Blackjack Basic Strategy for Playing Pairs

Blackjack basic strategy is a mathematically proven guide to improve a player's advantage in the game. It's usually represented in a table format with corresponding actions for a player hand and a dealer hand situation. In stead of showing a table or chart, here's the breakdown of blackjack basic strategy for playing pairs.

When playing a pair of aces or eights, it's correct to split them or play them separately. Splitting aces increases a player's chances of winning rather than drawing cards on a hand total of two when it's highly probable to draw a ten. And splitting eights reduces a player's chances of losing since standing on a 16 is risky, against the dealer rule of standing a 17.

Blackjack basic strategy for playing pairs when you get two tens (numbered or faced cards) states that it's always best to stand. As is with playing a pair of aces or a pair of eights, where one should always split regardless of what the dealer's up-card is, it's best to stand on a pair of tens whatever the dealer's up-card is too.

But in playing any other pair, decisions will depend highly on what card the dealer is showing. In each of these cases, the option is to always hit or draw unless the dealer shows specific cards.

Let's start with a pair twos and a pair of threes. If the dealer shows any card between two and seven, you should split. When you get a couple of fours, blackjack basic strategy states that you should split if the dealer's showing a five or a six. When you receive a couple of fives though, it's not advisable to split cards. In stead, it's best to double when the dealer shows any card from two to nine.

Blackjack basic strategy for splitting or otherwise hitting continues with a couple of sixes and sevens. In case of two sixes, it's best to split when the dealer shows any card from two to six. And when you get two sevens, it's best to split if the dealer shows any card from two to seven. But if you're playing a pair of nines, you must split if the dealer is showing any card from two to six and from eight to nine. But if the dealer has a seven, a ten, or an ace, it's best to stand on a couple of nines.

The splitting option is only offered when a player receives a pair. But it's not always right to split just because you can. Blackjack basic strategy for playing pairs state that you should always split on a couple of aces and eight. And you should always stand on a pair of tens. But for all the other pairs that could come up though, whether or not you should split is dependent on what face-up card the dealer has. Otherwise, it's best to draw and not to split at all.