What is a 'Split'?
A split is one of the options available to players in blackjack
when they must make a decision about what to do with their hand
. If the player is dealt two cards of equal rank or value, they can take the decision to split - placing a wager equal to their first and splitting their hand into two separate hands. An additional card is then drawn for each of the two new hands.
The specific rules around splitting can vary significantly in different casinos. Sometimes any pair of cards with a value of 10 is permitted to be split (for example, a Jack and a King), whereas in some casinos the cards must be of identical rank (two Jacks, two Kings, and so on.) There are also varying restrictions about whether split hands may be split again if one of the two new hands draws another card of equal rank, and hitting split Aces
may be disallowed. In addition, if a player makes 21 with their hand - by splitting a hand of cards with a score of 10 each and drawing an Ace, or splitting Aces and drawing a 10 - this will be considered a non-blackjack 21 and can be beaten by the dealer's blackjack.According to basic strategy
, a system which gives the mathematically correct decision for players to make based on their hand and the dealer's up card, Aces should always be split while lower pairs are also frequently split depending on the dealer's up card. Cards with a value of 10 which come in pairs, however, should not be split and the player should instead take the decision to stand. This ensures that the player has the best mathematical chance of profiting from the game, reducing the casino's edge