Knowing when to split pairs is according to basic strategy is one thing. Knowing the difference between types of pair splits in blackjack is another. Sometimes you have to deviate from what basic strategy tells you to do. It all has to do with the type of pair splitting that is necessary.
Pair splitting happens no matter if you are playing regular blackjack or online blackjack. So you will have to eventually decide how to split a pair whether you are at a blackjack table or playing blackjack online.
There are four types of pair splitting in blackjack: Offensive, Aggressive, Defensive and Reckless.
I am going to show you how these types play into improving your blackjack odds. All of the money figures are based on a $10 wager
In the case of Offensive pair splitting you are starting with an average or potentially losing hand and improving your odds. An example of this would be if you were dealt a pair of 7s and the dealer is showing a 5. If you were to stand you could expect an average of a $3.30 loss. But if you split you have a net average of about $1.20. This taking a loss and turning it around, making it an offensive pair splitting.
With an aggressive split you are taking a good hand and pushing the limits on it. For this example we are going to say that you have been dealt a pair that you would probably normally stand on: a pair of 9s and the dealer has a 6 showing. You could expect a $2.80 profit on standing, but by splitting you could expect $4.40 in profit. That is taking a strong hand and pushing it for something more.
Defensive pair splitting is when you have a pair that you know you are probably going to lose with no matter what, and your play is to try to minimize the loss. Let’s say you have a pair of 3s against a 7, and you decide to hit; your expected loss would be $1.50. But if you were to split your expected loss would only be $0.70.
As for Reckless pair splits, those are pair splits done without any real reasoning behind them. They are made just for the sake of splitting. Do not do them.
Tomorrow I will cover which type of pair splitting strategy to use for each pair in blackjack. I do recommend practicing with pair splitting strategies. This does take some time, but the best place to practice is with some online blackjack in a free-play mode.