Every now and then we are dealt what can seem like a strong hand, but in reality it is deceptively strong. I say deceptively strong because while in ordinary blackjack strategy, meaning ordinary hard hands, their hand totals would be fine. But what if they are not ordinary hard hands?
Okay, enough with the mystique. I am talking about those rascally hands that either have Aces or are made up of a pair. In particular I am talking about a certain pair: a pair of 9s.
I know when I have discussed pair splitting blackjack strategy that I have said to pay attention to what the hand total is and to not only focus on the joyous fact that you are holding a pair. In the case of a pair of 9s the hand total is 18. If you were playing this hand out like you would an ordinary hard hand you know that you would stand on an 18. But this is not an ordinary hard 18.
This is a pair of 9s, and because it is not ordinary you want to play it out in the most advantageous way. This means that if the dealer has a 2 through 6 or an 8 that you want to split that pair of 9s.
Let’s compare shall we?
If you were to stand on a pair of 9s against those dealer up cards you would yield a profit over a large number of rounds. In other words you would need to play a lot of rounds and be dealt a lot of pairs of 9s in order to make that 18 profit. This is because of there are only five totals the dealer can hit to that would not bust him, and three of those five beat your 18. The odds on standing on a pair of 9s against a 2 through 6 or an 8 are not with you.
So what strategy options do you have left? You can hit, which is very not smart in terms of blackjack strategy, or you can split. And splitting is the way to go.
Check back this afternoon for the whys in splitting a pair of 9s. After all, your blackjack strategy is not just about knowing what play to make, but about knowing why you are making it.