Split is a term used in blackjack that refers to a player’s option to divide their hand into two separate hands when they are dealt two cards of the same value. Splitting offers a strategic choice that can potentially turn a single hand into two more advantageous hands.

  1. Basic Rule: If a player’s first two cards are of the same rank (for example, two eights or two kings), they have the option to ‘split’ them into two separate hands. To do this, the player must place an additional bet equal to their original bet.
  2. Playing Split Hands: After splitting, the dealer will give an additional card to each of the new hands. The player then plays each hand independently, hitting or standing as they choose.
  3. Restrictions and Variations: The rules for splitting can vary depending on the casino or the specific game of blackjack. Some games allow multiple splits, while others may restrict the ability to split certain cards. For example, some casinos allow splitting aces but only give one additional card to each ace.
  4. Splitting Aces: Splitting aces is a common and potentially profitable move. However, because receiving a 10-value card after splitting aces counts as 21 and not blackjack, the payout may be even money rather than the higher blackjack payout.
  5. Double Down After Split: Some blackjack variations allow players to double down on the hands created after a split, providing an opportunity for increased winnings.
  6. Strategy Considerations: The decision to split should be based on basic blackjack strategy, which considers the dealer’s upcard and the specific cards the player has. For example, it’s usually advisable to always split aces and eights.
  7. Impact on House Edge: Proper use of the split option can reduce the house edge. It allows players to maximize their potential winnings when faced with favorable cards and minimize losses when dealt poor cards.
  8. Additional Bets: When a player decides to split, they must make an additional bet equal to their original bet. This means that while splitting can be advantageous, it also requires the player to risk more money.