Split To Advantage In Online Blackjack

April 16, 2017


Like double down, split is another optional blackjack move that has to be exercised before the player hits or stands on the first two cards. Like double down, split has to be used discriminately. This article explains the move and outlines the optimum split blackjack strategy.

Unlike double down, you can split only when the first two cards dealt to you are of the same rank. If you split, then each card will become the first card of two separate hands and second cards will be dealt to each hand. You will have to place another wager equal to the original wager for the second hand. Then each hand is played independently in the normal way. Since you are doubling your stake with this move, it is imperative that you split only when you get a real advantage. The optimum online blackjack strategy for split can be understood in three parts.

The first part covers pairs that should never be split. The most obvious pair is like ranked cards of value 10. Without splitting this pair gives a hand value of 20, which is less only than 21. Splitting can theoretically get you two blackjacks, but mostly you will end up with two hands less than 20. The other hand that should never be split is a pair of fives. Before splitting you have a hand value of 10, which is a very strong position. You are likely to end up with a value of over 17. Splitting will result in first cards that are valued at 5, and this considerably weakens your position.

The second part of optimum online blackjack strategy for split covers hands that should always be split. A pair of aces should always be split. The first card as an ace is a great candidate for blackjack. With the larger payout offered on blackjack wins, this opportunity must not be missed. A pair of eights should always be split. The hand value before splitting is 16, which is in no man’s land. It is not a great value to stand on and the probability of busting is high if you hit. Starting with the first card value of 8 puts you in a much better situation.
For all other pairs there is no easy rule whether to split or not. It largely depends on the strength of the dealer’s face up card and to some extent on the exact blackjack variant. The general philosophy is to split if the dealer’s face up card is weaker and to hit or stand if the dealer’s face up card is stronger. If you are playing at a Microgaming online casino, all blackjack variants include strategy cards that give the exact strategy for split move.