Splitting Aces in Blackjack

Splitting is a sometimes tricky play in blackjack. Many players do not execute it at the right times, but that can be reversed with practice and by applying strategy. But perhaps the trickiest to logic out is splitting Aces.

When dealt a pair of Aces, you have the choice of playing it as a 22, which is just silly, or of playing it as a 12, making it a stiff hand. Or you can split the pair of Aces and wind up with two individual hands each starting with 11. This is a much stronger way of starting a hand than with a 12.

The only downside to splitting a pair of Aces is that most casinos will only allow a player to receive one card on each Ace once they are split. The same rule often applies in online blackjack games as well. That is how good the odds are on split Aces—the casinos must insert a rule that limits what a blackjack player can do with their split Aces. There are some blackjack games and blackjack variations that will not limit a player to one card per Ace, however.

But even with the one card per Ace rule, splitting Aces still carries good odds on winning. Players have a 60% chance of winning when they split a pair of Aces, leaving only a 40% chance for a loss. In fact there is no dealer up card that a player goes against in which the odds are below 50%. Staring down a face card with a split pair of Aces still has players with a 54% chance of winning.

The reason behind this is that the Ace is the strongest card in the deck. Add to that the fact that there are more ten value cards in the game; those ten values cards, while not giving a split Ace a winning blackjack, they do give the player the next highest hand: 21.

Bear in mind that while the odds are in favor of the player when it comes to splitting Aces in blackjack, the odds are not 100%–bear in mind that there will be losses. You cannot win every time, but splitting Aces have a better shot of winning than if you were to not split them.