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How to Play Split Pairs in Blackjack

When you are dealt pairs in blackjack, your mind should immediately start to consider whether it is a pair that needs to be split up. The rules of the game allow this to happen, and indeed it can be quite a boon to the player. 

When you are playing blackjack in an online casino, you'll be presented with an icon that will appear in the software. In the physical casino setting, you'll have to take the initiative on your own. 

How will you approach this? Well, Basic Strategy for blackjack pairs calls for certain moves that have to be made as part of the mathematically-sound agenda you have to follow to cut out the house advantage. 

If you were wondering about the best possible play to make when you've got pairs in blackjack, we'll be happy to explain the whole thing to you. 

First of all, let's say this: when you have the option of doubling down after split (otherwise known as DDAS) is available, you are going to split more because you are opening up more options of yourself. DDAS is widely available, though not always. Nonetheless, the Basic Strategy decisions we are going to give you here area based on the option being there for you. 

As a rule, you do not split up ten-value cards, because you already have 20. That's easy enough to understand. And when you have a pair of Aces, you split them to put together two rather strong hands that start with eleven (11). Fives (5's) are not split because who would break up a two-card total of ten (10)? And when you have eights, the prudent thing, in order to lose less money, is to split them rather than move forward with a hand of 16. 

Here is what you do with some of the other pairs in blackjack: when you are dealt a pair of twos (2's), threes (3's) or sevens (7's), you treat them exactly the same, by splitting them up when the dealer is showing any upcard from two (2) through seven (7), and in all other cases, you would hit. With a pair of sixes (6's), you'd be a little more cautious, as you would split when the dealer has an upcard of two (2) through six (6), and otherwise hit. With a pair of fours (4's), you will split them up when the dealer is holding a five (5) or a six (6), and otherwise hit. 

The tricky one involves a pair of nines (9's). In this particular instance, you are best advised to split against the dealer's upcard of two (2) through six (6), along with eight (8) and nine (9). Okay, that makes enough sense. But when the dealer is showing a seven (7), you would stand. Why is that, you ask? Well, when you have a pair of nines, you have a two-card total of 18, and that will beat the dealer if he draws a ten-value card to the upcard of 7. When the dealer has a ten-value card as the upcard, or an Ace, you would also stand. 

We mentioned doubling after split (DDAS), and indeed when you are working with so-called "stiff" hands, they aren't the greatest things to have, but when you have split sixes, for example, you can get a three, four or five hit to that and you'll have strength to work from. That's where you can find some benefit to splitting blackjack pairs. 

 

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