When Should I Split In Blackjack

How to Split in Blackjack: Rules The only condition when splitting is available is when you have a pair in the initial hand. You cannot split after a hit or any other move. Thus, if you get 6-6, and then another 6, you cannot split your hand. What does it mean to split in blackjack? Firstly, splitting in blackjack can only occur after you’ve been dealt a pair of the same value cards on your initial hand. For instance, two 8s, two 10s, two Jack’s etc. When that happens you will immediately get to split, if you want, because it’s always optional. If you stood against an 8 or a 9, then you're likely facing a dealer total of 18 or 19. You can only hope for a push in the first situation and a loss in the second, unless you split the cards and get lucky. Always Split Aces And Eights As common strategy poses, one should always split aces and eights when playing legal blackjack. The reason for this is because the sum of these pairs is a bad start for blackjack players. The sum of two aces is 12, which is a total blackjack players do not want.

Two aces and two eights in a standard deck of playing cards.

Splittingaces and eights is part of blackjackbasic strategy. Rules vary across gambling establishments regarding resplitting, doubling, multiple card draws, and the payout for blackjack, and there are conditional strategic responses that depend upon the number of decks used, the frequency of shuffling and dealer's cards. However, regardless of the various situations, the common strategic wisdom in the blackjack community is to 'Always split aces and eights' when dealt either pair as initial cards.[1] This is generally the first rule of any splitting strategy.[2]



The object of blackjack is for a player to defeat the dealer by obtaining a total as close to 21 as possible without accumulating a total that exceeds this number.[3] In blackjack, the standard rule is that if the player is dealt a pair of identically ranked initial cards, known as a pair, the player is allowed to split them into separate hands and ask for a new second card for each while placing a full initial bet identical to the original wager with each. After placing the wager for the split hands the dealer gives the player an additional card for each split card. The two hands created by splitting are considered independently in competition against the dealer.[4][5] Splitting allows the gambler to turn a bad hand into one or two hands with a good possibility of winning. It also allows the player to double the bet when the dealer busts.[2] Some rules even allow for resplitting until the player has as many as four hands[4] or allow doubling the bet after a split so that each hand has a bet double the original.[6][7] The standard rules are that when a bet is doubled on a hand, the player is only allowed to draw one more card for that hand.[8][9]


A pair of aces gives the blackjack player a starting hand value of either a 2 or a soft 12 which is a problematic starting hand in either case.[2][10] Splitting aces gives a player two chances to hit 21.[11] Splitting aces is so favorable to the player that most gambling establishments have rules limiting the player's rights to do so.[2][10] In most casinos the player is only allowed to draw one card on each split ace.[8][10] As a general rule, a ten on a split ace (or vice versa) is not considered a natural blackjack and does not get any bonus.[6] Prohibiting resplitting and redoubling is also common.[2] Regardless of the payout for blackjack, the rules for resplitting, the rules for doubling, the rules for multiple card draws and the dealer's cards, one should always split aces.[10][12][13]


If a player is dealt a pair of eights, the total of 16 is considered a troublesome hand. In fact, the value 16 is said to be the worst hand one can have in blackjack.[10] Since sixteen of the other fifty cards have a value of 10 and four have a value of 11, there is a strong chance of getting at least an 18 with either or both split cards. A hand totaling 18 or 19 is much stronger than having a 16.[6] Splitting eights limits one's losses and improves one's hand.[10][11][12] Probabilistic research of expected value scenarios shows that by splitting eights one can convert a hand that presents an expected loss to two hands that may present an expected profit or a reduced loss, depending on what the dealer is showing.[14] A split pair of eights is expected to win against dealer upcards of 2 through 7 and to lose less against dealer upcards of 8 through ace.[15] If a player hits on a pair of eights, he is expected to lose $52 for a $100 bet. If the player splits the eights, he is expected to lose only $43 for a $100 bet.[16]


When Should I Split In Blackjack Simulator

Blackjack's 'Four Horsemen' (Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel and James McDermott), using adding machines, determined that splitting eights was less costly than playing the pair of eights as a 16.[17] They were part of a 1950s group that discovered that strategy could reduce the house edge to almost zero in blackjack.[18] Now a typical strategy involves the following sequence of playing decisions: one decides whether to surrender, whether to split, whether to double down, and whether to hit or stand.[19]

When Should I Split In Blackjack Game

One of the earliest proponents of the strategy of splitting eights is Ed Thorp, who developed the strategy on an IBM 704 as part of an overall blackjack strategic theory published in Beat the Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the Game of Twenty-One in 1962.[18][20][21] Thorp was the originator of the card counting system for blackjack.[18]


  1. ^Gros, p. 60
  2. ^ abcdeOrtiz, p. 56
  3. ^Gros, p. 48
  4. ^ abGros, p. 51
  5. ^Jensen, pp. 22–23
  6. ^ abcSchneider, p. 47
  7. ^Gros, p. 52
  8. ^ abSchneider, p. 49
  9. ^Gros, p. 50
  10. ^ abcdefJensen, p. 53
  11. ^ abJensen, p. 56
  12. ^ abHagen and Wiess, pp. 68
  13. ^Schneider, p. 48
  14. ^Hagen and Wiess, pp. 66–67
  15. ^Scoblete, Frank. 'Why Splitting Eights At Blackjack Is An Iron Clad Rule'. Golden Touch Craps. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  16. ^Tamburin, Henry (25 October 1999). 'Splitting Aces and Eights'. Casino city Times. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  17. ^Snyder, Arnold (2005). 'Blackjack Basic Strategy: Aces and Eights'. Player Magazine (republished).
  18. ^ abcGros, p. 44
  19. ^Jensen, p. 51
  20. ^Thorpe, Beat the Dealer as cited in Snyder, Arnold citation below
  21. ^Levinger, Jeff (10 February 1961). 'Thorpe, 704 Beat Blackjack'(PDF). The Tech. Retrieved 30 May 2009.


