Why You Should Never Split 10’s in Blackjack
When you are playing blackjack games in a land based casino or online via a multiplayer or live dealer gaming platform, you are going to end up sitting next to players who are both experienced and inexperienced, and their level of experience will soon become apparent when you take a look at how they are playing off each hand dealt out to them.
One way of discovering whether a player you are playing with knows the game of blackjack inside out is in regards to how they will play off a pair of 10 valued cards that are dealt out to them. The correct strategy for playing a pair of 10 valued cards, whether those cards are mixed 10 valued cards or two cards that are the same such as a pair of Kings or a pair of 10’s is to stand those hands.
However, as many games are going to allow you to split unalike 10 valued cards as well as a pair of matching 10 valued cards then the temptation to split those cards will be great for an inexperienced player, more so if the Dealer has on display as his or her up facing card a low valued card such as a 3 or a 6 for example.
You should, as a general rule, always stand any pair of 10’s irrespective of what the Dealer is showing, even if the Dealer has on display an Ace or a 10 valued card then you should always stand your pair of 10 valued cards. The reason for this is that you are highly unlikely to get dealt out an Ace or another 10 valued card to a split card which initially contained a pair of 10 valued cards, and the Dealer is unlikely to beat those hands.
You will of course find that from time to time the Dealer will, after you have make the decision to stand any pair of 10’s manage to match your hand with a 20 valued hand and occasionally the Dealer will beat your hand by getting a 21 valued hand or possibly a Blackjack hand, however never veer off the correct playing strategy for the variant you are playing and that will mean you need to stand every single pair of 10 valued cards dealt out to you.
You will, if you decide to split a pair of 10 valued cards then have to pay an additional stake for the new hand formed with one of those cards, which is going to mean you then are risking twice the amount of money as you originally intended to do. Plus you may then be dealt out an additional 10 card alongside any split 10 valued card and you could then be tempted to split those cards as well, which will mean you incur an even larger cost by having to place an additional stake on the extra hand formed by re-splitting.
One thing to also be aware of in regards to why it is not going to be beneficial for you to split a pair of 10 valued cards is that most variants will have rules in place and also a payout structure that will stipulate if you split any pair of 10 valued cards and one of your split 10 valued cards is then dealt out an Ace card alongside it, those hands are, if they win the game, not going to be paid out at odds of 3 to 2 but instead they will be classed as a standard 21 hand and as such if those hands win the game and beat the Dealers hand your winning payout will be just an even money winning payout.
Blackjack Variants which Call for Players to Split 10’s
The only blackjack game variant which is going to have a perfect playing strategy that will occasionally see you being able to split a pair of 10’s as the correct playing decision is the game of Double Exposure Blackjack.
The Double Exposure Blackjack game is quite different to any other blackjack game you are going to come across either in a land based casino or when playing online. For when you play this game as well as you being dealt out your initial two card hand facing upwards, both of the dealers two initial cards will also be dealt face up.
That does of course mean you are going to see the value of the Dealers hand at all times, and that major player advantage will mean that there are a limited number of times when you are playing this game that you should chose to split your hand when it contains any pair of 10’s.
If you do start to play Double Exposure Blackjack and you have been dealt out any pair of 10 valued cards and the Dealers two up facing cards are worth a hard 13 valued hand through to a hard 16 valued hand then those are the only times that instead of standing your hand you should choose to split them.
Also if you do play this blackjack game variant and the Dealer gets a 20 valued hand and you have a pair of 10 valued cards then the correct playing move for those hands are that you should hit your hand, that may seem like a risky playing decision to make when you both hand a 20 valued hand but surprisingly it is the correct perfect way of playing a pair of 10’s when the Dealer has a 20 valued hand also.
Please do be aware that in regards to the house edge you will be playing against when playing Double Exposure Blackjack it is a high house edge game and as such even though you get to see just what cards the Dealer is holding you are going to be far better off and have many more winning chances by playing a much lower house edge game instead of the high house edge game of Double Exposure Blackjack.
Splitting 10’s in a Las Vegas Casino
Since I’ve gone through all the serious reasons of why splitting 10’s is a sucker move I thought I would finish this article with a fun story from when I visited a Las Vegas casino a couple of years ago.
I was staying at the Planet Hollywood in Vegas and decided to try out their blackjack games so I sat down at a table that had a single seat open. After playing a couple of hands one of the other players at the table gets dealt two tens against the dealers 5 and decides to split his cards. The whole table (myself excluded) then proceeds to mock this player for the rest of his session calling him names like sucker and “tourist”.
Now if the -EV from doing this split doesn’t deter you from making this move you should probably still avoid it in order not to be mocked by your fellow players for the duration of your session.