• Mon. Sep 25th, 2023

Why Splitting Eights in Blackjack Is a Must – BetMGM

Why Splitting Eights in Blackjack Is a Must – BetMGM

The world of is a rich and complex one in which the flip of a single card can mean triumph or defeat, while strategy plays a very important role. 8s is a key part of that strategy, regardless of whether you find yourself at a table or playing blackjack . But what does split mean in blackjack?

Let's dissect this often misunderstood and frequently misused strategy. Read on to find out what it is, when this tactic is recommended and when not, the odds involved and how this strategy could potentially affect the 's outcome.

The Rule of Thumb: When To Split in Blackjack

By default, blackjack strategists will tell you to always split aces and 8s. But why do you split 8s in blackjack? It's simple. When you're dealt a of 8s, your total hand value is sixteen, which is arguably the worst hand you can get in the game. It's a difficult place to be in, no doubt about it, because if you hit, there's a good chance of busting. 

If you stand, there's also a good chance of losing — unless the dealer busts. But if you split, you have a chance to turn your precarious situation into a potentially winning one. This hasn't always been an accepted rule of thumb. In the long and illustrious history of blackjack, it only gained general acceptance in the mid-20th century. 

The Four Horsemen and a Man Named Thorp

In 1956, a quartet of mathematicians — Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel and James McDermott — embarked on a mission to decode the secrets of blackjack using manual calculators. Known as the “Four Horsemen” in blackjack circles, they exhaustively analyzed every possible outcome, ultimately determining that splitting 8s often offered more potential than either hitting or standing with a total of 16. 

This groundbreaking theory was met with initial skepticism in the blackjack community, which simply dismissed it as yet another blackjack myth. It wasn't until six years later, when Ed Thorp, a mathematician and pioneer in modern probability theory, used his IBM computer to verify the Horsemen's conclusions, that the blackjack world started to “play” serious attention.

In his influential book “Beat the Dealer,” Thorp advises players to split 8s when the dealer has an upcard of 7, 8, 9, 10 or ace — his reason being that this move is less about gaining a superior total and more about avoiding the pitfall of holding onto a hard 16. 

Also, when the dealer shows a lower card (2, 3, 4, 5 or 6,) splitting 8s doubles the advantage. It turns a poor hand into two average hands and allows players to potentially profit more as the dealer's chances of busting increase with these lower upcards.

Breaking Down the Odds

#Splitting # #Blackjack #

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