  • Dunki-Jacobs, Frits. Betting on Blackjack: A non-counter’s Breakthrough Guide to Making Profits at the Tables. Adams Media. pp. 28–34. ISBN1-58062-951-2.
  • Gros, Roger. The Winner's Guide To Casino Gambling. Carlton Books Limited. pp. 44–69. ISBN1-85868-899-X.
  • Hagen, Tom & Sonia Weiss (2005). The Everything Blackjack Strategy Book: Surefire ways to beat the house every time. Adams Media. pp. 66–68. ISBN1-59337-306-6.
  • Jensen, Marten (2003). Beat Multiple Deck Blackjack. Cardoza Publishing. pp. 22–23, 51–56. ISBN1-58042-069-9.
  • Ortiz, Darwin. Casino Gambling For The Clueless. Carol Publishing Group. pp. 55–59. ISBN0-8184-0609-7.
  • Schneider, Meg Elaine. The Everything Casino Gambling Book (2nd ed.). Adams Media. pp. 47–49. ISBN1-59337-125-X.
  • Thorp, Ed (1966). Beat the Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the Game of Twenty-One. Vintage. ISBN0-394-70310-3.
Retrieved from 'https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Aces_and_eights_(blackjack)&oldid=943811612'

When playing blackjack at a physical or land-based casino, the most frequent decision you’ll have to make is whether to hit or stand. While you can gain a feel for this over time simply through experience, you can expedite the process by studying up on the best moves to make in any given situation. If you’re ready to win more cash during blackjack games, read our handy guide to learn when to hit and when to stand.

Master the Basics

Before we delve into strategies, we want to make sure that you have a firm grasp on the basics of hitting and standing. The main premise of blackjack is to get a hand whose total exceeds the dealer’s hand, but without going over 21. When you hit, this means that you want to draw another card to try to improve your hand’s total. Conversely, when you stand, you are satisfied with your hand’s total and don’t want to draw any more cards. If you signal to the dealer that you want to stand, your hand for the round is completed. If you hit and your hand exceeds 21, you’ve busted.

We have two important gambling terms for you to memorize before learning strategies: hard hand and soft hand. A hard hand is any hand that doesn’t contain an ace, or in which an ace’s value is only 1. A 10-8 and a 7-A-10 hand are both hard 18s. A soft hand contains an ace that’s counted as an 11. For instance, an A-7 hand is a soft 18. If one of the first two cards you are dealt is an ace, you have a soft hand. This gives you an advantage. The ace has a value of 11, but if you take a hit and go over 21, its value reverts to 1. This eliminates the risk of busting after that hit, thus giving you the freedom to make moves that would normally be risky.

Now that you know the basic definitions, we’ll go through the circumstances in which you should hit or stand. We’ll provide you with the best strategies, as well as blackjack hit/stand tables that you can save for future reference.

Hitting and Standing with a Hard Hand

When playing blackjack with a hard hand, we would recommend the following:

  • When you are dealt a total of 5-8, always hit.
  • When you are dealt 9, hit if the dealer shows a 2 or a 7 through ace.
  • If you have 10, hit if the dealer shows an ace or a 10.
  • If your hand is 11, hit only if the dealer shows an ace.
  • For a hand of 12, stand if the dealer shows a 4 through 6. If they show a 2, 3, or a 7 through ace, hit.
  • When you have a hand of 13 through 16, stand if the dealer reveals a hand of 2 through 6. Otherwise, hit.
  • When you are dealt 17 through 21, you should always stand.

Reference Chart

Blackjack hit or stand on a hard hand cheat sheet.

If you’re playing a multi-deck game and you have a hard 17, double down instead of taking a hit.

You’ll need to make some minor tweaks to our strategy, depending on the number of decks and rules you’re playing with. Wild panda slots free download. If you’re playing in a double-deck game, don’t hit when you have a 9 and the dealer has 2. If you have an 11 against the dealer’s ace, don’t hit either. In both cases, you should double down.

And lastly, if you’re playing in a single-deck game, double down under the following circumstances:

  • You have 8 and the dealer has 5 or 6.
  • You have 9 against the dealer’s 2.
  • You have 11 and the dealer has an ace.

Hitting and Standing With a Soft Hand

Remember, you can’t bust a soft hand with a one-card hit. Taking that into consideration, our strategy for playing with a soft hand is much simpler than our hard hand strategy. Keep the following moves in mind:

  • If you have a soft 19 or 20, you should always stand. You are unlikely to get a stronger hand than this.
  • For a soft 18 against the dealer’s 2 through 8, stand. If the dealer shows 9, 10, or an ace, hit.
  • If your total is soft 17 or less, you should always hit.

What Are Your Other Options?

Hitting and standing aren’t the only options available to you in a game of blackjack. The following moves are also possible:

Split. If you are initially dealt two cards of the same value, you can split your hand. You’ll place an additional wager equivalent to your first one, and then manage two hands rather than 1.

Double Down.Gamblers can increase their potential profits with this move, but it comes with some inherent risk. To use this move, you must double the size with your bet and then receive one more card. After that, you must stand.

Surrender. If you are not confident with your chances of winning the round, you have the option to surrender. When you use this move, you will only lose half of your bet.

Where to Play Blackjack Online

Are you ready to put your newfound knowledge to the test? Check out Bob Casino! Our library of online casino games contains numerous varieties of blackjack. You can play for free until you master your hit and stand strategies. When you’re confident in your skills, you can even try your hand at winning real money. Come create an account at Bob Casino today for the ultimate gambling experience.

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