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Black Jack School

How to Split Pairs

Splitting Pairs In Blackjack
by Jason Green of Predictem.com

Splitting pairs in Blackjack (Being dealt two of the same valued card and separating them to create two different hands) can be advantageous to you if you know what pairs to split and when to split them. Splitting pairs can allow you to win double the amount of your bet if you win both split hands. Basically you are taking the split pairs and using each as a separate hand. For example, if you split a pair of Aces you have two starting hands with an Ace on each hand before the next card is dealt out. Many people that play Blackjack split their pair too often, even if it the case where they decrease their chance of winning the hand. Players do this because they do not understand the strategy behind splitting.

Here are some tips on if you should split or not depending on the pair you have:

- The basic rule for splitting pairs is that you should always split Aces and 8s but never split 5s and 10s.
- Pair of Aces - You should always split a Pair of Aces, as there is a good chance that you will get a card with a value of 10, either a 10 or a face card. You have a decent chance of getting two Blackjacks if you split a pair of Aces. You should know that most casinos will not pay the 3:2 Blackjack payout on Blackjacks that were made when splitting a pair of Aces.
- Pair of Face Cards or 10s- If you are dealt a pair of face cards or 10s you should not split. You already have a 20 so your chances are already good in beating the dealer.
- Pair of 9s - If you have a pair of 9s you should split but it will depend on what the dealer is showing. If the dealer is showing a 7,10, face card, or Ace you should not split. If the dealer is showing these cards your chances are still good that the dealer does not have more than 18.
- Pair of 8s - If you have a pair of 8s always split. 16 is not a good hand to start with and you have over a 60% of busting if you take a hit. No matter what the dealer is showing you should split a pair of 8s.


- Pair of 7s When you have a starting hand of 14 there is over a 50% chance that you will bust if you take another card. You should split a pair of 7s unless the dealer is showing an 8 or higher. If they are showing an 8 or higher they can bust or they can win by getting a 10, face card, or Ace no matter what you get on your split 7s.
- Pair of 6s There is just over a 30% chance of busting with a 12. A pair of 6s is a tricky proposition and you should not split, but if you decide to split only do so if the dealer is showing a 4,5, or 6.
- Pair of 5s A pair of 5s gives you a 10, which gives you a good chance of getting another card with a value of 10. No matter what the dealer is showing never split a pair of 5s.
- Pair of 4s You have no chance of busting if you hit on a pair of 4s, but your chances are over 30% to get a 10 value card and have an 18, which is a decent hand. The only time you should even think of splitting a pair of 4s if the dealer is showing a 5 or 6, which gives them a good chance to bust.
- Pair of 2s or 3s Only split on a pair of 2s and 3s if the dealer is showing either a 4,5,or 6. The dealer has a good chance of busting and you can double your bet. But splitting on a pair of 2s and 3s is a tricky proposition, as many experts do not like to split on these two pairs.

There are many casinos that have restrictions on certain bets when splits occur. You should be aware of these various restrictions that may be in place, as it alters this splitting strategy.

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Did you know... that the chances (probability) of being dealt a blackjack is .024%, which equates to one BJ approximately every 42 hands dealt?