Blackjack splitting strategy outlines when the player must split the pair and when he must play normally. The rationale in splitting a pair is two convert a weak hand into two potentially strong hands. As in all blackjack strategies, the "ten factor" plays a pivotal role. Ten factor is a blackjack term. When an additional card is drawn the probability of the hand value increasing by 10 is the greatest, because there are more cards that have a value of 10. Another factor that blackjack splitting strategy may take into consideration is the value of the dealerís face up card.
Blackjack splitting strategy dictates that certain pairs are always split. One of these is a pair of aces. The ten factor leads to a high likelihood of getting two blackjacks, an opportunity that must not be missed. The other pair that must always be split is a pair of eights. Without splitting, two eights give a hand value of 18, which is the worst possible blackjack total. Taking another card will almost surely lead to a bust and standing on sixteen is also a losing proposition. Further by splitting, the player is looking at two hands with potential values of 18. This is a perfect example of converting a weak blackjack hand into two strong ones.
Blackjack splitting strategy also indicates that there are some pairs that must never be split. One of these is a pair of tens. It is futile to convert one definite total of 20 into two possible totals of 20. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. A pair of fours is also not split. As it stands this blackjack hand gives the player a potential value of 18. Splitting reduces the potential value to 14. For the same reason a pair of fives is also never split under optimal blackjack splitting strategy.
The remaining pairs are split only when the dealerís face up card is a stiff card. The stiff card is a blackjack term for the dealerís card when it is between two and six. When the dealerís face up card is a stiff card the probability of the dealer busting is high. Here the blackjack splitting strategy doers not seek to improve the playerís hand value but depends on the dealer busting.