Blackjack Pairs

How to Play Pairs in Blackjack

How to play Pairs in Blackjack

Here at Slot Boss we mainly dabble in slots but when we watch our Blackjack games play out, one thing is clear: even our skilled players aren't 100% sure on how to play certain pairs in Blackjack. Playing pairs depends on the cards of the dealer but we have seen on multiple occasions players choosing to split a pair and ending up losing double their money in situations where if they had stood or hit once they would have been winners. In this section of the Slot Boss blog, we'll discuss what to do with each set of pairs, and our opinion will vary depending on the dealer's up-facing card.

How to play a pair of Aces In Blackjack

If you land a pair of aces in Blackjack, you have hit the proverbial jackpot in this must-split situation. Most players split on 10's with the hopes of getting a Blackjack, in this situation 4/13 cards could provide you with a guaranteed win on one set of cards. Landing a pair of aces is rarer than landing pairs of 10 as there are four opportunities for players to land a ten pair due to face cards. Alongside the additional benefit of Blackjack paying out at 3:2 rather than 1:1, this means that a pair of aces is without a doubt the most exciting Blackjack hand due to the mathematical odds available as this hand gives players a higher chance of Blackjack than any other in the game.

Aces: The Boss Says Split

Three Rules of Blackjack Pairs

- Always stand on a pair of 10's. - Always Split a pair of 8's. - Never Split a pair of 5’s, double down for numbered cards and hit for 10's.

How to play Pairs of Two, Three and Seven in Blackjack

Dealer’s Up Card Decision Reason
Ace Hit Dealer will likely end up with a high total, don't settle for poor cards
Two-Six Split Dealer needs 17+ and is likely to go bust. The higher the dealer’s number, the better the odds.
Seven Split/Hit Judge from the table around you. Dealer is unlikely to go bust
Eight-King Hit Dealer is unlikely to go bust and in most situations will win here

We suggest splitting anything between 2 and 6 because the dealer will need to score 17 or more to stand. In these situations, the maths is on the side of the player which is a situation players should try and take advantage of whilst playing casino games. If the dealer's card is an eight or higher, it is a situation where you have to hit and hope that their next card isn't one that has a value of 10. In the player's situation, they are most likely to end up with a score of 14 after hitting once. However, as the odds are just 4/13, this isn't gospel and should be evaluated if you can see the cards of other players. This is possibly the easiest strategy to remember as it is one of the most played in Blackjack pairs.

How to Play a Pair of 4’s in Blackjack

Once again, this section of the strategy is relying on the dealer going bust as stated in our How to Play Blackjack hub. A common misconception of Blackjack is that players have to get as close to 21 as possible when in reality you need to beat the dealer. If the dealer has between a 2-4, we like to say that it becomes the choice of the player to judge in the situation as if the player hits they will likely end up with a dreadful 14 but as the dealer will need to get 17+, hitting or splitting will result in similar outcomes. Now, the certainties come from 5 and above - if the dealer has a 5 or a 6, split. It is highly likely that the dealer will go bust because he is most likely to end up with 15 or 16 which means two things: he has to take another card and he has an 8/13 or 7/13 chance of busting from this point.

How to Play a Pair of 6’s

Now, remember the strategy that we had for 2's, 3's and 7's? This is very similar except players should not split 6’s when the dealer has a 7 card as the likelihood is the dealer will sit on 17 and the player will be either bust or stuck on 16 which is far from ideal. If you don't think the dealer is going to go bust, you have to take your chances with hitting on the 12, which means there are 5/13 cards that you want to see. The odds aren't mathematically in your favour, but it definitely could be worse.

How to Play a Pair of 9’s

Dealers Up Card Decision Reason
Ace Stand Dealer will likely end up with a high total but on the off chance, don't risk it
Two-Six Split Dealer needs 17+ and is likely to go bust. The higher the dealer’s number, the better the odds.
Seven Stand Dealer most likely will end up with 17, you have 18. Mathematics is in the player’s favour here
Eight-Nine Split Dealer is likely to end up with 18 or 19, so splitting gives players a decent chance of landing 19
Ten Stand Odds are less in your favour but you still have a very good hand. Don't chase theories

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