Go Back

When Should You Split In Blackjack?

Want to know when you should split in blackjack? We can help you decide the best time to potentially split your hand in blackjack, and whether or not you should consider splitting at all! 

In this blog post, we'll go through the basic blackjack split rules and discuss the possible pros and cons of splitting.

What Does Split Mean In Blackjack? 

Blackjack is a casino game that can involve basic strategy. The aim of the game is to try to get a hand with a total value of 21, or as close to 21 as possible, without going bust (over).

When playing blackjack, understanding basic blackjack strategy may help you make good decisions that can potentially lead to a win. There are certain rules you can follow for each possible card combination, including splitting.

Splitting in blackjack means that your hand has 2 cards of equal value, such as two 8s. You can choose to split your cards, creating an additional hand that can be played separately. So, instead of playing just one hand, you can play two!

If used cleverly, a split in blackjack could potentially double your winnings. However, it could also double your losses. So, understanding when it could be best to split cards may help you to make better decisions if the time comes.

When To Split In Blackjack? 

Splitting in blackjack refers to splitting a pair of cards into 2 hands. As a general rule in blackjack, a player can choose to split with the first 2 cards they are dealt.

It is worth noting that splitting isn't an option in all blackjack games. When playing blackjack online, there may not be an option to split, so it may be best to check the rules in advance.

If you split your hand in blackjack, you are essentially playing 2 hands at the same time, which usually means you need to place a second bet. After you have decided to split, the dealer will then add a card to each hand. You will then choose whether you want to split again, hit, or stand.

Some casinos and slot sites allow you to double split (split your cards again). However, this is quite rare.

When to potentially split in blackjack:

  • Split 2's, 3's and 7's when the dealer has a 2-7
  • Split 6's when the dealer has 2-6
  • Split 9's when the dealer has 2-9
  • Split 8's
  • Split Aces

When not to split in blackjack:

  • Never split 5's and 10's
  • Avoid splitting 4's 

Note that the above could be potential splitting options if allowed. However, this does not necessarily mean that you have to split if dealt these cards. You could decide not to split your cards at all. It comes down to preferences, game rules and the situation or hands/cards in play.

Blackjack Split Rules 

There are a few blackjack split rules you can follow. Each blackjack game may have slightly different rules, but these are the most common ones:

  • Form your fingers into a V on the table, pointing to the chips to signal that you would like to split when playing blackjack in a live casino. You can say it out loud, too, to avoid any confusion.
  • If you split aces, you will only be dealt one card.
  • You can potentially split up to 3 hands, depending on the casino you're playing at.
  • If you have aces, you usually cannot re-split, but this could vary depending on the game/casino rules.

Disadvantage Of Splitting Cards In Blackjack 

Before we look at the possible disadvantages of splitting cards in blackjack, let's discuss some potential advantages.

Some say that the technique of splitting lowers the house's edge, if used correctly. However, this also means that it can potentially boost winnings, which could be very attractive to many blackjack players.

When you split in blackjack, you are splitting your cards into 2 hands, so you have 2 different chances of winning or losing. 

The main advantage of splitting cards (if it works in your favour, of course!) is to maximise your possible winnings. If you win when splitting cards, you could earn more profit and minimise losses. 

Additionally, if you have a particularly bad hand, choosing to split could turn it into a good hand!

Although there are some great pros, there are a few disadvantages of splitting cards in blackjack. 

One of the main disadvantages of splitting is that you can double your losses. For example, if you make a bad move and lose your hand, you lose twice as much.

Lastly, blackjack is primarily a game of chance. Choosing whether to split in blackjack is a personal choice of a player. If you are new to blackjack, it might be best to get some more practice and understand some basic blackjack strategies before choosing to split.