BlackjackGuru's Blog

For Smart Women Only: Make Blackjack Pay

Your Blackjack hand: 8-8 pairs

Posted by blackjackguru on June 26, 2009

6 decks, S17, DAS, No Surrender, Peek, Estimated casino edge for these rules: 0.44 %
D=Double down, H=Hit, P=Split, S=Stand
Dealer Upcard
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
8,8 P P P P P P P P P P

Having a starting total of 16 is the worst in all of blackjack. But the 8-8 pair is better, because of the split opportunities. And you should split against all dealer up-cards, in some cases to win more, and in other cases to lose less. Here is the win or loss long-run expectation on total wagers placed, for each dealer upcard:

8-8 vs dealer’s 2: Splitting wins 3%, standing loses 15%, hitting loses 47%

8-8 vs dealer’s 3: Splitting wins 10%, standing loses 25%, hitting loses 36%

8-8 vs dealer’s 4: Splitting wins 16%, standing loses 21%, hitting loses 46%

8-8 vs dealer’s 5: Splitting wins 24%, standing loses 17%, hitting loses 45%

8-8 vs dealer’s 6: Splitting wins 33%, standing loses 16%, hitting loses 43%

8-8 vs dealer’s 7: Splitting wins 22%, standing loses 48%, hitting loses 41%

8-8 vs dealer’s 8: Splitting loses 9%, standing loses 52%, hitting loses 45%

8-8 vs dealer’s 9: Splitting loses 41%, standing loses 54%, hitting loses 51%

8-8 vs dealer’s 10: Splitting loses 48%, standing loses 54%, hitting loses 64%

8-8 vs dealer’s A: Splitting loses 39%, standing loses 66%, hitting loses 51%

The above should prove to you that you should always split 8’s. “Always split Aces and Eights” is a mantra that makes it easy to remember.

Common Loser Mistakes:

  • Hitting 8-8 vs dealer pat up-cards. This seems like a frequent problem especially against dealer’s 10. There was even a line in the movie 21 that recommended not splitting 8’s against dealer 10. The Advantage Player will never do this. Hitting is the WORST play to make when having 8-8.

Did You Know..?

There is a certain Advantage Strategy that calls for standing 8-8 vs dealer’s 10. If you see someone do that, she may be an Advantage Player, so don’t judge. I will teach you the Advantage Strategies in a later lesson. For now, learn Basic Strategy perfectly.


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