Introduction to Splitting Pairs in Blackjack

One of the options available to you in a game of blackjack is to split the pair of cards the dealer gives you. Why would anyone want to split pairs in blackjack? What are the advantages of splitting pairs in blackjack? What is the procedure involved in splitting pairs in blackjack? We will discuss these and some other relevant points during the course of this article.

First of all, we will see what splitting pairs in blackjack is all about. Assume you are dealt a hand that has two cards of the same value, i.e. a pair, such as 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, K-K, and so on. Remember here that the operative phrase here is ‘equal value.’ What that means is you can even split a pair of cards that may not be the same number, but of the same value, e.g. J-K. When you have such a hand in blackjack, you have the option of breaking up the pairs and using them as individual cards to pursue further hands. You also have the option of breaking, with the first card being the one on your right and then to the one on your left.

More about Splitting Pairs in Blackjack

So what are the other cards you can split in blackjack? For one, you can also split a pair of aces. However, things become slightly different when it comes to splitting a pair of aces. When you split a pair of aces, in most casinos you are allowed to draw just one card to each of the split aces.

So what would happen if you were to draw, say, a 10-value card to a split ace? You would think that would be deemed a blackjack, but that is not actually the case. A 10-value card with a split ace is considered a 21, and so you get paid, at 1:1. When you get a 21 of this kind, you would always tie with the 21 that the dealer may have. However, it is not strong enough to defeat a dealer’s blackjack.

Why Split Pairs in Blackjack

So far we have discussed about what split pairs in blackjack are, how they fare with different card values, and so on. However, there is one basic question that still needs to be answered? Why would you want to split pairs in blackjack? There are three primary reasons for this.

The first and obvious reason for splitting pairs in blackjack is because you are not happy with how your hand is turning out. Sometimes, a pair can be a losing proposition, and that is an apt situation in which to change strategy and split the pair. The second reason is also simple – by splitting pairs in blackjack you ensure that the bet has been enhanced even after the cards have been dealt. The third reason is even more critical; if you are able to split the pairs at the right moment, you also bring the house advantage down by 0.5%.