Splitting, Doubling Down, and Surrendering: Advanced Blackjack Techniques

When it comes to mastering the game of blackjack, there are a few key techniques that separate the amateurs from the experts. While basic strategy will take you far, knowing when and how to split, double down, and surrender can give you the edge you need to come out on top. In this article, we will delve into these advanced techniques and explore how they can help you maximize your winnings at the blackjack table.


One of the most powerful moves in blackjack is the ability to split pairs. When you are dealt a pair of cards with the same value (e.g., two 8s or two 10s), you have the option to split them into two separate hands. This effectively doubles your bet and gives you the chance to play each hand independently.

Knowing when to split can drastically improve your chances of winning. In general, you should always split Aces and 8s, as these are the most advantageous pairs to split. Aces give you the opportunity to get blackjack, while splitting 8s can help you avoid a potentially losing hand.

On the other hand, you should avoid splitting 10s, as this pair gives you a strong hand of 20 that is difficult to beat. Similarly, you should be cautious about splitting 4s, 5s, and 6s, as these pairs can easily turn into weaker hands if you are not careful.

Doubling Down

Another advanced technique in blackjack is doubling down. This move allows you to double your initial bet and receive only one additional card in return. It is typically used when you have a strong hand and believe that the next card will improve your chances of winning.

When deciding whether to double down, you should consider the dealer’s upcard and the overall odds of the game. In general, you should double down when you have a hand of 9, 10, or 11 and the dealer has a weak upcard (2-6). These situations give you the best chance of improving your hand and winning the round.

However, you should be cautious about doubling down with soft hands (e.g., Ace-2 or Ace-3) or when the dealer has a strong upcard (9-A). In these cases, it is better to play it safe and stick with your current hand rather than risking additional money.


The final advanced technique in blackjack is surrendering. This move allows you to forfeit half of your bet and withdraw from the round if you believe that you have a losing hand. While surrendering may seem like a weak move, it can actually be a strategic choice that saves you money in the long run.

There are two types of surrender: late surrender and early surrender. Late surrender allows you to surrender after the dealer checks for blackjack, while early surrender allows you to surrender before the dealer checks for blackjack. While early surrender is more advantageous for players, it is less common in modern blackjack games.

Knowing when to surrender can be a tricky decision, as it depends on the specific rules of the game and your own risk tolerance. In general, you should surrender when you have a hard 15-17 and the dealer has a strong upcard (9-A), as these situations are difficult to win and often result in losing hands.


Mastering the advanced techniques of splitting, doubling down, and surrendering can take your blackjack game to the next level. By understanding when and how to use these moves effectively, you can maximize your winnings and minimize your losses at the blackjack table. Remember to practice these techniques in a controlled setting before using them in a real game, and always play responsibly. Good luck!

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