Black Jack is undoubtedly one of the most popular and interesting card games. One of the factors that make it so playable is that it is not purely a game of chance, as winning money playing Black Jack requires strategy and mathematical skill.
In the article 11 Mathematical Strategies to Win at Black Jack we explain the best tricks and strategies based on statistics and probability calculations, we recommend you take a look at it if you haven’t already.
In it we already mentioned two of the most popular strategies: splitting aces and eights, but we did it in a general way. In this article we are going to go deeper into the reasons for splitting (or not) these cards in Black Jack, and we are also going to define something that there is not so much information about on the Internet, which is in which cases it is not advisable to split aces and eights.
You have all the detailed information with tips on when to split aces and eights below.
Tips for Knowing When to Split Aces
The Ace is the strongest card in Black Jack, as its value is 11 points. However, a hand with two Aces played together adds up to 12 points, not 22 (if it were 22 there would be no point in playing them together, because you would lose).
Therefore, generally speaking, splitting the Aces will be the more successful strategy, since it gives you two options to play the two cards separately, thus increasing the probability of receiving a new card with a value of ten, which would be a Black Jack.
This reason, and the fact that statistically 12 is a bad total for a 21 Black Jack player, are the reasons that make this strategy the most advisable.
Furthermore, if you receive another Ace again after the initial split, you are not allowed to split the Aces a second time either.
To know when splitting a pair of aces will benefit you and when it will not, it is necessary to learn how to count cards, and also to use a counting method that keeps an additional count of the aces in play:
When the deck is unfavourable, the count will be very high (-+4, 5, 6 or more). This increases your chances of getting a 10 for every Ace, so you can score a 21 Black Jack.
Tips on when NOT to Split Aces
Previously we have seen when and why it is advisable to split Aces in such circumstances.
When you split two eights, each card receives another card, forming two hands. With these two hands you can hit, stand or double, just as with Aces. However, with a pair of eights, unlike a pair of aces, it is possible to split the hand a second or even a third time.
Many Black Jack players find it hard to stick to the option of folding when it comes to a pair of eights, so it is important to remember that two eights adds up to 16, and this is the worst hand you can have in Black Jack, so in a situation like this, it is far better to give up half your bet than to see the dealer take it outright.