Blackjack Key Decisions: Splitting
Every single USA online casino going features online blackjack and that’s because it’s one of the most popular casino games out there. One thing that makes blackjack so good is that your chances of winning are, to some degree, in your hands, and the game requires a lot more skill than, say, slots.
If you want to play online blackjack then knowing when to split and when not to split is crucial and that’s exactly what we’re looking at here. The decision of when to split is just one part of optimal play and this method, known as basic strategy, should be employed by anyone looking to give themselves the best possible chance of making a profit and enjoying a lengthy stay at the tables.
First off, let’s start with the easiest decisions there are when it comes to splitting. The exact calls vary according to the precise blackjack variant and ruleset you are playing but assuming fairly standard rules, with between four and eight decks and the dealer standing on soft 17, the following applies.
Aces and eights should always be split, the former giving you the chance to create two great hands and the latter turning one terrible hand into two solid ones. At the other end of the spectrum never split 10s – your chances of improving such a hand are low and whilst the temptation to try and create two good hands is obvious, the math proves it doesn’t work.
Nines should be split unless the dealer has seven, 10 or ace, whilst sevens should be split to a dealer seven and below and hit if the dealer has eight or more. The same applies to pairs of twos and threes, whilst sixes should be split if the dealer has six or lower and hit if they have seven or more.
A pair of fours is a split if the dealer has a five or a six only, otherwise the optimum call is to hit, which leaves us with just a pair of fives to decide on. If the dealer has an ace or a 10 value card you should always hit your fives, whilst anything lower and you should double where possible or failing that hit.
And that, is all you really need to know about splitting when it comes to playing blackjack at a USA online casino – or an offline casino for that matter. If you haven’t checked out live dealer blackjack yet we highly recommend you do. Live blackjack is as close as you can get to playing at a brick and mortar casino without leaving your house. See the USA live online casinos we recommend for more information and then choose any of the USA live dealer casinos we recommend to get started.