How to Split Cards in Blackjack

Once new players grasp the basic strategy of blackjack the first thing they generally ask is, “When and why should I split my cards?”

Generally any card that starts with “F” should not be split; this is a simple rule to go by. So Face cards, Fives, and Fours should not be split.

The reason for not splitting face cards is pretty straightforward.  You do not want to throw away 20 which almost guarantees you a winning hand.

Fours and fives also shouldn’t be split, splitting these cards only set a player up to get a very low end chance of winning, “14” or “15” or worse.


So why you might ask why split other pairs? This is a bit trickier as the general rule of thumb here is only to split when the dealer is showing an up card of between 4-7.  The reason being that you’re better off taking the chance to double your money when the dealer has shows a bust card.


Splitting Aces, as with any gambling venture you par take in it is essential you are aware of the house rules. These rules can differ when faced with Ace Ace. Obviously you want to split these cards, two is useless, and the other option being 12 is also no good for the player. So you have to split aces EVERY time.  Most Casino’s have a rule with regard to splitting aces, generally most stick with the one draw rule. This means that you can only draw one card to each Ace.  It is also a common rule that casino’s will not honor a true blackjack when you receive a face card on a split ace. This eliminates the bonus payout.


Splitting eights, a lot of professional players will only split Aces and Eights. The reason being the four horseman as they were known ran these cards through a mathematical algorithm and it was determined that the player splitting the eights has a much higher probability of winning the hand splitting the 8’s then standing on 16. 

The four horseman were (Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel and James McDermott). They ere responsible for creating what is known today as basic mathematical strategy. We will discuss these fellows later on.



So you know have a good grasp on when and why you should be splitting cards at the blackjack table. Splitting is an essential part of the game, and provides excellent opportunity for player edge and increasing ones bankroll. If you are looking for an excellent strategy component please visit.

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