In Blackjack When Should You Split

For any decent strategist, blackjack is a game of situational decisions. One of these decisions, which most veterans will tell you never to make, is splitting 10s – especially when facing a 5 or 6 from the dealer.

However, casino gambling expert Mark Pilarski says there are actually a “few exceptions” to that rule.

When Should You Split Aces in Blackjack? When playing any Blackjack game you are going to get dealt out all manner of card combinations as your first two cards. When playing poker games an initial two card hand many players will be hoping are dealt out to them are a pair of Aces, and that hand combination can often be a very beneficial one for. If you have a total of 18 that’s made up of two 9s, you must decide whether to split your hand or not. Most of the time, you will split your hand, but there are exceptions. You’ll split a pair of 9s if the dealer has a 6 or less showing. You’ll also split 9s if the dealer has an 8 or 9.

Pilarski has a great deal of experience in the field of blackjack. He spent 18 years working for 7 different casinos. These days, however, Pilarski has left the commercial casino industry behind, instead working as a journalist. He has his own nationally syndicated column called Deal Me In, writes periodicals for numerous gaming magazines and sells his own award-winning series of Audio-Books called “Hooked on Winning”.

Continue reading to learn more about why Pilarski considers there are exceptions to this Golden Rule of Blackjack.

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Odds Of Winning When Splitting 10s – Should You Split?

Last week, Mark Pilarski tackled a tough subject when one of his readers, Herb C., asked the following question:

Image: pixabay Why you should surrender (and other blackjack tips) When it comes to blackjack strategy, the most important thing to remember is that the goal of the game is to beat the dealer. What splitting in blackjack means is that when your hand consists of two cards with similar value, you can split them by placing additional bet, creating two hands that will be played separately. The option to split is of enormous value; if it’s used wisely of course.

I am aware that you never – ever – ever split 10s against a dealer’s 5 or 6. However, I have been tempted to do so when no one else is at the Blackjack table. My question is what is the percentage odds of winning (or losing) by doing so?

Mark first addressed the blackjack strategy of John Scarne, who published ‘Scarne on Cards’ in 1949. Scarne felt that splitting 10s was a good strategy, but that was 65 years ago, before computers were able to analyze hand statistics. In 1962, Edward Thorpe used an IBM 704 to analyze blackjack hands, and when he published his results in ‘Beat the Dealer’, the theory of splitting 10s was abolished.

“Since then,” wrote Mark, “I can’t think of any blackjack authors that recommend splitting 10s in most, if not all, cases.” He said that he ran his own 20-million hand simulation on a program called BJ Trainer. The results “clearly favored leaving those 10s unaided versus splitting them, even against a 5 or a 6.” Pilarski reasoned, “I favor taking computer results over advice written in 1949 every time.”

Tips For Splitting 10s In Blackjack – The Exceptions

The blackjack strategist went on to describe a few very rare occasions when he himself felt it was in his best interest to split 10s in a blackjack game. The first is during a game of Face-Up 21, a blackjack variant in which both of the dealer’s cards are exposed.

  • Mark said splitting 10s is a good strategy so long as the dealer’s confirmed total is “13, 14, 15 or 16.”
  • Pilarski also noted that, for an experienced card counter, it is a good idea to split 10s against a dealer’s 6 if the count favors a lot of high cards left in the deck, such as a count of 6 or above.

In Blackjack When Should You Split End

SplitIn Blackjack When Should You Split

Mark said that there is only “one other scenario where splitting 10s can be the better play than standing.” He described a situation which he himself experienced. It was the final hand of a blackjack tournament, and Pilarski had been dealt a 20. Although he knew the most probable way to win the hand was to stand, doing so “wouldn’t have won enough money to overtake” the dealer. So he chose to split the 10s and got lucky, winning enough chips to move on to the next round of the blackjack tournament.

Odds Of Winning Or Losing

As for Herb C’s original question, pertaining to the “percentage odds of winning or losing”, Mark said, “the statistical data on how often you will win when you split a pair of 10s against a dealer showing a 6 is 64% of the time.” Thus the expected profit would be just $56 for every $100 wagered on such a hand.

Mark then examined the odds of “standing pat on your 20”. The blackjack analyst said that, “by standing, you will win around 85 percent of the time, and will make about $14 more per $100 wagered than splitting.”

In conclusion, Mark Pilarski recommended that a blackjack player “stand on your 20” in all situations, outside of those “few exceptions” listed above.

In Blackjack Can You Split King Queen

“Your fair share of being dealt a 20 is approximately 9.2% of the time, and I just don’t want you putting that stellar hand in unwarranted jeopardy”, Pilarski wrote.

Split 10s And Win!

The Golden Rule is still to never split 10s when playing blackjack. However, as you’ve seen, there are a few very specific exceptions that could make splitting a sound choice.

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Blackjack is considered to be one of the most complicated games to play, so many professional players share their gaming experience and knowledge to help others. This is how was the basic blackjack strategy created with such a helpful blackjacks strategy chart! If players want to become real blackjack gurus, they have to learn how to play blackjack and then master their skills constantly by practicing online, playing with skilled players and also reading blackjack books or watching the educational movies on this subject.

But no one wants to lose a lot during their learning, of course. That is why it is recommended to make use of basic strategies which contain sets of the best moves, which may be made by players. Those moves guide were created by professional players, who played blackjack for a long period of time and understood the dependence of the card which have been dealt already and cards, which are still in the shoe.

Those strategies were developed according to the hands that players have. There are special basic strategies for hard and soft hands. But there is also one more type of blackjack hand – hand where two cards are of the same rank. In this situation players should use the Strategy for Splitting Pairs.

Here is presented the basic strategy when playing blackjack with a hand that consists of a pair. This is also called the splitting pairs strategy.

In Blackjack When Should You Split Screen


In Blackjack Should You Split Tens

Player's hand

Dealer's hand

Basic rules

A pair of 2s, 3s or 7s

2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7

Split or Hit
It is advised to split pairs of 2s, 3s or 7s if the dealer's card is from 2 to 7. In other cases it is advised to hit, as there is a high possibility of the dealer to go bust.

A pair of 4s

5 or 6

Split or Hit
It is advised to split a pair of 4s only if the dealer's card is 5 or 6. In any other cases it is always advised to hit, as the hand of 8 in total gives players great chances to get closer to 21 when hitting.

A pair of 6s

2, 3, 4, 5 or 6

Split or Hit
In this case the pair of 6s is advised to be split as the dealer's card from 2 to 6 can make him go bust.

A pair of 8s or Aces

Always Split
Pairs of 8s and Aces should always be split as the hands total 16 or 12 are considered to be the worst as the risk of going bust is very high.

A pair of 9s

2, 3, 4, 5 or 6

Slit
In this case if the dealer's cards are from 2 to 6, he is more likely to go bust and a player has better opportunity to win his/her bet.

A pair of 9s

8 or 9

Split
Casino barriere cannes poker. Having 18 in total means that in case of hitting, the probability of losing is very high and in case of standing the chances of winning are not high either, that is why the best option would be to split in the hope of better cards for each hand.

A pair of 9s

7, K or Ace

Stand
It is advised to stand as the player's hand of 18 in total is more likely to beat the dealer's hand if the first card is 7, K or Ace.

A pair of 5s and 10s

Never split
The hand of 10 or 20 is a gift for any blackjack player, so it is not wise to split them.