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Blackjack Basic Strategy for Splitting Pairs of Nines

How to Play a Pair of 9's in Blackjack

Hard hands: Hard 8 or less - Hard 9 - Hard 10 - Hard 11 - Hard 12 - Hard 13 - 16 - Hard 17 to 21

Soft hands: Soft 13 - 14 - Soft 15 - 16 - Soft 17 - Soft 18 - Soft 19 to 21

Splitting pairs: Aces - 2's - 3's - 4's - 5's - 6's - 7's - 8's - 9's - 10's

Should You Split Nine's?

A pair of nines is literally one of the only hands that has what I would consider a remotely complicated strategy.

Split nines against the following dealer upcards:

  • 2 - 6
  • 8 - 9

Stand against the following dealer upcards:

  • 7
  • 10
  • Ace


A dealer hand of 2 - 6 is a stiff hand and the dealer has a good chance of busting. With two nines, you've got a shot at getting two totals of 19, which is a respectable total. Decent expectation in that situation.

If you stood against an 8 or a 9, then you're likely facing a dealer total of 18 or 19. You can only hope for a push in the first situation and a loss in the second, unless you split the cards and get lucky.

If the dealer has a ten or an ace showing, she probably has you beat, so there is no point in throwing more money away on this hand than you have to.

A hard 18 versus a dealer 7 has a decent chance of winning straight up, but there are enough bad things that can happen when hitting a nine that it doesn't make sense to split the nines.

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