When To Split Aces In Blackjack?

When To Split Aces In Blackjack?

Blackjack is the most popular table game in the casino. The element of having control over a game in the casino is attractive to most gamblers. Splitting Aces in blackjack is one option that every blackjack player should know how to play correctly.

Along with having a sense of control over the blackjack table, the house edge with blackjack is the best for casino games. Well, that is gamblers choose the tables with the best rules, and blackjack basic strategy is followed.

These are two of the most important tips for playing blackjack. Always find the blackjack table with the best rules in the casino, and then use basic strategy to get the lowest house edge possible.

There is only one situation where a player should not use basic strategy. If they have experience counting cards successfully, then this is going to be the most effective blackjack strategy. However, for the vast majority of the population, basic blackjack strategy should be utilized.

Casinos will not care if basic strategy is followed. Card counters that are consistently winning money will catch the attention of the house, though. While the basic blackjack strategy does not guarantee a winning session on every trip to the casino, it will get the house edge as low as possible.

Part of the basic strategy of blackjack is knowing when to split Aces in blackjack. Splitting Aces in blackjack is a basic move that is not difficult to learn. In other words, there is no excuse for anyone to play Aces improperly.

There are a lot of blackjack players that do not even know what splitting cards is or that they have the option at the blackjack table. Before we get into splitting Aces in blackjack, it is important to understand how splitting cards work.

What is Splitting Cards in Blackjack?

The blackjack player is only able to split cards when they receive two cards that are the same value. In blackjack, the game begins with the player being dealt two cards by the dealer.

After the player receives two cards from the dealer, they have the option of standing, hitting, doubling down, or splitting their cards. The player can only ask the dealer to split their cards if the two cards are of the same value, for instance, 8 and 8, 4 and 4, two Kings, and so on.

Following the cards being split, there are now two separate hands in play. They are played independently, with the potential for winning or losing both hands. Let’s look at this quick example:

Player A is dealt two 8s. He or she indicates that they want to split their cards. From here, the dealer separates the two cards, and there is a second stake in place. Note that the bet for the second hand is the same as the original bet.

With the two cards separated, the player can ask to hit to form a new blackjack hand. They can hit as many times as they’d like — and even resplitting depending on the rules — but there is one big exception in most casinos involving Aces.

To indicate to the dealer that you want to split your cards, simply point with two fingers at your hand (ie. a peace sign pointed at the cards). You can use a verbal indicator to the dealer, as well.

Should Cards Always Be Split?

There are some players that do not know about splitting cards in blackjack. In other instances, there are blackjack players that always split their cards. In short, no, cards should not always be split in blackjack.

An example where cards should never be split is a pair of 10s. A pair of 10s equals a blackjack hand of 20. This is the second-best hand in blackjack.

Do not gamble with a 20 in your hand. Stand with the 20 and hope that the dealer does not push or hit a 21. That is always frustrating, but the math indicates to stand and not gamble on splitting 10s.

For cards other than 8 and Aces, it is going to depend on what the dealer’s face-up card is at the table. A pair of Aces and 8s are unique in that the decision is always automatic no matter what the dealer has. We will get into this information below.

How Much Are Aces Worth in Blackjack?

Before we get into when to split Aces in blackjack, it is vital to understand how much they are worth. This might give away the big reveal on when to split Aces in blackjack. The value of Aces in blackjack should be a good indicator of what players should do with two of them in their possession.

An Ace has two different values in blackjack. It will depend on the other cards in your hand. Aces are either worth 1 or 11. When the Ace has a value of 11, this is known as having a soft blackjack hand.

The Ace is assigned a value of 1 if the total would put the player over 21. For instance, an Ace and 8 would equal a soft 18. A 9, 9, Ace would equal a total of 19 for the player, with the Ace worth 1.

With this flexibility, Aces are good for players. If Aces were only worth 11, the house edge would skew significantly in favor of the house. Blackjack players can use Aces to their advantage — notably when blackjack splitting Aces.

Therefore, players dealt two Aces have a 2 or soft 12. This is not a good hand, so no smart blackjack player is going to stand with a 12 against the dealer. What should we do in this instance?

When To Split Aces in Blackjack

It might be clear by now what should be done with Aces in blackjack. Since Aces have a value of 11, players have a lot of power when they are dealt two Aces.

As is the case with a pair of 8s, players should always split Aces. It does not matter what the dealer’s face-up card is. The basic strategy of blackjack instructs us to always split Aces.

Why should you always split Aces? With the number of 10s and face cards in the shoe, the math tells us to attempt to hit a 21 on both hands. This is a much better option than keeping a 2 or soft 12.

Are There Any Limitations To Splitting Aces in Blackjack?

There is one important rule to keep in mind with blackjack. The house rules usually only allow one card for each hand. After splitting, the player will receive one card for each Ace.

Hitting multiple times is not allowed, so it is similar to doubling down. When players double down, the dealer only draws one new card. When splitting Aces in blackjack, there are two cards dealt, one for each separate hand.

There is one other nugget to keep in mind. Hitting a 21 on split aces is not a natural blackjack. Therefore, a bonus payout for hitting a blackjack is not offered. The casino has to keep the house edge in its favor and this is one way of doing that.

Does this mean you should consider passing on splitting Aces? Absolutely not. Despite not being able to hit and getting a natural blackjack, the odds are always in favor of splitting Aces.

Each hand will be determined separately. Both hands can win, both can lose, one can win, or there can be a push involved. If you lose both, do not get discouraged. Understand that it was still the right decision.

Always Remember This Simple Blackjack Splitting Tip

This should not take a blackjack expert to understand. Remember whenever you are dealt two Aces, always point two fingers at the cards and ask the dealer to split them. Online blackjack is even easier, as it all it takes is a click of the mouse.

Online live blackjack does allow players to split Aces. It is important to only gamble at the most reputable online casinos. If you find a game where Aces can’t be split, run away as fast as you can.

Along with that being a terrible rule, there are going to be other terrible rules in that game, as well. Always use your head and take the time to find blackjack tables that offer the best rules.

The house edge is not going to be advantageous in these types of blackjack games. Most of the work involved in being a good blackjack player is always finding the best table and understanding the correct moves. We have faith that you can remember to always split Aces in blackjack.

Do you want to play blackjack for free? Check out what we have at the link and get started playing blackjack online today.

About the Author
Kyle Eve profile picture
Kyle Eve
Sports/Casino Writer
Blog and News
FaceBook Twitter
Kyle Eve is a seasoned pro of The Sports Geek. Since joining the team in 2012, Kyle, has covered some of the biggest sporting events in the world. From the Super Bowl and World Series to March Madness, the NBA Finals, Kentucky Derby, and many more, Kyle has provided reliable analysis for millions of readers. After dedicating himself to hockey and football in high school, Kyle placed his first sports bet on his 18th birthday. Since then, he has spent his entire adult life devoting himself to becoming the best sports bettor and casino gambler possible. Kyle is from Windsor, ON, Canada

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *