Blackjack Split Rules and Tips

Joseph Havens

Casino expert

Blackjack Split Rules and Tips

This guide covers the essential information you need to know about this betting option, including when to split in Blackjack. You will also learn Blackjack split rules and how to split in Blackjack.

Split is one of the moves available to a player in this type of game. Splitting increases your chances of beating the dealer. However, much depends on how and when you make this move.

What does split mean?


It is an optional move players can make in a game of Blackjack if they are dealt two cards of the same value.

When you split, you will start playing two separate hands. The dealer will give you another card for each hand at the cost of an additional bet equal to your initial wager. Those who have seen some Blackjack movies are probably familiar with this move.

Remember that splitting allows you to double your payout. So, if the dealer goes bust, you will win twice as much as you would from a standard winning hand.

When to use Blackjack split

There are certain hands you need to look for before splitting. Likewise, there are some totals that you should never split. At other times, the decision may depend on the dealer’s face-up card.

Just like any other Blackjack strategy, the split option requires practice and may not always guarantee a winning hand. Still, we have a few suggestions you should consider. So, what cards do you split?

What You Should Always Split

  • Aces

Should you hold a pair of aces, one will count as one while the other will be valued at 11. With this hand, only a 9 can get you to 21.

The chances of you getting a nine are slim. There are many 10-value cards within this game that would take you back to 12 if you receive one. Remember that both Aces count as one. The smart move here is to split a pair of aces.

  •  Eights

Split 8s no matter the dealer’s face-up card. Having two eights is regarded as an inferior hand.

If you hold two 8 cards, any number above a five can easily bust you. So, it’s better to divide them into two hands and reduce your chances of losing.

What You Should Never Split

  • Fours

Don’t split a pair of fours because you can’t go bust with any additional card you are dealt. The highest you can get is 19 if you are dealt an Ace.

However, if you split, only three cards can improve your hand over your initial fours, a 5, 6, or 7.

  • Fives

When you have a 10, the next best move you can make is to double down unless the dealer shows a nine, ten, or Ace.

When you split 5s, you may end up with either a smaller hand or one that could make your hand bust later.

  • Tens

Tens is an excellent hand because it’s as close to 21 as your hand can get. Do not split your hand if you receive two 10s, Jacks, Queens, or Kings.

Only an Ace can beat your original hand. Rather than splitting, always stand on 20.

Blackjack split rules explained

  1. You can only split once
  2. You can only split 10-value cards of the same rank
  3. Split Aces cannot be re-split
  4. Split Aces can only hit once
  5. Ace and ten are seen as a non-Blackjack 21 after the first split

Sometimes, Blackjack casino sites may offer different versions of the same game. Thus, their split rules may also vary. So, it is essential to check the rules of the variant you are interested in before playing with real funds.

If you’re a new punter who wants to test out these rules on multiple Blackjack versions, we suggest using new players’ promotions. In this way, you won’t have to spend your real bankroll.

Splitting cards in Blackjack – Pros and Cons



  • It increases your chances of beating the dealer
  • Splitting doubles your win
  • It can turn an initial lousy hand into a reasonably good hand
  • It puts your initial hand at an advantage


  • You can lose twice as much as your bet if your move goes wrong
  • Splitting requires a higher bankroll since you will be doubling your bet
  • The game is mainly based on chance

Keep in mind that even if you split correctly at the right time, the dealer can still win.

Should all pairs be split in Blackjack?

No, it is not ideal to split all pairs in a Blackjack game. Remember, this move requires you to double your bet, meaning you will be risking more of your bankroll.

That’s why you should only split when the odds are in your favour and the dealer’s hand is weak.

The best time to split is when you have Aces and eights. Moreover, we suggest not splitting when you have fours, fives and tens. This strategy may not guarantee you a win every time. However, it greatly reduces your risk of going bust when splitting.

Check out this strategy!

  • Hard Totals
Hard totals graphic
  • Soft Totals
Soft Totals Graphic
  • Pair splitting
Pair Splitting Graphic
Blackjack split strategy graphic