Playing blackjack pairs means receiving two of the same cards. Attention, not of equal value, just the same: for example, 5-5 is a pair in blackjack, while KJ is not, although both the king and the jack have a value of 10 because the pair is the only combination of starting cards that in blackjack allows you to split , that is to divide your hand into two separate ones, doubling the amount bet but thus being able to play substantially with two different hands at the same time. This means having more chances to win … but also to lose, if you don’t know how to play them!
Blackjack, Pairs To Always Split
There are basically two: the pair of aces and the pair of 8s . The pair of aces is good to split whenever you have the opportunity, since the ace is the strongest and most versatile card ever in blackjack: with any card worth 10 (a 10, but also a jack, a queen or a king) you would in fact do blackjack, that is 21 points with only two cards.
It goes without saying that receiving one ace is more than excellent news, let alone receiving two! The aces must always be split, therefore, regardless of what the dealer shows. And it doesn’t hurt if after splitting the pair of aces a ten does not arrive: the ace can be worth both 10 and 1, so there is no possibility of busting and even if you receive a bad card, such as a 4, there would still be still ample room for improvement by calling another one.
The pair of 8s, on the other hand, must be split because its overall score of 16 (8 + 8) does not make you sleep peacefully. The dealer, in fact, in blackjack is forced to call cards until he gets at least 17 points, that is, one more than the hypothetical 16 above. Furthermore, by splitting the 8s, you have the possibility of receiving an ace or a 10 (or figure), which would improve your hands making them a 19 or an 18.
Blackjack, Pairs To Never Split
There is only one pair in blackjack that no expert will ever advise you to split, not even in online blackjack , and that’s the pair of fives . The cards that make up this pair, in fact, if taken individually are very weak: think about what would happen if you received a card of value 10. You would have a very bad 15 with which you would be afraid of going bust asking for another card, but also fear of losing sight the rather poor value of your score.
Therefore, the pair of 5s should never be split, but can be doubled (like all combinations of initial cards with a value of 9, 10 or 11): however, do it only when the dealer shows a card from 2 to 9, otherwise just call another card without multiplying your bet x2.
The Other Couples
All other pairs in blackjack can be split when the best conditions are met to increase the odds of winning and minimize the odds of losing. For example, the pair of 9s is good to split only if the dealer has a card between 2 and 9 (7 excluded), otherwise it is better to stop on the score of 18.
The pair of 7s , on the other hand, can be split to be played as two separate hands when the dealer shows a card from 2 to 7. Similar speech for the pair of 6 : if the dealer has a 2, a 3, a 4, a A 5 or a 6 is right to split, otherwise it’s better to hit. When is it right to split the pair of 4s ? When the dealer’s visible card is a 5 or a 6.
Finally, the pair of 3s and the pair of 2s are played in the same way: if the dealer has an open card between 2 and 7, then he splits. In any other case, the advice is to simply call another card and reassess the situation.