Splitting pairs is a fundamental of blackjack rules and will make all the difference to blackjack play. If you are dealt in your original hand 2 cards of the same rank (a pair), you may split them. If the cards are dealt face down and you wish to split them, you must turn over your cards so the dealer can see you have a pair. If the cards are dealt face up you separate the two. Once you have indicated that you wish to continue your blackjack play with a split hand you must place a bet equal to your original bet on the second card. According to blackjack rules it is now as if you have two entirely separate hands; you play the first one to its end, and then you play the second one. All, pairs can be split, and blackjack rules for splitting pairs considers all 10-value cards to be the same; therefore you can split a J-K the same as you could split an 8-8. Aces are the only exceptions; they can be split, but you can only receive one more card on each ace.
Blackjack play allows players to double their bet on their original hands if they so wish. However; if you choose to take this option, you will receive one and only one more card. Therefore, if your original hand is very high, or very low, doubling down is not advised, as whilst you can increase your bet on what you see to be a good hand, the hand may not be so good after the additional card. Most casinos allow doubling down on all original hands, but some allow it only on 10s and 11s.
There are a few casinos and online blackjack rooms that allow the player to surrender half of his original bet if he doesn’t wish to play out the hand. This would happen when he sees the dealer in a very strong position; at least the player gets to save half of his bet. In order to do this, you must actually tell the dealer ‘surrender’, he will then remove your cards and half your bet.
Blackjack rule stipulate that if the dealers upcard is an ace, the players have an option to insure their bets. You don’t have to worry so much about remembering this, as the dealer will ask if anyone wants to insure their bets. At this point you can bet up to half your original bet that the dealer has a 10 value card in the hole. If he has a blackjack your insurance bet wins 2-1.