Splitting 10’s vs. Standing on them

A lot of blackjack players wonder about splitting a pair of 10’s, is it really worth it? To give credence to their question, a pair of 9’s is split in most cases. So why split a pair of 9’s and not a pair of 10’s? After all, a pair of 9’s unsplit is a hard 18, and that is more than 17, which is the hand that everyone begins to stand on.

But here is the thing with a hard 18 when compared to a hard 20: there are three hands that the dealer could either hold or hit to that would flat out beat a hard 18 while there is only one hand that the dealer can hold or hit to which would beat a hard 20. Looking at it that way, there is no way to doubt that a hard 20 is stronger than a hard 18.

That is only looking at the strength of a hard 20. To further back up the idea that it is better stand on a pair of 10’s rather than splitting them, let’s take a look at what you can win or loss when splitting or standing on a pair of 10’s.

The two best upcards to come up against with a pair of 10’s is a 7 or an 8. This is the best case scenario. Standing on that pair of 10’s will on average make you \$0.77 or \$0.79 per \$1 wagered. Splitting that pair of 10’s against that 7 will only make you \$0.25 per \$1; and the 8 will cost you \$0.01 per \$1.

Worst case scenario your pair of 10’s comes up against a dealer’s 10 or Ace. The player will lose \$0.44 or \$0.34 per \$1 respectively if they split the pair of 10’s. However, standing on that pair of 10’s against that dealer 10 or Ace can make the player \$0.56 or \$0.65 per \$1 respectively.

This is why your blackjack strategy should include standing on a pair of 10’s all the time. So not only is there logic to back up standing on a pair of 10’s, there is also the amount of money you can win when standing on a pair of 10’s as opposed to either less money made or money lost when splitting. So trust me when I say you are far better off standing on a pair of 10’s.