Splitting Aces

splitting acesThe splitting of aces is an essential part of the most basic strategy of blackjack. Granted, there are a variant of rules across establishments of gambling in regards to re-splitting, multiple card draws, doubling and more.

However, regardless of the variant of situations, the most common piece of strategic wisdom within the community is to consistently split eights and aces when dealt either of the pairs as initial cards. Due note that this is the very first rule of any strategy that involves blackjack splitting.

The following will give you a basic understanding of Ace splitting and how to go about splitting properly. As you become better versed in the game of blackjack, you will begin to comprise strategies all your own, and having a basic working knowledge is a great starting point.

Value of an Ace in BlackJack

The Ace is a special card that can be valued at either one or eleven in the game of blackjack. A hand that has an Ace in it, is called a “soft total”. Given that the object of the game is to be as close to 21 as possible, it is the current total within the hand which will determine if the Ace will be one or eleven.

It is possible for a player to draw another card while they hold an Ace without the fear of overshooting the total of 21.

A hand that contains an Ace that can be considered a “hard total” when the total of the other cards would exceed 21 when added to 11. An example of this would be a hand that contained an Ace, a 6 and a 10.

In the realm of blackjack this hand would be called a hard 17, because at that moment counting an Ace as 11 would cause the hand to total 27.

When to Split Aces

No matter what up card the dealer shows, the splitting of aces is always preferential and correct. This is a widely accepted strategy among professionals and enthusiasts within blackjack. The best case scenario in regards to the splitting of Aces is when you are initially dealt a pair of Aces.

Once the Aces are split, a player is instantly provided with two opportunities to reach 21.

When You Shouldn’t Split Aces

There is never an instance in which Aces should not be split while engaging in a game of blackjack. The only time that an Ace should not be split is if you are in a gaming environment that does not allow for splitting within their rules and regulations.

Outside of casino rules prohibiting the splitting of Aces, novice players are advised to avoid splitting until they have a better mastery of the game of blackjack.


The object of blackjack is for a player to defeat the dealer by achieving a total that is as close to 21 as possible. At no point is a player to exceed the total of 21 and the splitting of Aces will help in this aspect. As a standard rule, if a player has been dealt a pair of identically ranked cards initially (this is known as a pair) the player is permitted that ability to split them into separate hands as well as asking for a new second card.

The splitting of Aces allows for a player to transform a bad hand into a duo of hands that have a possibility of winning. Additionally, splitting provides a gambler the opportunity to double their bet once the dealer busts. There are rules within blackjack that will permit for re-splitting up to four hands.

Keep in mind that the popularity of players splitting Aces is so very high, that this is the reasoning behind casino rules that limit the ability to split Aces. Most casinos only allow blackjack players the ability to draw a single card on each Ace that has been split.

Additionally, a ten that has been split on an Ace, or vice versa, isn’t considered to be a natural blackjack. This combination will not garner the player a bonus. Within casinos, redoubling and re-splitting is commonly a prohibited practice.

Therefore, before approaching a blackjack table at a casino, it is important to know whether or not it is within the rules for you to increase your chances of success through the splitting of Aces.

See Also: Splitting Tens

April 9, 2015 - Offer valid as of date published. T&Cs apply.