Playing Paired Hands in Multi-Deck Blackjack

Blackjack is such a complex game that as a player mastering the intricacies of blackjack strategy and play, one often tends to focus on some aspects and advice on winning blackjack tips more than others. While studying strategy and practicing your technique are key elements to blackjack success, no player is without a few plays that are not effectively mastered.

A common “blind spot” for many players is the basics of playing paired hands as the majority of people are not aware of how to correctly split pairs or decide how to play them effectively.

Here we’ll take a look at the basics of playing paired hands in blackjack, so that you can strengthen yet another area of your game.

When it comes to paired hands, weak dealer cards and occasionally sevens are altered slightly. This means that if you are holding twos, threes or sevens you should only split if the dealer is holding sevens or lower, and hit when he/she is holding eights or higher. If however you are holding sixes, then always split the cards if the dealer has sixes of lower, otherwise hit.

Paired eights totaling a hard 16 should always be split unless the dealer is holding an Ace and hits on soft 17. When facing this scenario, use the surrender option if it is available.

Paired Aces should also always be split in order to increase your odds of getting blackjack or another strong hand.

Of all the pairs, Nines are the most complex hand you’ll have to play due to their link to the 17 total which dealers often hold. Always split Nines unless the dealer is holding a seven, ten or Ace. Stand against the ten or Ace, but standing against a seven is where the decision becomes tricky to understand. The gist however is that a hard 18 will play well against the dealer’s seven due to the fact that a dealer is likely to get a ten or less card and lose automatically.

When you look at these plays, they are a relatively simple to remember, but for most players it takes some getting used to and that involves practice and time. Making a concerted effort to memorize these plays will however slightly increase your payouts in blackjack games, and as we all know, the slightest increases can make a big difference over the long term.