When to Split in Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games around because it requires some level of skill rather than pure luck. There aisa litany of strategies to choose from but one of the most important moves to learn is knowing when it is time to split.

Blackjack has been a staple of every casino, both online and in-person, for decades. Nearly every casino floor is full of blackjack tables because it is a game that appeals to both serious gamblers and casuals alike. The simplicity and the strategy are enticing, especially when you know what you are doing. Knowing when to split is one of the keys to enjoying blackjack at a higher level, no matter if you’re playing in a casino or online blackjack.

What is Splitting in Blackjack?

Whether playing real or online casino games, the rules of blackjack are the same. If you don’t consider yourself to be a pro, splitting might sound like a foreign thing. Whenever you are dealt a pair as part of your initial deal, those cards are eligible to be split and create a second hand. You may only do so when it is the first two cards and splitting involves doubling the original bet.

There are any number of situations and scenarios where splitting makes sense. As a good rule, there are a few tips that can aid casual players in choosing the right spot to split their hands.

Split on Aces

What is splitting in Blackjack? | When to split in Blackjack

Getting a pair of aces is the easiest instance in which you would split your hand. Always, always split a pair of aces even if the dealer is showing one themselves. They’ll check their hand before you act, which will determine whether you split your cards or not. The beauty here is that it gives you more options to win the hand.

The Dealer Has a Bust Card

Blackjack Forum, the Blackjack Community

Bust cards are 4, 5, and 6. If the dealer has one of those, consider splitting your hand. No matter what the card is, the dealer has a 29% chance of busting and that number creeps up with one of the aforementioned bust cards. Skillful players will recognize that there are equal odds of the dealer busting on both 5 and 6, so don’t be swayed one way or another when one of those cards comes up.

Dealt a Pair of 8’s

Splitting Eights - Why It's a Must!

This is similar to splitting aces. It is one of the most basic strategies out there. Since it equates to 16, it puts the player in a precarious position to win the hand. Splitting will likely improve on the 10% window to win, giving you more chances to win than would have been there initially.


Splitting isn’t exactly the most complicated move in the blackjack world. When you know what to do, it can offer the potential for a nice win. It is about knowing what the dealer has and analyzing the situation. Sometimes it equates to a win, doubling up your money in the process.

Noah has worked in the iGaming space for more than five years, first as a freelancer and now as part of Duluth Media. He’s experienced in all facets of the industry and has covered plenty of sports.

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