How to Split Pairs in Blackjack

In our books, anyone who’s worth knowing has learned how to play Blackjack at some stage in their life. Maybe you learned in your nan’s basement by facing off with your older cousins. Maybe you and your mates learned how to play together in the schoolyard. Maybe you had your first introduction to it when you were browsing an online casino over smoko. 

If you’ve had any practice at all, you know that the basic goal of online Blackjack is to score as close to 21 as possible without going over. Pretty simple. That means that you also know about standing and hitting. But what about the lesser-known technique of pair splitting?

If you’re sitting there scratching your head, we’re here to help! In this guide, we break down everything you need to know about pair splitting in real money online Blackjack. So, pull up a chair, grab yourself a drink, and get ready to learn something new.

What Is Pair Splitting?

When you play online Blackjack here at Ignition Casino, you can split anytime you are dealt a pair or any two cards with a value of 10 (meaning 10, a jack, a queen, or a king). But it’s important to remember that not every split pair in real money online Blackjack is profitable. You’ve gotta know the right time to split and the right time to keep those cards together. Not quite there yet? No wukkas! It’s a skill that comes with time and heaps of practice.

When you decide to split a pair, each of those two cards is then treated as a separate hand. This means that your original wager also gets doubled. Next, the dealer will give a second card for each hand. Got another pair? You can split that one, too. In most variations of Blackjack, you can even split a third time. 

What You Need to Know About Splitting Aces

Special rules apply when it comes to splitting aces. If you split them, you’ll only receive one more card instead of two. After that, your turn is done, and the dealer reveals their hole card. But don’t be fooled – splitting those aces is the right call, regardless of the type of Blackjack you’re playing. Your chances of drawing a 10-value card and landing 21 are mighty fine. Just remember that you can’t make a natural Blackjack after splitting your pair. That means, if the Dealer has a natural Blackjack, they’re looking at an automatic win. 

What You Need to Know About Splitting Eights

No one plays online Blackjack hoping to land a 16; to be blunt, it’s one of the crappiest hands you can get (if not the crappiest).

But splitting can be an excellent way of recovering from a pair of eights. In nearly every Blackjack variant, you’re gonna want to split your eights and boost your odds of making 18 by drawing one of the 10-value cards hiding in the deck. Draw an ace and you’re laughing. Draw a nine and you’re still looking at a sweet result.

Of course, to every great rule, there’s an exception. Let’s say you’re playing one of the standard six-deck variations of Blackjack and the dealer is showing an ace. In that case, surrender those eights and forfeit half of your original wager. In every other situation, split ‘em up and cross your fingers. 

 What You Need to Know About Splitting 10s

The cardinal rule of splitting in online Blackjack games? Never. Split. Tens. Seriously. You’re booking yourself a one-way trip to Hell if you do that.

Although it may be tempting to split your 10s and shoot for 21, the odds are not in your favour. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with the 20 you’ve already got in your hand. In fact, it’s a pretty powerful position, so just own it

Thought we were done? Not quite. We’ve got plenty more splitting rules up our sleeve. For example, never ever split a pair of fours or fives; the odds just aren’t strong enough to justify the decision. The rest of the time, though, your splitting strategies will depend on two main factors: the type of Blackjack you’re playing and what the dealer is showing. 

To help you get started, try downloading a Blackjack pair-splitting chart for a specific Blackjack variation and use it to guide you as you play. Just make sure you’re getting the chart from a reputable source. Don’t want to play for real money yet? We totally get it. Start in Practice Play mode at Ignition Casino before transitioning into the real money online Blackjack games. 

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s stop talking and start splitting!