Why Do You Split Eights in Blackjack?

December 5, 2013

Whether you are playing in a land-based casino or in the online situation, you can always improve your circumstances when you are aware of the right way to play. This comes by way of Basic Strategy, which provides for the best move to make when encountered with any situation that is represented by the two cards you are dealt and the dealer's up card. When you are playing this perfectly, you have the ability to reduce the house's edge to a place where it is closer to a break-even point.

Of course, along the way there are decisions that are related to the various options you can use at the blackjack table. These include doubling down, naturally, as well as splitting pairs. As you may know, when you are dealt a pair in blackjack you have the option of splitting that pair up, placing your original bet in front of each of the cards that constitutes that pair, in the pursuit of creating two separate hands. Then you just go from there.

There are Basic Strategy decisions that are related to each of the pairs, and one of the steadfast rules of blackjack strategy is that when you are dealt a pair of eights, you split them up. There is not even any discussion about it.

You're going to find that in blackjack, you are guided by what is going to make you lose less just as much as what will help you win more. You could hit both of your eights (separately of course) and get a ten-value card on each of them, and that doesn't necessarily mean that you are going to have a winning hand. The average hand is 18.23, so you actually have something that is below average.

When you are splitting eights, you are executing something of a defensive move. Otherwise, what you are doing is playing with a 16. As most people who play this game are already aware, sixteen is one of the weakest hands you can be saddled with. Your chances of busting by taking one card are very great. When you can hit on an eight you have a chance to make a hand. So this is done even against a dealer's up card of ten; even against an ace. And when the dealer has a weak up card, like a five or six, you have a chance to double your money.

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