Why do you split 8s? Why is it a standard in blackjack strategy to do so?
Look at what blackjack strategy is first. In the first place you have a strategy so that you can improve your odds of winning. But what do you do when you find yourself in a situation that you know you are most likely going to lose?
This is the other part of your blackjack strategy: finding the least costly way out of a non-winning situation.
Now let’s look at being dealt a pair of 8s and the dealer has an upcard that is a 9, 10, or Ace.
If you were to stand on a hard 16, you are then playing with a stiff hand and will most likely lose. Interesting side note: you will be dealt a stiff hand about 43% of the time; and we all know that it’s easiest to lose with those hands.
Thankfully you can split those 8s. A pessimistic person might say that this is unwise blackjack strategy because you’re probably going to lose anyway. And this is why we don’t listen to pessimistic people.
Think of splitting those 8s as a second chance for you on this round. You can build two new hands, each starting with an 8 card. Yes, you do have to double your bet.
And, yes, you could lose all of that, but this is blackjack, this is gambling—you are going to lose sometimes. The trick here is to try to lose the least amount of money to get out of this round and on to the next.
By splitting your 8s and creating two new hands, you have the possibility of turning what could have been a pretty good shot at losing into one in which you have the possibility of winning with one hand, maybe even both.
The point to remember about pair splitting strategy is that this move is in place, for those who know how to use it, to lose less and win more in the long run. By only hitting or standing you are limiting your strategy and your odds at blackjack.
You can use this strategy for online blackjack or when playing at a casino.