How To Play Pairs In Blackjack

When you have two cards with the same value (pairs or cards with a value of 10) you can use the SPLIT option. However, it is not recommended to use it every time.

If you have two cards with a value of 10 (10, J, Q, K) the correct decision will stand because you already have a total of 20 and the only card that could improve your hand is an ace (A). Many beginners consider that they have a great advantage when they receive two cards with a value of 10 and decide to deal with them, especially in search of a “blackjack”.

There are only two exceptions where it is profitable to split two cards with a value of 10: when the dealer shows a 5 or a 6.

Also, if you have pairs of squares (4.4) or fives (5.5), it makes no sense to use the split option, because all you would do would be to be left with two very weak starting hands in each of the situations. .

But when do you have to split blackjack?

If you have a pair of eighths (8.8) you are put in a difficult situation from the start, but the right decision is to always split and we will explain why. Hard 16-le is probably the weakest hand you can have in blackjack because the chances of defeating the dealer are small and, theoretically, you have to ask for another card, but you only have a 38.5% chance to improve your hand ( A, 2,3,4,5). By dividing the eight, you can hope to reach a hand with a total of 18 (if you get a 10) or even 19 (if you get an A), which would give you a real chance to beat the dealer. However, if the dealer shows a 10 or an A, do not use the split option because you risk losing with both hands.

If you have a pair of aces (A, A) you don’t even have to think about it: split is the only option you have. If you split in this position, you have twice more than a 30% chance of making a Blackjack (21). Even if you do not catch a card with a value of 10 (10, J, Q, K) and a 9 or an 8, it will often prove to be good enough cards to have a winning hand.

In cases where you have pairs of twos, threes, sixes, sevens or nines, use these rules to decide whether to split or not:

  • 9.9 – give split if the dealer shows a card between 2 and 6, an eight or a 9. In any other situation you will use the stand option because you already have hard 18.
  • 2.2, 3.3 or 7.7 – split if the dealer shows a card equal to or less than 7.
  • 6.6 – split if the dealer shows a card between 2 and 6. Otherwise, use the hit option in the hope that you will improve your hand without being busted.

Blackjack Rules – When Doubling

Used correctly, the “double down” option can become extremely effective. If you manage to take advantage of the hands in which you have a clear advantage in front of the dealer, you will be able to considerably increase your earnings.

To simplify the strategy, we will divide the hands into two categories – soft and hard.

In the case of soft hands (A + another card) it is correct to double in the following two situations:

  • If you have A + 2,3,4 or 5 you will double every time the dealer shows a 4.5 or 6
  • If you have an A + 6 or 7, you will double when the dealer shows a card between 3 and 6
  • In all other situations it avoids the duplication function

In the case of hard hands, the following rules follow:

    • You will never double if the total of your hand exceeds 11
    • Double every time you have 11, unless the dealer shows an A.
    • If you have a total of 10 of the first two cards, double each time the dealer shows a card between 2 and 9
  • If you have a total of 9 of the first two cards, double only when the dealer shows a 3,4,5 or 6