This technique is performed when a player is dealt two cards of the same number in the first deal.
When splitting the cards, the player must bet the same amount as before. After the bet is made, the cards are then split and the player gets “two hands”. This gives the player the opportunity to beat the dealer twice, although it also doubles the chances of losing.
There are some times that are strategically indicated for splitting your hand:
Aces to Double – one of the best hands to apply the blackjack strategy of splitting. If the next card for either hand is a 10, you will get blackjack. Otherwise, Aces are cards that allow you to get good results.
Double 8 – A starting hand of 16 is considered weak compared to most dealer hands. Getting an 8 in another hand leaves you with the possibility of reaching 18 points, a scenario considered strong in most circumstances.
When not to split:
Pair of 10 or 9 – Hands of 20 and 18 are considered very strong. When splitting in such a scenario, you always risk forming weaker hands by trying to get cards that give you a greatly reduced advantage (such as Aces and 10s).
Pair of 5s – Just as getting 10 is an excellent scenario, in this case you are only one card away from reaching 21. In this case, doubling down may be the ideal blackjack strategy, if the rules of the game allow it.
Pair of 4s – With a pair of 4s you get a starting hand of 8, which can leave you in an excellent position to hit 18 or 19 and have a strong hand against the dealer.