Basic blackjack strategy is a wonderful thing; it tells you what to do and when to do it, in order to win. Here’s a rough guide to what blackjack strategy has to say about when to double down, and when to split pairs.
Doubling down is a great asset for the blackjack player; it gives the player a true advantage over the casino – this is one of the reasons that it is limited in some casinos. There are 15 situations in which a soft totasl should be doubled down on; the table below will clearly show them
4, 5, 6.
2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
3, 4, 5, 6.
It is only in these soft total conditions that you should ever double down.
Hard totals are a whole different story. For hard totals you must never double down unless you have an original hand of more than 8. If you have an 11 you must double down. And if the dealer has a 10 showing, you should still double down; many people are afraid of this, but there is no need to be. If you have an 11 showing, even if he has a 10, the most likely highest you’ll get is a 10 which will bring you to the jackpot.
Knowing when to split pairs is also crucial to learning blackjack strategy. Any pair can be split, and all 10-value cards are considered the same and so can also be split. Not all pairs should be split however; in some cases it is better to play them as one hand.
8s and aces should always be split. A pair of 8s makes 16; a terrible total to have. Splitting them however gives you chances to make a more decisive hand. The value of splitting the aces is that each will be 11; all you need is one of the 16 10-value cards per deck, and you’ve got 21!
Fours and fives should on no terms be split. Equally, 10s shouldn’t be split – they add up to 20, why would you mess with that?! What you spit, will depend somewhat on what the dealer is showing in his upcard – this table will help make clear what you should split and when. If it’s not on there; don’t split it!
Pairs to split-
-When the dealers up card is:
3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
4, 5, 6, 7.
2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9.
As with all blackjack strategy, if you want to be really successful at the tables, you have to really internalize these responses; they must be like second nature to you. Therefore, you should read over them, test yourself, and then practice by playing blackjack online for free, before you start playing with real money. Before you know it, you’ll see the effects of this blackjack strategy – you’ll start winning!