There are certain circumstances that arise in Blackjack that can catch a player by surprise and present them with a crucial choice of what to do next. Making the right or wrong decision is not always obvious so here is a guide to some of the more unusual plays you might have to make.
You drew a pair and split and now you’ve drawn another card that completes a pair again! Should you split? Yes, why not? If it was a good idea to split in the first place then do it again.
Some casinos let you double-down after a split. You should apply the usual doubling-down strategies if you can especially if after a split you take a hit that brings one of your hands to 11. This is a very strong hand to be on and well worth the chance of doubling down on. If you can do it, then play it!
Surrendering is a course of action that can pull you out of trouble if you know when to use it. Surrendering means you turn in your cards before you have taken a hit and when the dealer doesn’t have blackjack. You will lose half you bet by doing this but it is better to lose half a bet than all of it. So when to surrender? If you have a weak hand that will most likely bust and the dealer is showing a strong upcard.
The classic weak hands are 14-16 as these have the greatest chance of taking you over 21 if you take a hit.If you have 16 you surrender if the dealer’s upcard is 6 to Ace. The dealer is likely to finish on 19-21 and you will lose your bet anyway or bust if you take a hit.When holding 15 you should surrender only if the dealer is showing an upcard with a value of 10. However, if the upcard is an ace then play the hand.
Look at it like this. The dealer is showing an ace but hasn’t declared Blackjack which the dealer must do, then it means he/she doesn’t have a ten-card with the ace. You have a good chance of beating a dealer’s ace when it is paired with something other than a 10. Finally, if you have 14 then keep going and play the hand. Although there is a chance you might bust there are plenty of cards that will take you up to 21 rather than over it so try your luck.
One last bit of advice concerning buying insurance against a dealer’s blackjack. When the dealer is showing an ace upcard he/she must ask the players if they want to buy insurance against Blackjack. This costs half your original bet and pays off 2:1. The dealer then checks for Blackjack which beats all other hands. Generally, unless you suspect that there are a very lot of ten-value cards remaining in the pack insurance is not worth the bet.