Can You Double Down After Splitting in Blackjack

Thinking Man on Right and Closeup of a Dealt Blackjack Table on Left

Blackjack has plenty of side games and side rules. The important practical question is this one:

How should I play this hand?

With this in mind, I’ve put together a guide that should help you decide whether you can or should double down after splitting in blackjack.

The last thing you want to do is to go into a casino and get reprimanded for trying to do something during a game that you shouldn’t. It’s always best to know the rules before you hop into the game to avoid a potential confrontation with the dealer.

You may have several questions regarding the dos and don’ts of blackjack, but I’ll assume you’re new to the game and explain whether you can double down after splitting step-by-step.

What Is a Double Down?

Doubling down is a risky move that can pay off if you nail it. When you double down, you believe you have a good chance at winning the hand, so you double your bet during the hand. However, you can only receive one more card.

Say you have a king and a 4, which gives you 14 points. You may be in an excellent position to double down, so you try it.

But, you can only receive one more card. If you get something like a 2 or 3, you will end up with a 16 or 17, which isn’t the best hand.

However, if you get a 5 or a 6, you’re in better shape.

So, instead of winning the original bet, you double the bet with a better-than-average hand. As the example shows, this can backfire, and it will in some circumstances. However, it may also allow you to double your winnings.

What is a Split?

When you get 2 cards of the same face value, you can split them and place an additional bet, which creates 2 separate hands. They are treated as such, so if you’re dealt a pair of 8s, you can split them and play 2 hands against the dealer instead of just one.

Sometimes, you can split again if you’re dealt another 8. This is called re-splitting, and it’s allowed in some casinos but not others.

You can also split cards valued as 10 even if they’re not identical. If you have a jack and a queen, for example, you can split them.

Closeup of Blackjack Table

But you can’t split a 9 and a 10.

The cards must be the same value.

Also, be mindful of aces. Usually, aces cannot be re-split, and you only receive one more card if you split aces.

Can You Double Down After Splitting in Blackjack?

Not only can you double down split hands, but you can also hit split hands as often as you like.

But as stated in the above section, you can only hit once if you split aces.

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Why can you double down after splitting in blackjack?

You can still double down because split hands are treated as separate hands. It’s as though they’re both original hands, and therefore, they have almost full liberties as to what their hand looked like before they split. And once again, this does not pertain to aces, though you can still double down split aces.

Now that you know that you can indeed double down after splitting in blackjack, let’s look at a few basic strategies that may help you decide when to split and when to double down following a split.

When to Split (and Double Down) in Blackjack

Since today’s post talks about the basics, we will not get into probabilities or any crazy mathematical formulas that often scare people even if they’re gifted in complex equations and functions. But, you also want to walk into your local casino with at least knowledge in basic strategies regarding blackjack.

It’s also important to know that we’re not telling you what to do. We are just giving recommendations on what choices may be in your best interest for when to split and even double down following a split. Ultimately, you can follow these strategies, or you can come up with your own.

But the content below will at least give you a solid foundation to work with.

When should you split?

It’s always best to split aces and 8s.

Closeup of Jack and Ace of Spades

Why?

Because you have a good chance at landing 10s. Remember, 10s, jacks, queens, and kings are all worth 10 points here. In a 6-deck game, you have up to 96 chances to land a 10.

But why split 8s and not 9s?

This is because a pair of 9s equals 18, which may give you a winning hand. Although it’s not out of the question to split 9s, and some players will. But a pair of 8s lands you with a total of 16, which is one of the worst hands in blackjack because you have a high bust probability.

Many will always split a pair of aces. Once again, because you have up to 96 chances to land a 10 if you’re playing the 6-deck variety. An 8-deck may increase your odds more.

Pairs Not to Split

There are several pairs that you should never split or split in varying circumstances, and they involve any pairs of 10, 6, 5, and 7. It’s out of the question to split 10s because you already have a 20 showing, which is the second-best hand you can get. If you split 10s, you’re taking a massive risk.

Splitting 5s is also a bad idea because you already have 10 points. And again, you get good odds, especially with more decks, to land a card at 10-value. It’s one of those instances where you can split, but you may also dig yourself a hole if you do.

You should only consider splitting 6s if you see that the dealer has between a 2 or a 6. And if the dealer has a card lower than 7, many pro players will suggest that you split the 7s. However, this has more to do with probability and statistics than anything else.

If you’re just starting out, refrain from splitting 5s and 10s only until you gain more experience.

Critical Points in Doubling Down After Splitting in Blackjack

Let’s recap everything in this section.

First, what is doubling down?

A double down occurs when you feel confident enough to beat the dealer, judging by what you’re both showing. So you will double your bet.

Splitting is something you can consider doing before you double down if you have a pair of cards at the same face value, like a pair of 8s. This rule applies to any card at 10 value, even if the face cards do not match up, like a jack and a queen.

Minimum-Bet-Blackjack Table

You can double down after splitting because you would treat each hand separately.

Some pairs are ideal for splitting, and they’re often aces and 8s. There are also pairs you shouldn’t split, like 5s and 10s. And finally, there are pairs that you should only split under specific circumstances, like 6s and 7s.

In Summary

Overall, blackjack can sound foreign to you if you’re a new player, and it may have driven you from playing the game in the past. The good news is that despite its complexity on the surface, it’s not as complicated as it seems once you have a firm grasp of the basics.

Odds are, you have more questions regarding blackjack beyond whether you can double down after splitting, such as the differences between American blackjack and European blackjack, strategies to increase your odds of winning, and so much more.