

Before we explain when to split in blackjack, let’s start from the basic information. When you have 2 of the similar cards like a pair of 4s or 8s, you are enabled to split the pair and play them like two separate hands. 

When splitting in blackjack, you can only split for the similar amount as your first bet, unlike double downs where you are allowed to bet less. We will go into deeper detail about the proper playing of every pair below, however, you need to know the simplest way to play is:

  • Always split Aces and 8s in the game
  • Never split 10s
  • Only split 4s when you are allowed to double on split hands

When to Split in Blackjack Actually?

In most blackjack versions, when you are dealt a pair (two of the similar cards), you have the chance to split them into 2 new hands. You will be dealt two more cards (one for every new hand) and your bet will be doubled. 

You can play each hand normally, as you get two options to beat the dealer (or lose). Knowing when to split the pairs in blackjack is important for high-level play.

Best of all, since there are only 10 card values, it is not difficult to remember what to do in every single case. Well, these are our explanations about when to split in blackjack. 

1. Always Split Aces

There are some cases in blackjack when it is always the right time to split, no matter what card the dealer is showing. For instance, you can always split when you get a pair of Aces. The right time when to split in blackjack will give you a much better opportunity to get a strong hand. See below:

  • When you play two Aces as one hand, you will start with a value of 12 (one is played as 11 and other as a 1). Only a 9 will offer you 21. A 10 or face card will force you to play the second Ace with a value of one, bringing you back to 12
  • One the other hand, when you split, you will have 4 ways to get a 21 in either hand (being dealt a 10, J, Q, or K)

2. Always Split 8s

Besides Aces, the other pair that almost every master will tell you on when to split in blackjack is 8s. It is hard to get a strong hand when you play your 8s as one hand. Your opportunities are not fantastic when you play them separately, however, you do stand a better chance mathematically. 

  • Playing your two 8s as one hand begins at 16 (a very weak hand). Hitting at this point is a risky move. Anything above a 5 will affect you to bust, so you have about a 60% opportunity of losing the hand from the get-go
  • On the other hand, when to split in blackjack, it is almost impossible to bust out on your first hit, so you at least have an opportunity of getting a more strong hand

3. Always Re-Split Aces or 8s When You are Dealt a Second Pair

When to split in blackjack, the dealer will give you two cards, one for each of the new hands. If this offers you a second pair of Aces or 8s, treat it as its own hand and you can split again. 

Remember that this needs you to triple your first bet (splitting the first time needs you to double it). The house rules might vary here. Most blackjack games will enable you to split a maximum of 3x (to play a total of 4 hands).

When You Should Never Split in Blackjack?

Even though now you already know when to split in blackjack, however, there are some cases that require you to do the opposite. So, here are some conditions that we recommend you never split in blackjack. 

Never Split 10s

This is a common new player mistake to understand when to split in blackjack. Splitting 10s importantly sacrifices a good hand for every small chance at an even better one. So, when you play a pair of 10, your hand has a value of 20, which is pretty good. 

When you split 10s, you have to get an Ace to boost your stance, anything else will offer you a hand that has an equal or lower value. Moreover, splitting 10s is most likely to give you 2 hands worse than the first one. 

In addition, some card-counting masters suggest splitting 10s in very specific cases. For instance: if you are counting cards and know that there are lots of 10s left in the shoe, it can make sense to split 10s against the dealer revealing 5 or 7.

This way, you stand a reasonable chance of getting at least one 20, while the dealer has to get lucky to match or against you. 

Never Split 4s

As you know when to split in blackjack, however, splitting a pair of 4s just will give you two weak hands, so it makes no sense. Keep in mind that splitting needs you to double your first bet. It means splitting 4s is generally a money-losing proposition. 

Therefore, if you hit on a pair of 4s, it is impossible to bust out, the highest you can go is 19 when you get an Ace, which is a quite good hand.

When you decide to split 4s, you are likely to get left with a less-valuable hand (when you get a 2 or 3) or a hand that is possible to bust out on if you hit (when you get an 8 or higher). You must get a 5, 6, or 7 to be better off than you were originally.

Never Split 5s

After knowing when to split in blackjack and you see a pair of 5s, we suggest you forget that they are a pair and treat them like a single 10. Double down on a 10 will against anything, but a dealer’s 9, 10, or Ace. For these 3 possibilities, just hit! 

Furthermore, splitting a pair of 5s is like splitting 4s, only worse if you give up a strong starting hand for a small opportunity at getting something better. With a pair of 5s, you can’t bust out and you have an opportunity of getting 21 on the first hit. 

On when to split in blackjack, you will be left with a weaker hand (when you get a 2, 3, or 4) and a hand that it is possible to bust out on if you hit (when you get a 6 or above). There is really no way to come out ahead by splitting on 5s.

Final Thoughts

The idea when to split in blackjack should cover all the likely rules you are likely to encounter. Keep in mind to use this basic strategy for pair splitting is important as it can help you get more money, often much more money, on the layout if the odds are in your favor.

Therefore, it is best to stick with it whenever possible. Also make sure to double when you should on these hands to really supercharge your benefit.


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